Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is a variation based on classic video poker games. The game also has variations like Full-pay Jacks or Better and Progressive Jacks or Better. The game is very similar to 5-Card draw poker and will appeal to players who like both skill and luck.

In this guide, we will explain the basics of Jacks or Better, how to play the game, and give you some strategies on how to win. Keep reading below to find out more.

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Jacks or Better Video Poker

What is Jacks or Better?

Jacks or Better is known as being the first variation of video poker games. The goal in the game is to get the card Jacks or a card higher in rank than Jacks. The game combines both strategy and chance, which makes it an ideal game to play for a wide range of casino players.

Jacks or Better Rules

Jacks or Better is usually played with 2 rounds. The 1st round allows you to hold cards. The 2nd round is called the “showdown” where the results of the cards will be shown.

Before the first round can begin, you must place an ante. After the ante is placed, the dealer deals out 5 cards. Your task is to choose which cards to discards and which cards to keep. 

The actual 1st game round begins, once you have managed to present a Jacks. If you don’t have a Jacks, you must muck your hand.Once you have mucked your hand, the machine deals 5 cards again. 

In round 2, you must present a pair of Queens or better, before you make a bet. If you can’t present a pair of Queens or better, you need to muck your cards. 

Once you have mucked your cards, you must place an ante. Once the ante is placed, you get 5 new cards from the dealer. As long as you remain in the round, you can draw up to a maximum of 5 cards per round. Each round always ends with a showdown, where you have to present your combination of cards. 

To win, you need to get at least the card Jacks, or a card higher in ranks than Jacks in your combination of 5 cards.


To play Jacks or Better at an online casino, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Choose an online casino that offers Jacks or Better. You find examples of such casinos in our toplist above. 
  2. Go to the section with games and find the category called  “Video Poker”
  3. Open the Jacks or Better game
  4. Adjust the bet size with the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons on the bottom panel of the screen
  5. Press the button called “deal”
  6. You are presented with 5 different cards on the screen
  7. Choose the cards you want to use to create the best possible combination of hand. If you do not want to change any card, simply click “Hold”. “Hold” will keep the cards that you select and give you 5 new cards.
  8. Click on the button “deal”
  9. If you are lucky and you have got Jacks or a card higher in ranks than Jacks, you win and will receive a payout according to the paytable in the game
  10. To cash out your winnings, visit the cashier section in your casino and go to the payments sections.

Payout Table

Royal Flush800 coins
Straight Flush50 coins
Four of a Kind25 coins
Full House9 coins
Flush6 coins
Straight4 coins
Three of a Kind3 coins
Two Pair2 coins
Jacks or Better1 coins

Jacks or Better Winning Hands

Below you will find a table of the winning hands in Jacks or Better, from the highest hand to the lowest hand. 

Card Explanation
HighA Jacks or higher.
Example: Jack, Queen, King, Ace. 
1 pairs = 2 cards with the same number.
Example: 2 Kings.
Pair2 cards that have the same number. 
Example: 2 Kings.
2 Pair 2 pairs of cards with the same number. 
Example: two 3s and two 6s.
Three of a Kind3 cards with the same number. 
Example: three 8s.
StraightLike Straight Flush, but with 5 cards that do not have the same suit.
The cards need to be in a row.
Four to a Straight Flush4 cards needed to complete a straight flush of 5 cards.
Flush5 cards with the same suit.
Full House A hand with 3 of a kind + a pair. 
Example: 3 Aces and two 5s.
Four of a Kind 4 cards with the same number. 
Example: 4 Queens or four 10s. 
Straight Flush 5 cards in the same suit in a row. 
Example: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 suited hearts
3 to a Royal Flush 3 cards to complete a Royal Flush
4 to a Flush 4 cards in the same suit
4 to a Straight 4 cards in a row
3 to a Straight Flush 3 cards in a row with the same suit
2 to a Royal Flush 2 cards from completing a Royal Flush
Royal Flush The strongest and highest hand with 5 cards in the same suit, in order from 10 to Ace. 
Example: 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace in suited heart.

Strategies to Win at Jacks or Better

Play with the maximum amount of coins

Make sure to bet 5 coins per hand to maximize your chances to get a royal flush. When you bet with max coins you also decrease the house edge. 

Another benefit of playing with max coins is that you increase your chances to reach the full payback percentage of 99.54%. 

Don’t play too fast

It is easy to play more when you win more. When you play more you also lose track of time. This means that you will lose more money. The key is to start betting in small sizes and gradually increase your bet amounts.

For example, if you play 100 hands in 1 hour, you might only lose $2.50. Compared to if you bet $5 per hand and play 200 hands in 1 hour.

Learn and develop your own strategy

It’s a good start to read the strategies listed here. But in the long run, a plus is if you also learn your own strategies and what works for you. You can always use existing strategies and customize them according to your playing style.

Be careful of the Progressive versions

Jacks or Better slots do not have high payouts for progressive jackpots. Progressive jackpots can reduce the house edge to 0, but it happens very rarely. 

If you want to play progressive Jacks or Better video poker, it is better that you choose for example a variation with a payout of 9 / 6 rather than a version with a payout of 8 / 5. 

Make sure to play a variant with the highest pay table

There are many different variants of Jacks or Better. But the most common variant of Jacks or Better offers a payout structure of 9 / 6. The variant of 9/6 pays you 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush.

Jacks or Better Cheat Sheet

Royal Flush or Straight Flush0 cards
Four of a kind1 card
Four card to a royal flush1 card
Full house, flush, straight0 card 
Three of a kind2 cards
4 cards to a straight flush1 card
2 pair1 card
High pair (Jacks or Better)3 cards
3 Cards to a Royal Flush2 cards
4 cards to a flush1 card
Low pair (tens or lower)3 cards
4 cards to a straight1 card
2 cards to a Royal Flush3 cards
3 cards to a Straight flush2 cards
Ace, King, Queen & Jack (not suited)1 card
Kind, Queen & Jack (not suited)2 cards
2 High Cards, fold an Ace if needed3 cards
High Card and a 10 (suited)3 cards
1 High card4 cards
All 5 cards unsuited and unranked5 cards

Play Jacks or Better with Real Money or For Fun 

Most online casinos that offer Jacks or Better also offer you to play the game for free. You don’t have to deposit any money to try out the game. On the other hand you don’t get to keep your winnings if you play for free. 

To play Jacks or Better with real money:

  1. Choose an online casino from our list of top online casinos on this page
  2. Find the section with games, visit the category named “video poker” and open “Jacks or Better
  3. Choose the “real money” mode 

To play Jacks or Better with fun money:

  1. Choose a casino from ou list of top casinos on this page
  2. Visit the section of games and open Jacks or Better
  3. Choose “play for fun” or “fun money” mode

Play Jacks or Better on Your Mobile

When you play Jacks or Better on mobile, the game works in the same way as playing it on desktop. Some casinos offer dedicated casino apps for iOS or Android that you can download to play Jacks or Better on your mobile. 

Alternatively, you can also play the game instantly in your browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.

To play Jacks or Better on mobile, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Choose an online casino from our list of top casinos on this page
  2. Find the section with games, visit the category named “video poker” and open “Jacks or Better
  3. Click on the game to start playing it from your mobile device


Is it Legal to Play Jacks or Better in India?

Yes, it is legal to play Jacks or Better in India.

What Does Jacks or Better Mean?

It means that you need to get the card Jacks to win. Or a card better than Jacks.

What is the Best Site to Play Jacks or Better?

We have listed the best sites on this page. Some of the best sites include ShowLion and 10Cric.

How Much Money Can I Win Playing Jacks or Better?

The highest payout in Jacks or Better, is when you get a Royal Flush, which gives you a win of 800 coins.

What is Full Pay Jacks or Better?

A full pay Jacks or Better is called 9/6 Jacks or Better. This means that when you get a full house, you win 9 times your bet. The payout for a flush is 6 times your bet. 

What are the Odds of Winning on Jacks or Better?

If you stick to a winning strategy, the odds for winning on Jacks or Better is 99.5%, which is higher than that of Joker Poker.