Jacks or Better is the classic video poker game. All video poker websites mention Jacks or Better, and most video poker sites have extensive sections about “Jacks or Better”, but as far as I know, no other website is exclusively devoted to Jacks or Better. We’re the first and only, as far as I know.

The goal of this site is to discuss the following Jacks or Better related topics:

  • What is Jacks or Better?
  • Who plays Jacks or Better?
  • Why play Jacks or Better?
  • Where can you play Jacks or Better?
  • When can you start playing Jacks or Better?

We have used this video poker page as a source for this site. Other sources can be found on the resources page.

What is Jacks or Better?

Play Jacks or better video pokerVideo poker is similar to slot machines except they involve an element of decisionmaking and skill. A video poker player gets dealt a poker hand of 5 cards on a computer screen and decides which cards to keep and which cards to discard. The decisions you make about which card to keep and discard have a direct effect on how much you can expect to win or lose too, which is a challenge to those of us who like to get every possible edge.

Different hands offer different payouts, and the rarer the hand, the higher the payout on the wager. Video poker games take wagers of between 1 and 5 coins per hand, and they almost always reserve the jackpot payout for players playing “max coin”, or 5 coins a bet.

Jacks or Better is a video poker game which offers an even payout on a pair of jacks or any hand better than that. (Hence the name.) Jacks or Better is the most common video poker game available, and many or most video poker games are simply variations of Jacks or Better which offer some kind of bonus payout for particular hands.

Who Plays Jacks or Better?

Smart gamblers who like machine gaming play Jacks or Better. Many times, Jacks or Better players used to be slots players, but they were interested in something that involved a little more skill and player involvement. Some Jacks or Better players are just looking for a better payout than they would see from a slots game.

Why Play Jacks or Better?

The best reason to play Jacks or Better is because the game offers one of the best payout percentages in the casino, assuming you can find a 9/6 Jacks or Better game. Even an 8/5 Jacks or Better game usually offers a better payout percentage than most slot machines. (We explain the different variations in the payout tables for Jacks or Better in another section.)

The payout percentage for 9/6 Jacks or Better is about 99.5%. Combine that with a slot club membership and some comped drinks, and you’ve made your entertainment into a freebie. If you like playing games while getting free food, drinks, and hotel stays, then the reasons for playing Jacks or Better are clear.

Where Can You Play Jacks or Better?

You can play Jacks or Better in any casino offering video poker. I’m unaware of any casino offering video poker games which does not offer the classic, standard video poker of Jacks or Better. Some casinos in some states don’t offer video poker, but most casinos do offer video poker now.

The higher payout variations of Jacks or Better can usually be found in locals casinos. These are called “locals casinos” because they cater to locals to a gambling destination who avoid some of the bigger casinos because of distance and/or low payout percentages. By offering a high payout version of Jacks or Better, these locals casinos can attract customers they might lose to bigger casinos.

Jacks or Better is also available at almost all online casinos. Gambling for money online isn’t legal everywhere, but every online casino I’ve ever seen offered free versions of their games, including free versions of Jacks or Better which you can play online.

When Can You Start Playing Jacks or Better?

We recommend reading the information on this website before starting out at Jacks or Better, but even if you don’t completely understand the game, Jacks or Better is almost always a far better choice than just about any slot machine game. At least it is if you enjoy making decisions and getting a decent payback percentage from a gambling machine.

Video tutorial