Jacks or Better, an overview

Jacks or Better is one of the many forms of draw poker that has been revitalised by the incredible growth of online casinos the world over, and it is a simple game to understand and play.

The Rules

Players ante up before the game even begins, the cards are then dealt face down to each player and the players are then given the opportunity to hold onto some of the cards in hand, whilst discarding those that have no value to the player.

A second betting round then takes place followed by the showdown and whoever has the highest 5-card poker hand wins the pot. Jacks or Better is exactly the same as Five Card Draw, the only difference being that a pair of Jacks or better is required to open the pot. Jokers are deemed wild but may only be used as an Ace, or to complete a straight, a flush or straight flush and if a joker is used to make a flush, it will be the highest card of the flush not present in the hand. Hence, the best possible hand is five Aces – four Aces and a joker! The game is always played with an ante but no blinds

Once one of the players has opened with a pair of Jacks or better, the other players are allowed to call or raise but if no-one can open, the cards are collected and a new deal begins and all contestants ante up again into the same pot, making it a nice, fat, valuable pot. The opener must keep his discards at hand to prove he had a good enough opening hand!

Jacks or Better Basic Strategy Table

Initial Hand

Cards to Hold

Discards

Royal Flush

5

0

Straight Flush

5

0

Four of a Kind

5

0

Full House

5

0

Flush

5

0

Straight

5

0

Four Card Royal Flush

4

1

Four Card Straight Flush

4

1

Four Card Flush

4

1

Four Card Straight

4

1

Two Pair

4

1

Three of a Kind

3

2

Three Card Royal Flush

3

2

Three Card Straight Flush

3

2

High Pair – Jacks or Better

2

3

Low Pair

2

3

Two Card Royal Flush

2

3

Two High Cards

2

3

One High Card

1

4

Any Other

0

5