Jacks or Better – How to play this online video poker ?

Online video poker is a lot of fun and having a game like Jacks or Better to play on is always a good time. That’s purely because Jacks or Better is the embodiment of online video poker and perfectly emulates the style of five card draw poker. The game offers players a chance to play the game without any of the frills or fuss that other games may present.

Here you’ll get to learn all about playing Jacks or Better in an online video poker scenario. We’ll tell you how the game works and how to understand it. We also offer a few tips and tactics to try and increase your game play, perhaps make a little bit more on your returns and ultimately give you the chance to have a good time when playing.

An Introduction to Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is essentially just Draw Poker really, and it’s by far the most common variation of video poker that you’ll encounter online. Players will get a hand in the beginning of the game after they’ve placed a bet, then will need to hold cards to make a hand. After that, the next draw takes place. This is the final stage of each round and players will then win or lose.

It’s important to keep an eye on the pay table to see what each combination of cards will pay and how well the pay scales up depending on what you’re betting. One trick to playing video poker is understanding that while it can be fun to play a single coin, it’s far more lucrative to play the maximum bet.

The Rules of the Game

The rules of the game are simple; all you need to do is get a pair of Jacks or better in the second phase of the game. If you have two Jacks in the first phase and hold them for the second phase, you’ve already won! This is because you have a pair of Jacks. But if another Jack pops up in the second phase, you’ve got trips! And if another pair comes up, there’s two pair!

You have to bet between 1 and 5 coins usually in the first phase, and the first set of cards you’re given will need to be held or passed along. The pay will then come out immediately after the second phase, and you’ll be able to see what you’ve won. There aren’t actually many rules to follow and the best thing that you can do is try to follow a form of strategy.

How to Play Jacks or Better

The best way to play Jacks or Better is to play with the odds and the probabilities. If a player has nothing in their firsthand except one or two high cards, it makes sense to hold onto one, or both of them. When the next draw stage comes around, your chances of getting a pair are actually better than you think they are. Having any pair over Jacks will win you some money, so holding onto a single one of those cards is a great idea.

Keeping a low pair can also be beneficial, but in doing so, your chances are a little lower because you’re looking for three of a kind. The game will often try to lure you in with a straight or flush draw, but they are very few and far between.

Start Playing

The game of online video poker will start as soon as you’ve found the online casino that’s right for you. Whatever casino you decide, you need to make sure that the game is right for you and that you understand how the game works and in what order it plays out. Here’s a quick rundown of how Jacks or Better works:


Players will start off by placing a bet on the game. This will involve anywhere between 1 and 5 coins being placed on the hand. The higher the coins wagered, the more you can possibly win.


One players have selected their wagers, they’ll draw cards. Five cards will be presented to the player from the deck.


Once the player has decided what they’d like to hang onto, they can hold any number of cards between 0 to all 5. This will initiate the second and final phase of the game.


The cards that the player was not holding are exchanged for a number of random cards from the deck. This will give the player five final cards, and these are the ones that are then measured up against the paytable to determine winnings. Players will need a pair of Jacks or better to win.

Tips for Jacks or Better

It’s not easy to play online video poker, in fact, it’s actually quite hard. There’s very little strategy that can be used to ensure that whatever you’re doing actually guarantees that you win. What you can do though, is increase your chances of winning by playing smart. One such method of doing that is to play with probabilities over everything else.

First and foremost, if you’re a new player that has just come to video poker or Jacks or Better, the best thing you can do is play for free. Players will often find the free play option at most online casinos, especially the ones that we recommend. When you’ve found one that you like and you feel is a great fit for you to play at, then start your free play journey. Converting to real money video poker can be something that you do at a later date.

We suggest that as a strategy, you generally keep all low pairs. The chances of you netting two pair or trips of the same card are pretty good if you’ve already got a single pair. This rule doesn’t actually apply if you’re looking at one card to a flush. For example, if you have a pair of 4’s and a bunch of other cards, but four of those cards are Hearts. Then discard the one that isn’t a heart. Your chances of getting a flush are pretty decent.

Another thing that players should always be doing is betting the maximum that they can afford to bet. Obviously, if a player can only afford a single coin per bet, then that’s fine, but your payout will be way better playing the maximum amount of coins. It will make a huge difference if you’re able to hit a big win.

Hand Rankings

The hand rankings for Jacks or Better are the same as you would expect in any other variation of poker. It doesn’t matter that you’re playing video poker or five-card draw essentially, the rankings are all still the same.

The order of poker hand rankings from best to worst is as follows:

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Four of a kind
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • One pair

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes Jacks or Better popular?

    Jacks or Better is popular because it’s a staple. It’s part of the video poker world as it’s something that everyone who plays at an online casino will understand. All you’ll need to do in order to win is get a pair of Jacks, so it’s easy to understand and very inclusive for everyone playing it.

  • Can you play Jacks or Better for real money?

    Jacks or Better is best enjoyed when people play it for real money. The game is available at most online casinos and we’ll recommend some of the better online casino that you can play at that will have the game. Those ones that we recommend will have legitimate version of the game that have been audited.

  • Is it possible to play Jacks or Better for free?

    Some online casinos do give players the chance to play Jacks or Better and many other video poker games online for free. This allows players to come to terms with how the game works, study the pay table and get some experience in how the game actually works. When that’s all done and dusted, players can move on to real money versions of the game.

  • Is it safe to play Jacks or Better online?

    Playing Jacks or Better is completely safe to play online. In fact, it’s just as secure if not more secure, than playing at a land-based casino. Players will be able to make a choice from many different online casinos that have video poker and if they happen to choose one that is recommended and trusted, they’ll be perfectly safe.

  • Can I get a bonus for Jacks or Better?

    Bonuses are possible for Jacks or Better but players will struggle to find any specific bonuses for the video poker and video poker variants. This is largely due to the fact that the house edge for the game is so small. Some online casinos will give general bonuses for first joining or random reload bonuses across the board, but more often than not video poker will count less towards wagering requirements.

  • What are some other popular Jacks or Better titles?

    Jacks or Better is most definitely seen as the standard of online video poker, but there are a number of other games that are a little different, but still embrace the core mechanics of the game. Varieties like Deuces Wild, Joker Poker and Aces and Face are popular games too but include special attributes that make winning a little bigger, but perhaps not as often, or vice versa.