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6 Winning Jacks or Better Strategies for Smart Gamblers


The best way to win is to learn what winning gamblers are doing and imitate their strategies. Personally, I’ve spent years of my life watching how the winners bring home the bacon.

I’ve noticed that plenty of smart gamblers play Jacks or Better video poker. But they play it using particular strategies that help them improve their returns. The problem is that most gamblers don’t know how to use these strategies.

Fortunately for you, I’m going to share what I’ve learned from studying smart Jacks or Better gamblers in this article. Here are six winning strategies you must use when you play Jacks or Better video poker.

1 – 9/6 or Nothing

When you play any video poker game, the first challenge is finding a machine that has a good pay table. Most video poker games have multiple possible pay tables, and each pay table has a different range of return rates.

While some video poker games have a couple decent pay tables, Jack or Better only has one pay table that you should play. This means that if you don’t find a Jacks or Better machine with this pay table, you shouldn’t play. This is what smart Jacks or Better gamblers do.

The pay table you’re looking for pays at least 4,000 coins for a royal flush when you bet five coins and pays 45 coins when you get a full house and 30 coins when you get a flush.

Most machines with this pay table pay a fixed 4,000 coins for a royal flush, but there are a few machines that can pay more. You’re going to learn more about these machines in the final section in this article.

The highest return you can get in the long run on this pay table is usually just a little higher than 99.5%. But you have to play your hands in a particular way to achieve this level of return. You can learn how in the next section.

2 – The Importance of Simple Jacks or Better Strategy

It’s not enough to play Jacks or Better video poker on a machine using the 9/6 pay table. If you play the same way on this machine ad a machine with a worse pay table, you’re going to get a better return on the 9/6 machine. But you should be interested in getting the maximum return, not just a better return.

The way to achieve the maximum return is by using strategy on each hand. Every Jacks or Better hand that you can start with has a single way to play that returns the highest percentage.

When you play your hands the single best way, you get the highest possible long-term return. If you play any of your hands any other way, then you won’t achieve the highest possible long-term return.

The problem is that the best way to play a hand isn’t always easy to determine. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to take care of this problem. All you have to do is use a strategy chart! The strategy chart lists the best way to play every hand.

Here’s a link to a strategy chart you can use when you play Jacks or Better video poker.

3 – Why Play Online and Mobile Jacks or Better?

Is there a difference between playing Jacks or Better in a land based casinos and in a mobile or online casino?

Because the games are video based, there’s no difference between playing Jacks or Better live or online or on your mobile device. But there’s still a good reason why you might want to play Jacks or Better online or in a mobile casino. In fact, there are a couple reasons.

The first reason is because it’s easier to find Jacks or better games that provide a 9/6 pay table in mobile and real money online casinos. You can find these machines in land-based casinos, but they’re harder to find than they used to be.

The second reason why it can be better to play Jacks or Better using a mobile app or online casino is because you can claim bonus cash. You’re going to learn more about Jacks or Better bonuses in a different section within this article.

Whether you play Jacks or Better video poker online, in a mobile casino, or in a land-based casino, the strategy is the same. The speed of the game is also the same, so the main difference is the ease of finding the right machine.

4 – Focus on Hands, Not Time

Here’s a strategy that most smart gamblers use to control their losses. They use tricks and tactics that reduce the amount of money that they bet over a set period of time. For example, they play slower or bet smaller amounts. So, instead of betting a total of $500 in an hour, they bet $250 in an hour.

This basically cuts their losses for the hour in half. This is a smart way to gamble, especially when you’re playing a gambling game that as a house edge.

Most Jacks or Better games have a house edge, even though it’s much smaller than most other gambling activities. And you can reduce your losses per hour by betting less and/or playing slower.

But I don’t track my Jacks or Better play the same way as most gamblers. Instead of tracking how many hours I play, I’m more interested in how many hands I play.

Remember that you have to focus on playing each hand of Jacks or Better the right way. This is the first reason why I focus on my hands. The second reason is because I know that if I play each hand the best way possible, each hand I play will get me closer to hitting a royal flush. Every time you hit a royal flush, you’re going to have a profitable playing session.

5 – Determine If a Jacks or Better Bonus Is Good

When you get offered a bonus while playing online or mobile Jacks or Better, it’s difficult to determine if it’s a good bonus or a bad bonus. Smart gamblers know how to identify bonuses that are less than ideal. In fact, most gamblers probably think that claiming all kinds of bonuses is a good thing. Sadly, that isn’t true.

The best way to determine if a Jacks or Better bonus is good is to find out how much you have to risk in order to clear the bonus.

For example, if you have to risk 100x the total of the bonus and your deposit, then you can run a quick calculation to see how much you can expect to lose. If you expect to lose more money than you can claim in the bonus, don’t claim it.

Let’s say that you deposit $350 and get a $350 bonus for a total of $700. At a 100x rollover requirement, you would have to make wagers totaling $70,000. Just multiply this amount with the house edge to determine your expected loss.

If the game you’re playing has an edge of 0.5%, your expected loss is $350. This is the exact same amount as the bonus. In this case, the bonus is basically a breakeven situation. This shows that if the playthrough is over 100x, it’s probably a bad bonus. And if it’s less than 100x, it’s probably a good bonus.

6 – The Illusive 9/6 Progressive Machine

I mentioned that most 9/6 Jacks or Better machines pay a set amount of 4,000 coins when you hit a royal flush. But there’s a special type of Jacks or Better machine that can pay a higher amount.

A few Jacks or Better video poker machines have a progressive payout for a royal flush. If you find a machine that does this, there are two important things that you need to know.

The first thing you need to know is if the progressive amount is less than 4,000 coins you shouldn’t play on the machine. You’re better off finding a 9/6 machine that pays a set amount of 4,000.

The second thing you need to know is when the progressive amount is over 4,000 coins, you’re getting a better long-term return than on a machine that has a set amount. In fact, as the jackpot grows, you can play with an edge over the machine.


Smart video poker gamblers know that the only Jacks or Better games worth playing have the 9/6 pay table. In fact, these gamblers won’t even consider playing on a Jacks or Better machine that doesn’t have this pay table.

These gamblers also know how to use a simple strategy that gives them the highest long-term returns. They use this strategy every time they play, and you have to do this, too, if you want to make a profit.

While you can play Jacks or Better in land-based casinos, it’s a lot easier to find the right machines if you play in mobile casinos and online casinos. Good luck!

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. …

View all posts by Michael Stevens

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