9/6 Jacks or Better
Full Pay Jacks or Better Video Poker
9/6 Jacks or Better is the Jacks or Better game to play
because that's the game with the best payout percentage for the
player. (It's called a full pay machine.)
The expected return on a 9/6 Jacks or Better game is 99.54%, which means for every $100 you wager, over time, your expected loss is only 46 cents. Join a slots club and get an additional 0.1% or 0.2% back, and you're looking at losing only a quarter or so on every $100 you wager. That's some of the best odds in the casino.
What is 9/6 Jacks or Better Though?
A "9/6 Jacks or Better" game pays out 9 coins for a 1 coin bet on a full house, and 6 coins for a 1 coin bet on a flush. This makes it easy to figure out, because you only have to look at the payout on 2 different hands. (When you're looking at Deuces Wild, for example, the payouts can vary all over the place for all kinds of different hands.)
8/5 Jacks or Better
An 8/5 Jacks or Better game only pays out 8 coins for a 1 coin bet on a full house, and 5 coins for a 1 coin bet on a flush. This drops the expected return on the game from a healthy 99.54% to an anemic 97.30%. A 97.30% return sounds great until you look at the difference between that and a 99.54% return.
While you're losing 46 cents for every $100 you bet with the 9/6 Jacks or Better game, you're losing $2.70 for every $100 you bet on the 8/5 Jacks or Better game. That means you're losing 5 times as much money on every bet, over time. You might as well play a single zero roulette table, if you can find one.
7/5 Jacks or Better
Even though "8/5 Jacks or Better" is surprisingly common, 7/5 Jacks or Better is also surprisingly common. The expected return on a 7/5 Jacks or Better game is 96.15%. That means you're giving up another $1.15 per every $100 you bet beyond what you already gave up when you decided to play 8/5 Jacks or Better.
6/5 Jacks or Better
Yes, it gets even worse. Some casinos do offer 6/5 Jacks or Better video poker, which only pays out 6 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush. The payout percentage for a 6/5 Jacks or Better game is 95%, which means you're giving the casino $5 for every $100 you bet on the machine. That's 10 times the average losses compared to a full pay 9/6 Jacks or Better game.
5/4 Jacks or Better
Believe it or not, some casinos even offer 5/4 Jacks or Better. That means a payout of 5 coins on a full house and 4 coins on a flush. The expected return on a 5/4 Jacks or Better game is only 92.78%, which means you'll lose on average $7.22 for every $100 you wager on this machine. No thanks. I'll play blackjack instead. Even an American roulette table with double zeros offers a better payback percentage than this.
You can learn more about Jacks or Better video poker here.