As you may be aware, the most popular video poker game is “Jacks or Better,” which is played in a five-card draw format. To qualify for the payout, you must have a pair of Jacks or a better hand, as the name suggests.
The good news is that video poker has one of the highest payout percentages, making it one of the best casino games for players. Of course, this is only true if you are familiar with the strategy and use it in your games. So, today, we’ll share the best Jacks or Better video poker strategy tips that will help you make better decisions and, most importantly, win more frequently.
Jacks or Better Multi-Hand Video Poker Review & Expert Guide
Influence the outcome
Unlike roulette or other video poker where you just place your bets blindly, Jacks or Better provides much more engagement and excitement to the players. Video poker is one of the few casino games in which you can make decisions and have a significant impact on the outcome.
This is one of the reasons it is still so popular today, but it is far from the most important. As previously stated in the introduction, video poker provides very good returns to players, with returns reaching up to 99.54 percent if you know your strategy well. In some cases, the addition of a good deposit bonus or casino reward programme can even turn things around in your favour and remove the house edge, so it is definitely worth checking out the best blogs by Willis Casino to find the most profitable options.
The game begins with you deciding how many coins to bet, with the maximum bet of 5 coins always being the best option for increasing your payout percentage.
Following that, you will be dealt five initial cards and will be able to choose which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to exchange. As soon as you do this, you receive new cards in place of the ones you choose to discard, and you must then make a winning hand with your combination. Fortunately, it is very simple to figure out because almost all video poker formats, including Jacks or Better, use standard poker hand rankings.
To win with your hand, you must have a pair of Jacks or better, and you are then paid according to the payout table based on the combinations you can make with your cards. All of this appears and appears to be very simple, but only until you want to understand how to make optimal decisions, which is where the Jacks or Better strategy comes into play.
Hone your Math
Video poker, like other poker formats, is heavily reliant on math, which only becomes apparent in the long run. So, even if you believe you are doing everything correctly, if you make one of the fundamental mistakes, you will inevitably hurt your win rate, which you must avoid.
Low pair is defined as anything less than pocket Jacks, as these hands do not qualify for the payout unless they improve to a better hand. So, whether you have pocket TT or pocket 22, the value is essentially the same, and you should keep that pair and draw other tree cards for the most part.
One of the most common blunders is when a player chooses to keep an extra high card. For example, if they have 3 3 A J 5, they will keep 33A while discarding only J and 5, which is a huge mistake that will drastically reduce your win rate.
Another common mistake is breaking a pair when you have four cards straight. So, if you get 5 5 6 7 8, keep 55 and throw away the rest because it has the best long-term expectation.
However, there are some situations in which you must break that low pair, so here are some examples of when to do so:
- When you have three cards to a Royal Flush, try to draw to this monster and win the jackpot, even if it means splitting your pair.
- When you have four cards to flush, you should also try to hit your suit and break your low pair.
- With the exception of these two exceptions, you should always keep your pair and avoid chasing unlikely draws.
A high pair in the Jacks or Better video poker game is JJ, QQ, KK, or AA, as the name suggests. If you get a high pair, you are already guaranteed a payout, so there are very few reasons to break such a hand.
Even if you have four cards to a flush and a high pair in poker, you should never break it in the pursuit of the flush. The same is true if you have four cards for the straight, where keeping your pair gives you a much better EV in the long run.
In fact, there is only one situation in which you would be correct to break a high pair, and that is when you have four cards to a Royal Flush.
So, if you have As, Ks, Qs, Js, and 5c (or any other random card), it’s worth going for the gold and breaking it. If you hit your magic one outer, you will win a large sum, which makes the risk worthwhile. Aside from this situation, you should always keep your high pair and try to improve it to a better hand rather than chasing draws.
With one exception, the simple answer is that you should always keep your Full-House and, for the most part, Flush and Straight. As absurd as it may sound, if you have four cards to the Royal Flush draw, it makes sense to break a made straight or flush.
Even if it appears strange, the math supports this play. This is the area where you must take the ultimate risk if you want to play Jacks or Better optimally. It is critical to take your time so that you can make the best decisions and follow the Jacks or Better strategy outlined previously. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and the vast majority of them are caused by rushing to make decisions, so don’t be that player.
Jacks or Better Online Video Poker Game RTP
The first video poker game was Jacks or Better. It is still the most popular of the tens or hundreds of Video Poker games created since then. In the full-priced version of the game, the return to player is 99.54 percent.
The full pay version of a Video Poker game includes a paytable with the highest theoretical return. Many land-based and online casinos offer the same Video Poker game with different paytables – with payouts for some hand combinations reduced (or even increased) to achieve a lower overall return.
The conceptual payout, also known as the RTP, tells only a portion of the story about each Video Poker game. Another important factor to consider when deciding which Video Poker game to play is the variance (volatility). Variance can be used to determine how wins are distributed based on their size. If the variance is high, it means that fewer large-amount wins are more likely. When the variance is low, the opposite is true: most wins are small, and large wins are extremely rare.
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