How to Play Jacks or Better

Screenshot of real money gambling

Content Editor, Nemanja

Last updated on 10th April 2024

Published: 28/07/2019

Categories: Uncategorized

Guide to Playing Jacks or Better in India

If you wish to try your hands at different video poker games one of the popular variants is Jacks or Better video poker. This particular game can help increase win rates and is an exciting game to play at Indian online casinos. I promise that you will also be thrilled to know that Jacks or Better pays out the most among different game categories!

House edge usually varies between 90 and 97 percent in casino games like roulette, blackjack or online slot machines. While video poker can go up to 99.54 percent! However, you need to know your rules and poker strategies first.

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About the Game

Screenshot of Jacks or Better Video Poker

In general, this particular game is known to be straightforward and simple. Although, it is best if you know the right strategies to deploy to help you reduce the house edge, make the best of the cards you have in your hand as well as maximize chances of winning.

Just like all other video poker games, Jacks or Better can only be played in animated 2/3D version. There are no live casino versions available.

Hands that Help You Win

Before you delve into Jacks or Better video poker there are certain hand combinations that are ideal for winning which you need to know:

  • The royal flush comprises of Aces, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of the same suit;
  • Straight flush comprises of consecutive cards of the same suit such as 3,4,5,6,7 of diamonds;
  • Four of a kind is what it indicates; four cards of the same value, of different suits and with a single different card;
  • The full house indicates a pair and three of a kind. For instance, 2 Queens, 3 fours;
  • Flush is when you have five cards of the same suit;
  • Straight is when five cards are of the same suit;
  • Jacks or Better comprise of a pair of jacks and others of higher value;
  • Other win combinations are three of a kind, two pair;

If you are wondering how you will remember all these win hand combinations, you need not. There are tables provided on the video poker game interfaces that showcase all the win combinations and possible payouts.

Playing the Game

When you sit down to try your hand at the game for the first time you can do so in the following steps:

  • You are given five cards and you can choose which ones you wish to keep for the second round;
  • Press on “deal” and get a final combination;

You need to decide which cards you need to hold. For that, there are useful tips you can employ.

Tips to Follow

Basic strategies to deploy in Jacks or Better video poker are:

  • If you have four cards for a flush or straight, hold all four and draw another card;
  • If you have three cards that build a royal flush, keep these and draw out two additional cards;
  • If you need two more to form a straight flush, hold the cards you feel are lucky for you and draw two cards;
  • If you have obtained a pair, hold it and draw three additionally;
  • If there are no cards that match then hold cards that are equal or higher in value to Jacks;
  • If you have no combinations in hand or cards higher than Jacks draw all five anew;

The Problem of Holding a Low Pair vs. High Pair

Screenshot of Jacks or Better Strategies

In this casino game, you might be faced with the situation when you wish to know when it is best to hold onto a pair with low values or when to hold onto a pair of high-value cards. Here are some possible situations discussed.

Low Pair

In most situations, you can skip this possibility. However in certain cases such as:

  • Four to a straight you can keep the pair you receive.
  • Three to a straight flush is another situation where you can hold onto the low pair.
  • Two cards that could lead to Royal Flush can be a low pair worth holding.

High Pair

Hold your high pair in the following circumstances:

  • Four to a flush – hold pair and draw out three more.
  • Four to a straight – keep high pair for higher chances of winning.


Once you have understood the rules and strategies, it is best to try your hand at the game for free. There are several casinos powered by NetEnt, Play ‘n GO & Microgaming that can offer you video poker games of different varieties.

Once you have tried it for free you can then gamble at a real money online casino by creating a customer account at an Indian website.

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