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Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better


The objective of Jacks or Better is to obtain a five-card poker hand that contains at least a pair of Jacks... or better!

With so many variations of poker available to players, one of the most interesting versions of the game is known as Jacks or Better. (This is sometimes referred to by Draw Poker.)

It is one of the easiest variants of video-style poker for players to partake in because a player only needs to have some cards in their hand with Jacks or better in it to get a payout. It was the original video poker variant to hit the online gambling scene, and that is why it is so similar to the very first Draw Poker casino game.

When you first start out in this game, the hand begins when the player makes their first bet. They are subsequently dealt 5 cards, which the player may hold onto or discard in the quest for a winning hand. It is all up to him or her.

Jacks or Better: Hands

Now we are going to talk about the hands. New players especially should familiarize themselves with these hands before diving into the game, as not doing so will just leave them confused.

Here are the possible poker hands that will result in a win.

  • Royal Flush - This is the king of them all. You need a Queen, Ace, King, 10 and Jack. They must all be in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush - this is five cards of the same suit, in consecutive order.
  • Four of a Kind - This is just how it sounds. Four cards all of the same value. For instance, King of Clubs, Spades, Hearts, plus an 8 of Spades.
  • Full House - This happens when you get five cards that are made up of one pair plus three of a kind. For instance, a King of Diamonds, King of Clubs, 4 of Clubs, 4 of Spades, 4 of Hearts.
  • Flush - This is five cards that are all the matching suit. For instance, you could have a 5, Ace, 3, 8 and 5, all of Hearts.
  • Straight - 5 cards that make up a consecutive order. Suits are varied. You might have a 6 of Clubs, 7 and 8 of Diamonds, a 9 of Hearts, and a 10 of Spades.
  • Three of a Kind - You simply have three cards that are similar value. For instance, say your hand has 9 of Clubs, Spades, and Hearts; you also might have a 2 of Diamonds and a Queen of Hearts.
  • Two Pair - These are two pairs of two cards that have the same value. For instance, a 9 of Clubs, 9 of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds, Ace of Clubs.
  • Jacks or Better is the easiest one to get. This combo includes just one pair of jacks. For instance, Jack of Clubs, Jack of Diamonds, 7 of hearts, 6 of clubs, 8 of Hearts.

How to Play Jacks or Better

If you have ever actually played this game, you know that this game depends on choices and strategy. You are dealt five cards and then you choose the ones you wish to keep for the upcoming round. You click where it says “deal” and that is how you get your final combo.

So how is one to know what to hold? You can review the strategies below, and also take note of these basic methods, too:

  • When you get a pair of cards, hang onto them and then draw three additional cards. This may or may not be applicable to your current situation.
  • When you have 4 cards that lead to a straight or a Flush, hold them all and draw just one additional card.
  • When you hold 3 cards to have a Royal Flush, hang onto them. Two additional cards drawn could be your lucky break.
  • If you have no combinations, and no Jacks or better, then draw five brand new cards.
  • Got no matching cards in your hand? Hold a card that is higher, or equal in value, to Jacks.

Jacks or Better Strategy

  • Discard your fifth card when you possess four cards that go to a Royal Flush.
  • Never break up a Full House, Four of the same, 3 of the same, or Two Pair.
  • Never break a Made Flush unless you require just one card to have a Royal Flush.
  • Three of the same, High Pair, Flush, and a straight all rank higher than Three to a Royal Flush. Also, play Three to a Royal Flush while you are possessing some lower hands like a four to a Flush or Low Pair.

Jackpot! With a maximum bet and Royal Flush, you win the Jackpot!


So long as you know the right strategy, Jacks or Better can be a great game for fun that lasts hours. Play for fun and then get serious as you get better and better through practice.