Jacks or Better is a video poker casino game, based on five-card draw poker. The aim of the game is simple: to build the best possible poker hand with five cards.

It is an easy-to-learn game, providing newcomers with an inviting option to experience. Our guide to Jacks or Better will help you to understand the game and how to play it. We will also highlight how to join a casino hosting Jacks or Better, the best strategy to use when playing, the odds of winning, and more.

What Is Jacks or Better Video Poker?

Jacks or Better is the most common variation of video poker. You can find it in the video poker lobbies of many top online casinos. The great thing is that it’s the easiest and most straightforward to understand. Plus, if you’ve ever played five-card draw poker, you’ll already have an advantage.

The lowest paying hand in Jacks or Better video poker is, as the name suggests, a pair of Jacks. So, to win, you’ll need to draw Jacks or higher. The game differs from traditional poker because it’s played on a slot machine interface. It merges poker and slot gaming so you don’t play against physical opponents. Instead, you play against the computer software.

Because of its popularity, it is available at sites like Wild Casino, Black Lotus Casino, and BetOnline. The simplicity of Jacks or Better makes it more appealing than variations like Double Bonus Poker and Joker Poker, which are a bit more complicated.

How to Play Jacks or Better – The Basics

One thing to remember about Jacks or Better is that it is a casino game that focuses on luck, but your choices also matter. You receive five cards and choose the ones you should keep for the next round. Here is a step-by-step guide to playing Jacks or Better Poker.

Step One: Select a Bet

Use the buttons at the bottom to choose a wager

The Jacks or Better rules see you place a bet as the first step. Buttons for this are usually found at the bottom of the screen and the betting range will vary from game to game. Make sure you choose a bet that works for your bankroll and always start low if you’re a beginner.

Step Two: Deal the Cards

Cards dealt out and two automatically held

When satisfied with your wager, click the “Deal” button to have the first five cards dealt out. You then need to decide which cards, if any, are the best to hold. Some software automatically holds the best cards for you, making it easier.

Step Three: Draw Alternative Cards

A win hits with two aces after the Draw

When you’ve clicked the specific cards you want to hold (or you accept the software’s automatically held cards), you can click on “Draw” to remove the unheld cards. These are replaced with new ones. The final combination will then be displayed and any win is paid out according to the paytable. Try playing free online video poker if you want to try the process before putting real money at risk.

A pair of jacks is the lowest-paying poker hand in this game, serving as a two-pair. Many other higher poker hands, including the straight and full house, can be formed in the game.

Jacks or Better Bonus Features

Video poker players looking for unique features won’t have much luck with Jacks or Better. They are usually pretty straightforward games without any extras added. This is why it is one of the easiest to get to grips with playing.

However, some versions include a special feature or two to add to the appeal.

You may find a gamble round added to the game. If you have used an ideal poker strategy and heightened your chances of winning, you will see this trigger whenever a win hits. Different developers offer different types of gamble rounds to enjoy.

The gamble round in Jacks or Better to try and double your winnings

How to Choose a Jacks or Better Poker Game

There are various Jacks or Better video poker games available online. Created by a range of top casino software providers there are plenty of options to try.

The best way to choose between the games is to check the return to player (RTP) rate. This lets you see how much the game will pay out over time.

It’s worked out over thousands of rounds of the game. Most video poker Jacks or Better games feature an RTP rate between 90% and 97%.

The best versions come with RTPs exceeding 99%. The correct strategy can help you to increase the percentage, too. There are different payouts for the same hand strength as each game has its own RTPs.

We always recommend choosing a 9/6 video poker game, which refers to the payouts for a full house and a flush.

A Jacks or Better game with a table similar to the one we’ve built below, resulting in a 99.54% RTP rate, is ideal.

Jacks or Better Hand Value Total Times Payout
Royal Flush 800x
Four-of-a-Kind 25x
Full House 9x
Flush 6x
Straight 4x
Three-of-a-Kind 3x
Two Pairs 2x
Jacks or Better 1x

Some games will provide a higher payout for a royal flush Jacks or Better hand. At the same time, they can lower the rates for some of the game’s weaker hands. The top-heavy approach is better suited for players seeking out larger video poker wins.

It’s also a good idea to think about the theme of the game you choose. Jacks or Better video poker releases come in different styles. These vary from old-school visuals and traditional poker themes to modern video game styles similar to slots.

You should also consider playing multiple hands of Jacks or Better at once. Some games offer this as a fun special feature. That can sound overwhelming, but you’re only playing a single hand – you just get to see multiple results.

How to Join a Jacks or Better Casino

It’s not difficult to find an online casino to sign up to for Jacks or Better gameplay. Platforms like Las Atlantis or Wild Casino readily offer the game from a few developers. Here is a step-by-step guide to joining a Jacks or Better video poker casino.

Step One – Choose an Online Casino

Browsing the Las Atlantis online casino site

In our guide, we’ve highlighted various casinos for their Jacks or Better game lineup. Look at the options and compare them to see which casino caters to you the most. Make sure you feel comfortable with the casino(s) you’ll be playing at before signing up.

Step Two – Create an Account

Registering for an account at Las Atlantis casino

I’m using Las Atlantis in this video poker guide, but the sign-up process for an online casino is generally the same. When you have found the site you want to join, click “Sign Up” and fill out any necessary information.

Step Three – Deposit Real Money

Depositing at Las Atlantis via one of the various supported payment methods

With your account opened, you can navigate to the cashier and choose a preferred payment method for a real money deposit. Deposits should be instant at the best Jacks or Better casinos, allowing you to get started instantly.

Step Four – Search for Jacks or Better

Viewing the Video Poker section at Las Atlantis casino

Some online casinos feature a ‘Video Poker’ section in their game lobbies. You can easily navigate to this to find Jacks or Better Poker. Other platforms may include it in the ‘Table Games’ section. You can also use the search box to find all Jacks or Better titles.

Step Five – Play the Game

Playing Jacks or Better at Las Atlantis

Click on the preferred Jacks or Better game to load it up and start playing. Most versions can be played in both demo mode and real money format.

What’s the Best Strategy for Jacks or Better?

Even though playing video poker looks like online slot gaming, they are entirely different.

With Jacks or Better games, you change the outcome of a round through the decisions you make. Using our guide, you can create a Jacks or Better optimal strategy to give you the best odds of winning. While it won’t guarantee a win, it will improve your chances in the long run.

There are several key tips and tricks to consider when planning your strategy. You can see the best moves you can make based on the hands you’ve been dealt in Jacks or Better below.

  • If you have a single high card, hold this and draw four new ones.
  • If you have any pair, hold it and draw three new cards.
  • Break a low pair if you have four to a straight flush or royal flush.
  • Break a high pair only if you have four cards to a straight flush or royal flush.
  • If you have any two pairs, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, or four-of-a-kind, always hold them.
  • Always hold a flush or a straight, unless you are a single card away from a royal flush.
  • If you have a suited 10 and ace as high cards, only keep the ace.
  • If you have four cards of a flush or a straight and no pairs, hold the four cards and draw one.
  • If you start with three cards to a royal flush and no pairs, hold the three cards and draw two.

What Are the Jacks or Better Video Poker Odds?

Even if the payouts change, the Jacks or Better odds stay the same. Each game takes place with a standard 52-card deck that’s reshuffled after every round.

Quite a few versions of Jacks or Better also provide a boosted payout if you achieve a royal flush when five coins (or whatever the maximum level is) are utilized. Other payouts are multiplied by the level due to the added coins of your bet, but the royal flush increases significantly.

In this instance, the Jacks or Better odds are better when played at the maximum level. Try it with a lower coin value but a maximum level. The bet size will be roughly the same, but you will still get the chance to benefit from the increased payout for the game’s best hand.

It’s important to know that the odds of getting a royal flush in your first five dealt cards are 1 in 649,740. However, playing a top video poker Jacks or Better strategy in 9/6 games can see you have a 1 in 40,931 chance of a royal flush. You just need to ensure you change the correct cards.

The odds for the initial Jacks or Better hand are as follows:

Hand Odds
Royal Flush 1 in 649,740
Straight Flush 1 in 72,193
Four-of-a-Kind 1 in 4,165
Full House 1 in 694
Flush 1 in 509
Straight 1 in 255
Three-of-a-Kind 1 in 47
Two Pairs 1 in 21
High Pair (Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces) 1 in 7.69
Any Pair 1 in 2.37

Playing Jacks or Better on Your Mobile

Many versions of Jacks or Better are compatible with mobile devices, letting you easily enjoy the popular game at home or on the go.

The only difference between mobile and desktop Jacks or Better is screen rotation. It loads vertically on mobile devices by default, but vertically on desktops. If you’d rather have the extra screen width, you can tilt your device and the game will automatically optimize for you.

Some casinos provide mobile app versions of their sites for you to download. Others need you to visit the casino through your mobile web browser. The game will always be the same whichever option you use.

More Poker Guides

If you want to add some variety to your poker play there are plenty of other versions to enjoy. We’ve got guides for some of the most popular poker games around. Just click one of the links below to learn more about:

Responsible Gambling

Playing Jacks or Better video poker should always be a fun experience. That’s why you should always play it to be entertained, rather than specifically to make money.

Responsible gambling is something that we heavily promote and support. To help you play more responsibly, you can:

  • Play within a set budget, making sure you have enough money for other expenses like food and bills.
  • Set limits on the amount of time you spend gambling.
  • Monitor your play for any signs and symptoms of problem gambling.
  • Set limits on the amount you deposit and wager.
  • Make certain you don’t chase your losses.

If you think you’re spending too much time or money playing Jacks or Better, or you think you need help with your gambling in general, you should get help. The National Council on Problem Gambling can help through self-assessment tools, text, live chat, and other resources.

Jacks or Better – FAQs

Where can I play Jacks or Better?

What is the house edge in Jacks or Better?

What is 9/6 in Jacks or Better?

How much money can you win playing Jacks or Better?