Jacks or Better Video Poker: Overview of the Game

Where It All Started

Controversial is the right term to use to describe the origins of Poker and Jacks or Better. No specific ancestor has been given the credit of creating the game. Although many people believe that the word poker has been derived from pukka, a Hindu term, many also claim that it most likely came from poque, a French game. However, both games are indeed very old ones.

Jacks or Better is one of the more known types of the Poker games, and it is also plays on one of the common rules of Poker but with some exceptions and variations.

The Objective

In Jacks or Better, the video poker player aims to obtain a five-card poker hand with a winning combination. Like with any other poker game, the better the hand, the larger winning payout for the player. In Jacks or Better, the player is also allowed to choose the cards he wishes to keep and discard, but replacing of cards can only be done once in the entire game.

Playing the Game

Jacks or Better video poker is fun and easy to play. When learning the basics and combining it with the right strategy, winning is never too difficult. Novice players should not feel intimidated playing Jacks or Better video poker. The video poker rules and procedure are easy to learn.

  • By clicking on the plus (+) or minus (-) sign, the Jacks or Better player must choose the value of the coins he would want to bet for each round of the game.
  • Selecting the number of coins that the player would like to wager can be done by clicking on Bet One or Bet Max. With every click of Bet One, the player increases the wager by the value of the coin selected, while Bet Max will increase the bet to the maximum amount, which is five coins. After pressing Bet Max, the cards will be dealt automatically.
  • After choosing Bet One and the desired amount to bet, the player clicks Deal.
  • Selecting the cards that the players wish to keep can be done by clicking the Hold button located below the corresponding card or by clicking the card itself.
  • To replace the cards that the player does not want to have in his hand, the Deal button is clicked.
  • A losing combination at hand means the round is over, and the player may start the Jacks or Better game again. A winning combination, on the other hand, will take you to the next part of the game (described in the next section).

Doubling Your Win

In the Jacks or Better video poker, a winning hand will give the player two options. You can accept your win and Collect the winning amount or you can opt to Double it. In Jacks or Better, the Double round starts with the dealer drawing one open card and giving the player four cars faced down. From among the four cards, the player chooses one.

  • Picking a card whose value is lower than the dealer's card makes the player lose the original win.
  • Choosing a card whose value is equal to that of the dealer's card is a tie, and the player may opt to Collect or Double again.
  • Selecting a card whose value is higher than that of the dealer's card makes the player collect twice the value of the original win, hence, the name double. From here, the player may again choose to Double even further.

Half Double may also be played in Jacks or Better. The same rule applies to the card drawing, only that only half of the winning amount is being wagered by the player while the other half is held at his account balance.