The Optimal Jacks or Better Strategy

The Optimal Jacks or Better Strategy
by Jean Real

Jacks or Better is one of the video poker games with the highest payout percentages. The Jacks or Better game at Superior Casino pays back at a surprisingly high 99.54%. Now, you are probably thinking this can’t be true because the last time you played you were not that lucky. Fear not, I know exactly what might be the problem and I’m here to help you get those high pay rates with Superior Casino’s Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better or any other video poker machine is a game of skill. The player must know exactly what to do in every situation in order to get the best results. Choices may be hard sometimes, when there are two attractive sets of cards to hold in a hand but obviously you must make a choice and hold one option. Such is the case when you have two high cards (jacks or higher) of the same rank (which will give you a payout of 1:1 on Jacks or Better) but you also have another “kicker” card (a face card or Ace). Most players feel inclined to hold the “kicker” card with the winning pair but this is a mistake. How do we know? Very simply, we run a computer program to analyze the probabilities of the deal based on the cards you hold. If you hold just the pair, you have higher chances of getting a three-of-a-kind than a two pair by holding the “kicker” card.

With that said, we have run the computer program to give us a list of the best card combinations to hold. This is called an Optimal Video Poker Strategy, in this case for Jacks or Better. To get the best results simply look at your 5 cards dealt. Try to match any of these cards or all of them to the hand combination HIGHEST on the list below.

1. Royal Flush
2. Straight Flush
3. Four of a Kind
4. Hold 4 cards to a Royal Flush
5. Full House
6. Flush
7. Three of a Kind
8. Straight
9. Hold 4 cards to a Straight Flush
10. Two Pair
11. High Pair
12. Hold 3 cards to a Royal Flush
13. Hold 4 cards to a Flush
14. Hold 4 unsuited Ten, Jack, Queen and King
15. Low pair (2’s through 10’s)
16. Hold 4 cards to an outside Straight (with 2 high cards)
17. Hold 3 cards to a Straight Flush
18. Hold 2 suited Queen and Jack
19. Hold 4 cards to an inside Straight (with 4 high cads)
20. Hold 2 suited King/Queen or King/Jack
21. Hold 2 suited Ace/King, Ace/Queen or Ace/Jack
22. Hold 4 cards to an inside Straight (with 3 high cards)
23. Hold 3 unsuited King, Queen, Jack
24. Hold 2 unsuited Queen and Jack
25. Hold 2 suited Jack and Ten
26. Hold 2 unsuited high cards with King as highest
27. Hold 2 suited Queen and Ten
28. Hold 2 unsuited high cards with Ace as highest
29. Hold 1 Jack
30. Hold 2 suited King and Ten
31. Hold 1 Queen
32. Hold 1 King
33. Hold 1 Ace
34. If none of the above, discard all and draw for five new cards

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