Jacks or Better video poker

jacks or betterJacks or Better is the most well known type of video poker. Just as the name suggests, you need a pair of jacks or better to get paid.

Jacks or Better is based on five card draw poker and is played with a 52 card deck. No jokers or other wild cards are used.

Playing Jacks or Better

  1. Place your bet and start the game.
  2. You will receive five cards face-up from the deck.
  3. Decide which cards you want to keep and which cards you wish to exchange for new cards from the deck. You can change anywhere from zero cards to five cards.
  4. The hand you have after the exchange is your final hand. There is only one change of cards in Jacks or Better.
  5. If your hand contains a pair of jacks or better, you get paid. Otherwise, you lose your bet.

Winning hands in Jacks or Better video poker

Hand

Description

Royal Straight Flush

10 – J – Q – K – A of the same suit

There are four possible variants of this hand:

H10 – HJ – HQ – HK – HA

S10 – SJ – SQ – SK – SA

D10 – DJ – DQ – DK – DA

C10 – CJ – CQ – CK – CA

(H = hearts, S = spades, D = diamonds, C = clubs)

Straight Flush

Five cards in sequence that are also all of the same suit (but not being a Royal Straight Flush)

Example: H7 – H8 – H9 – H10 – HJ or C3 – C4 – C5 – C6 – C7

(H = hearts, C = clubs)

Four of a kind

(also known as quads)

Four cards of the same rank + any other card. The suit/suits are not important.

Example: 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – Q or 4 – 9 – 9 – 9 – 9

Full House

(also known as a full boat)

Three matching cards of one rank + two matching cards of another rank. The suit/suits are not important.

Example: 4 – 4 – 4 – 10 – 10 or 5 – 5 – 9 – 9 – 9

Flush

Five cards of the same suit, but not a complete sequence.

Example: H2 – H4 – H5 – H8 – H10

(H = hearts)

Straight

Five cards of sequential rank from at least two different suits.

Example: H4 – S5 – H6 – H7 – S8

(H = hearts, S = spades)

Three of a kind

(also known as set or trips)

Three cards of the same rank + any other two cards. The suit/suits are not important.

Example: 2 – 2 – 2 – 5 – 8 or 5 – 8 – Q – Q – Q

Two Pair

(also known as Two Pairs)

Two pairs + any other card. The suit/suits are not important.

Example: 4 – 4 – 7 –7 – 9 or 2 – 2 – 5 – Ace – Ace

Pair of jacks or better

Pair of Jacks, or Pair of Queens, or Pair of Kings, or Pair of Aces

+ any other three cards. The suit/suits are not important.

Example: 5 – 7 – 8 – Ace – Ace or 9 – J – J – Q – A

Jacks or Better paytable

How much you get paid for a winning hand depends on the pay table. Below, you will find a commonly used pay table for Jacks or Better. As you can see, this is for a video poker machine where you can bet 1 coin, 2 coins, 3 coins, 4 coins or 5 coins per game.

The paytable will vary from one video poker machine to another, so always check your specific machine before you start playing Jacks or Better.

Example of a common Jack or Better paytable:

Hand

1 coin

2 coins

3 coins

4 coins

5 coins

Royal Straight Flush

250

500

750

1000

4000

Straight Flush

50

100

150

200

250

Four of a Kind

25

50

75

100

125

Full House

9

18

27

36

45

Flush

6

12

18

24

36

Straight

4

8

12

16

20

Three of a Kind

3

6

9

12

15

Two Pair

2

4

6

8

10

Pair of Jacks or Better

1

2

3

4

5

9/6 Jacks or Better

The traditional type of Jacks or Better pays 9 coins for Full House and 6 coins for Flush (on a one coin bet). Because of this, it is commonly referred to as 9/6 Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better video poker machines that do not pay 9 coins for Full House and 6 coins for Flush tend to have a lower RTP (theoretical return to player over time) than 9/6 Jacks or Better machines. A 6/5 Jacks or Better will for instance have an RTP of just 95% unless the low pay for full house and flush is adequately compensated by higher payouts for other winning poker hands.