If you’ve read the other pages on this site, you’ll notice that we’ve mentioned several times what the expected return and payout percentages are on various versions of Jacks or Better. All of these payout percentages assume that you’re playing with a close to optimal Jacks or Better strategy. If you’re just playing at random, you can expect to do well still, but not as well as you would do if you followed even a simple Jacks or Better strategy.
Jacks or Better Strategy Tips
Here are a few Jacks or Better strategy tips:
- Don’t hang onto a “kicker” ever. You want to maximize your chances of getting 3 or 4 of a kind. A big 2 pair doesn’t help your payout.
- Don’t draw to an inside straight. An inside straight is a straight where only 1 card can complete the straight. (As opposed to an outside straight, where 2 cards can complete the straight. Obviously this is twice as likely to happen.)
- Don’t draw to 3 cards to a flush or to 3 cards to a straight. That’s a common rookie mistake.
- Don’t draw to 3 cards to a royal flush unless you don’t have anything better to draw too.
- Don’t break 2 pair trying to get 4 of a kind.
- Don’t break a full house trying to get 4 of a kind.
Jacks or Better Strategy Card
Once you’ve mastered playing Jacks or Better using those strategy tips, give our big strategy card a try. Start at the top and move down. When you get to your hand, stop. This is a solid Jacks or Better Strategy:
- Royal flush
- Straight flush
- Four of a kind
- Four cards to a royal flush
- Full house
- Three of a kind
- Four cards to a straight flush
- Two pair Pair of jack or better
- Three cards to a royal flush
- Four cards to a flush
- 10-J-Q-K, unsuited
- Pair of 10’s or lower
- 9-10-J-Q, unsuited
- 8-9-10-J, unsuited
- 9-J-Q, suited
- 9-10-Q, suited
- Four cards to a straight, open-ended
- Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps & two high cards
- Three cards to a straight flush with one gap & one high card
- Three cards to a straight flush, open-ended, & no high cards
- J-Q-K-A, unsuited
- Two cards to a royal flush (two suited high cards)
- Four cards to a straight with one gap & three high cards
- Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps and one high card
- Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps and no high card
- J-Q-K, unsuited
- Two unsuited high cards (throw away the ace if you have three)
- Two cards to a royal flush with a 10 and no ace
- One high card
- Three cards to a straight flush, with two gaps and no high cards
- None of the above – draw five cards