Jacks or Better Video Poker
Jacks or Better is probably the best-known video poker game of all, and 9/6 Jacks or Better is probably the most well-known full pay game. With perfect play, the game pays back 99.54% of the money put through the machine, which makes it one of the best bets in the casino, on the same level with blackjack played with perfect strategy and good conditions, in fact. If you get any kind of comps at all and belong to the slots club, you can come pretty close to making Jacks or Better a positive expectation proposition for yourself.
Draw Poker - Some Jacks or Better History
The original video poker game, which was actually the forerunner of Jacks or Better, was a game called Draw Poker. The game debuted in the 1970's and wasn't a particularly big hit with casino gamblers because wins didn't happen very often at all. A player had to hit two pairs or better in order to win any money at Draw Poker.
Jacks or Better made an important and drastic change to the Draw Poker game - it added a payout for a pair of jacks or better. It's an even money payout though, so if you wager $1.25 and get a pair of jacks or better, you only get paid $1.25 back. And since odds in video poker are paid at 1 for 1 instead of 1 to 1, you're really just breaking even.
But the endorphins still kick in when you get your money back, because the machine acts just like it would if you actually won a positive amount of money instead of just breaking even. (The same lights go off, and the same sounds happen too.)
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