Jacks or Better is one of the classic versions of video poker that you have probably seen in online casinos.
This is a great choice if you are looking for a fast and fun way of playing but what do you need to know about it before getting started?
Choose a Version
Enter the video poker page of a casino and you will see a wide variety of versions, from Joker Poker to Deuces Wild and so on. Each of these games has unique rules that make it different. For instance, Jacks or Better pays out on just a couple of jacks or other face cards while Joker Poker uses the joker cards as wilds.
Once you have located the Jacks or Better games on the list, you might see that there is more than one choice. A key difference is often seen in the number of hands that you can play at a time. The simplest way to play is with a single hand, but more experienced players might want to play with 3 or 10 hands simultaneously to increase the volatility of the game.
Apart from that, most versions of Jacks of Better are very similar, with the same general idea of trying to build a winning poker hand of at least 2 jacks. If there are any differences, they will be seen in the paytable, where you can look for differences in the amount paid out for each combination of cards.
Jacks or Better is regarded as being the most popular version of video poker, so it is easy to find. If you see a version with 9/6 in the title this refers to the payouts for a full house and a flush, respectively. You might also come across Draw Poker, which is just another name for this game.
You might also notice versions of Jacks or Better with a progressive jackpot on them. This is where a jackpot grows every time someone plays it, until it is eventually claimed. The paytable will tell you exactly what you need to do to claim this prize.
Set Your Stake
As with any casino game, the amount you stake on each hand is vital. Jacks of Better tends to be low in volatility, with small but regular payouts coming along to keep your funds ticking over. This means that setting the right level of stake is vital.
Will you set a low amount of wager? This will usually be something that appeals to you when you want to play for a long time without putting too much cash into it. You are unlikely to win a huge prize in this way, but you can enjoy lots of games and might still come out ahead.
What about playing with a bigger stake? This is something that you might like to do if you are hoping to win a big prize. A royal flush will pay out 800x your wager in most cases. The probability of getting this hand is extremely low, but if you play with a big wager the return would be extremely good.
This is a good moment to point out that you need to choose your casino site wisely. Look for a professional casino with a good reputation for safety and for looking after their players. In this case, you will feel comfortable about setting up a new account and funding it before you start playing.
Another option is to look for a site that gives you the chance to play on a demo basis. In this way, you can start to play the game without putting any of your own cash on the line. Of course, the downside to this is that you can’t win real money, even if you get a royal flush or some other spectacular hand.
Understand the Paytable
Before hitting the deal button, you need to understand the rules and payout values of this game. At the top of the list, royal flush and straight flush are almost always the best hands, but the real differences can be seen further down.
Jacks or Better is hugely popular because it pays out regularly on relatively weak hands. A pair of jacks or better will typically give you back a prize of 1 times your stake, so it is really just a way of keeping your account ticking over to try again. The next hand on this list is usually 2 pairs, which pays out a rate of 2 to 1.
The paytable is important because it helps you understand how to play the game. Let’s say that you get an initial hand with a single jack in it together with a pair of 3s. What do you do when you are given the chance to hold onto some cards and change others? You could hold on to the pair and hope for another pair, or keep the jack and look for another to come up.
This is why you need to know what the paytable contains before you start playing. Doing this allows you to plan a strategy, which can be to aim for the most valuable hands or else to keep things simple and look for small, regular wins.
Play the Game
The good news is that the process we just looked at only takes a moment. This isn’t a game where you need to spend a lot of time reading the rules or getting ready for it. You can start playing right away and look to get some wins without any delay.
The simplicity of the rules means that you don’t need to worry too much about strategies. Jacks or Better is a game where you hope to see the right cards fall into place. With the chance to hold onto some of them, you can choose what kind of hand you want to try and make, but the element of chance is still present.
It is easy to see why Jacks or Better remains one of the most popular casino games. With simple rules and fun gameplay, it is the sort of game that anyone can start playing with no fuss.
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