Jacks or Better Strategy

If you enjoy playing games of draw poker, it is quite likely that you have engaged in a few different variations. Among the most popular of them all is the one known as “Jacks or Better” which only recognizes cards ranking as Jacks or higher as winning hands. Essentially, this means that it takes a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces to form a winning hand. This also means that there are many ways to develop a Jacks or Better strategy too.

For example, because it is a game that is most often played in the video format, the use of strategies against opponents no longer applies. This means that you can discard what is known as a “kicker,” or a high card that is kept along with a pair in the hopes of creating a higher two-pair hand than the opponent. Instead, the player can simply try to establish the best overall hand possible.

This means that a common Jacks or Better strategy is to memorize a list of hands that ask the player to keep or discard cards accordingly. For instance, basic Jacks or Better strategy says that a Royal flush (a hand with the ace, king, queen, jack, and 10 all in the same suit) must be kept without discarding anything. If, on the other hand, the player happens to only hold a pair of Jacks or better, the basic strategy is to discard the three other cards in order to attempt a better result.

Many poker enthusiasts are often told that the game is not necessarily one of skill, but is instead strictly one of chance. The fact that a 52-card deck contains more than 130,000 possible hands does indicate a lot of luck rather than strategy, but this doesn’t mean that some basic theories on probability and outcome don’t apply equally as well.