Jacks or Better Strategy

Read our Jacks or Better strategies and improve your win rate!

What is Jacks or Better?

Jacks or Better is the most common and popular version of video poker. You will see Jacks or Better machines in every casino – both online and brick & mortar. Jacks or Better is so adored because it is easy to play yet offers levels of strategy to perfect your game, offers the possibility of a big jackpot payout, and provides a very high pay out rate.

If you play perfect Jacks or Better strategy (on an optimal pay out machine), you can achieve a 99.54% return!

The game is called Jacks or Better because you need to achieve at least a pair of Jacks to start winning. A pair of Jacks or higher will pay you the amount of your bet – in other words you break even.

Jacks or Better Strategy Must – Play Max Credits!

To get started playing optimal Jacks or Better strategy, you must always play the max credits available!

If you do not play the maximum 5 credits per hand, you are severely reducing your payoff rate.

If you want to play $2 a hand, do not play 1 credit of $2, play 5 credits of 50 cents each. Always play the maximum credits allowed and if it is too expensive, then just move down to a lower minimum machine. If you play online, you can bet as little as .05 per coin, so a minimum bet of $.25 per hand.

Not all Jacks or Better Games Have the Same Odds!

The next critical factor for playing optimal Jacks or Better strategy is playing on the right machine! Not all Jacks or Better machines offer the same payout, so it is something you MUST pay attention to.

Ideally, you want to play a Jacks or Better game that pays out 9 credits for a Full House and 6 credits for a Flush. For short, these Jacks or Better games are referred to as 9/6 games. All the other payouts for a Straight or 3 of a Kind, etc, are typically the same.

Not all Jacks or Better games pay out at the 9/6 rate. Other common Jacks or Better games may pay out 9 credits for a Full House but only 5 credits for a Flush. And other Jacks or Better machines may pay out 8 credits for a Full House and 6 credits for a Flush.

If you look at the paytable to the right, you can see that the game offered by the Planet 7 Casino offers the best Jacks or Better game with the 9/6 pay out rates.

Try out this free Jacks or Better game that offers the ideal 9/6 payout table.

As with all video poker games, always start off by increasing the number of coins to the maximum amount. With this Jacks or Better game, ALWAYS play 5 coins! Click the COINS PLAYED and change the number to 5 coins.

Then click DEAL to start playing.

This optimal Jacks or Better game is available at Slots.LV, Planet 7 Casino, and many of our other recommended sites.

If you are unsure how to play a hand, run it through our Jacks or Better Assistant before making your move! Play every hand perfectly with the Jacks or Better Assistant.

Use Our Video Poker Assistant While Playing

You don’t have to memorize the optimal play for every possible scenario while playing video poker because you can use our Video Poker Assistant while you play! This is totally legal to do, and you can even use it while playing in a brick and mortar casino. Just visit the Video Poker Assistant on your cellphone while you sit at the video poker machine!

Jacks or Better Payout Odds When Playing Perfect Strategy

HandPayoutProbabilityVariancePayout Odds
Royal Flush8000.00002515.810.019807
Straight Flush500.0001090.260.005465
Four of a Kind250.0023631.360.059064
Full House90.0115120.740.103610
Three of a Kind30.0744490.300.223346
Two Pair20.1292790.130.258558
Jacks or Better10.2145850.000.214585

Achieve a 99.54% payout return when playing Jacks or Better with this payout table, along with optimal strategies as suggested by our Video Poker Assistant!

Jacks or Better Basic Strategy Chart

Our Jacks or Better Basic Strategy Chart ranks your dealt hand from best to worst. Hold the cards in your hand that match the highest ranking. Your hand can be played several ways, but play the version that ranks the highest according to the Jacks or Better Strategy chart below.

RankDealt Hand
1Royal Flush, Straight Flush, 4 of a Kind
24 to a Royal Flush
33 Aces
4Full House, Flush, Straight
53 of a Kind
64 to a Straight Flush
7Two Pair
8Pair of Aces
9Suited KQJ, QJT
10High Pair (KK, QQ, JJ)
124 to a Flush
134 to Open Ended Straight Draw
14Pair of 22, 33, 44
15Suited QJ9, JT9
17Unsuited AKQJ
183 to a Straight Flush (High Cards >= Gap), 3 to a Ace-Low Straight Flush
19Inside Straight Draw + 3 High Cards
203 to a Flush + 2 High Cards
21Suited AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ
223 to a Straight Flush (1 Gap), 3 to a Ace-Low Straight Flush
23Inside Straight Draw + 2 High Cards
243 to a Straight Flush (2 Gap + 1 High Card)
25Unsuited KQJ, QJT
26Inside Straight Draw + 1 High Card
27Suited JT
28Unsuited QJ
293 to a Flush + 1 High Card
30Suited QT
313 to a Straight Flush (2 Gap)
323 to a Flush + 1 High Card
33Unsuited KQ, KJ
34Single Ace
35Suited KT
36High Card - K, Q, J
37Inside Straight Draw
383 to a Flush (No High Cards)
39Nothing - Discard All Cards


There are some exceptions to our Jacks or Better Basic Strategy Chart. If you find any, please post them below in our Comments section!

Read Our Jacks or Better Strategy Articles for Specific Tips

We will post common mistakes and scenarios so you can avoid these pitfalls. When do you break up a pair of Jacks or higher? When do you break up a made flush or draw to an inside straight draw? We’ll help guide you.

Check back often as we add to our library of Jacks or Better tips and tricks!

Jacks or Better Strategy Articles

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