Learn Why Jacks or Better is the Fundamental Video Poker Game

Published on: September 24, 2014 

Whenever you start out learning anything, you have to form a foundation that centers around the basics and the fundamentals. If you're going to learn to play video poker, then that has to be centered around learning Jacks or Better. This game is known as being the most basic form of video poker for a few key reasons. First, it has a very balanced paytable without any special payouts, and second, it doesn't use any wild cards. It was the only type of video poker available for a while, and other games are usually variations of it.

One of the first sets of fundamentals you have to learn in this game is how to play hands where you have an option between a pair and a draw. For example, if you have AA853 with a flush draw, how do you know whether you should keep the pair or the draw? These are some of the most difficult hands that you'll play, but they're also thematic and follow a basic set of rules that will apply in almost every type of video poker that you'll ever play.

Another set of fundamentals that you'll learn have to do with high card hands. Jacks or Better doesn't have wild cards or special extra hands, so you're dealing with relatively weak poker hands on average. This means you'll often play hands with no pair and no draw, and while you won't turn a profit on them in a vacuum, you do have to make the most you can out of them so that you keep your losses to a minimum.

This general idea is one of the final things that you'll learn about video poker from playing Jacks or Better. You have to make the most out of every single discard stage if you want to have the very best payout rate possible. This means that you have to get as comfortable playing bad hands as you are with playing good hands so that you're always getting the best return on every single hand you play. This is how you become a video poker expert quickly.

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