Jacks or Better to Open

Jacks or Better Video Poker. If the opener should show false openers before the draw, any other active player has the opportunity to declare the pot opened. You should employ the use of a jacks or better strategy trainer to test yourself and practice your play. If the pot is won without a showdown, the winner must expose enough cards to prove that the hand is at least as good as three of a kind. The low card initiates the action on the first round, with an ace counting as a high card for this purpose. If everyone passes checks in this first betting round, the cards are thrown in, the turn to deal passes to the left, the pot remains and everyone adds another ante to it.

Jacks or Better - Understanding the Hands

Jacks or Better Variations

A pair of Jacks or Better is the lowest winning hand in video poker. When you hit a pair of jacks through to aces you win your money back.

The low pair is the most improvable hand you can be dealt in Jacks or Better video poker. How you play in these situations will determine, how close to optimal jacks or better video poker strategy you will land. Most of the time the decision to hold onto a low pair is obvious. There are times however where certain possibilities are available and players can make mistakes and this is what separates the winners from the losers.

Below are some situations where, even though it is tempting to go for a big score, you should hold onto your pair and seek to build upon it. Conversely there are situations where the math shows us that breaking a low pair is profitable over the long term and part of jacks or better optimal strategy.

A pair of Jacks or Better in video poker constitutes a winning hand where you are guaranteed your money back. Most tutorials advise that you should never break a high pair and for the most part they are correct. Below are some situations where you may be tempted to break a pair of jacks or better, in search of a bigger win, however optimal strategy demands a disciplined approach of holding onto what you already have.

There is one situation where Jacks or Better video poker optimal strategy actually indicates that players should break a high pair. When you hold a high pair with four to a royal flush you should break the pair and look to hit the 1 card that will pay off huge.

When most players are dealt a winning pat hand such as a straight, full house or any form or flush they hold all your cards and take the win. This is correct for the most part, however you will leave some edge on the table unless you make the following adjustments. Although this may seem crazy, it happens to be backed up by solid math around the probability of certain outcomes occurring. Playing Jacks or Better video poker in an optimal way maximises your expected return as a player.

The draw poker game that this variation most closely resembles is 5-card draw. First the dealer will deal all players five cards face down. All players will ante into the pot. For a player to open up a bet they most hold a pair of Jacks or better. Once the first betting round begins with the player with Jacks or better then players have the option to fold or raise.

After this first betting round players have the option to draw up cards depending on house rules. Play then resumes with a betting round starting with the player left of the dealer. However, the dealer position can still receive a missing fifth card, even if action has taken place. If action has been taken, a player with fewer than five cards is entitled on the draw to receive the number of cards necessary to complete a five-card hand.

A player can change the number of cards he wishes to draw, provided: No card has been dealt off the deck in response to his request including the burncard. No player has acted, in either the betting or indicating the number of cards to be drawn, based on the number of cards the player has requested.

If a player is asked by another active player how many cards he drew the player is obligated to respond until there has been action after the draw, and the dealer is also obligated to respond. Once there is any action after the draw, the player is no longer obliged to respond and the dealer must not respond. Rapping the table in turn constitutes either a pass or the declaration of a pat hand that does not want to draw any cards, depending on the situation.

Cards speak cards read for themselves. However, a player is not allowed to claim a better hand than he holds.

If a player declares "8", that player must produce at least an 8 low or better to win. But if a player erroneously calls the second card incorrectly, such as "" when actually holding an , no penalty applies. If a player miscalls his hand and causes another player to foul his hand, the hand of the player who misdeclared is dead. If both hands remain intact, the best hand wins. If a miscalled hand occurs in a multihanded pot, the miscalled hand is dead, and the best remaining hand wins the pot.

For your own protection, always hold your hand until you see your opponent's cards. Any player spreading a hand with a pair in it must announce "pair" or risk losing the pot if it causes any other player to foul a hand.

If two or more hands remain intact, the best hand wins the pot. Ace-to-Five Lowball In ace-to-five lowball, the best hand is any A. Straights and flushes do not count against a hand. If a joker is used, it becomes the lowest card not present in the hand.

The joker is assumed to be in use unless the contrary is posted. In limit play, check-raise is not permitted unless the players are alerted that it is allowed. In limit ace-to-five lowball, before the draw, an exposed card of 7 or under must be taken, and an exposed card higher than a 7 must be replaced after the deal has been completed. This first exposed card is used as the burn card. See Explanations, discussion 8 , for more information on this rule. In limit play, the sevens rule is assumed to be in use the players should be alerted if it is not.

If a player checks a 7 or better and it is the best hand, all action after the draw is void, and the player cannot win any money on any subsequent bets. The player is still eligible to win whatever existed in the pot before the draw if he has the best hand.

If a player checks a 7 or better and the hand is beaten, he loses the pot and any additional calls he makes. If there is an all-in bet after the draw that is less than half a bet, a 7 or better can just call and win that bet. However, if another player overcalls this short bet and loses, the person who overcalls receives the bet back. If the seven or better completes to a full bet, this fulfills all obligations. Deuce-to-Seven Lowball In deuce-to-seven lowball sometimes known as Kansas City lowball , in most respects, the worst conventional poker hand wins.

Straights and flushes count against a player, crippling the value of a hand. The ace is used only as a high card. Therefore, the best hand is , not all of the same suit. The hand A is not considered to be a straight, but an A-5 high, so it beats other ace-high hands and pairs, but loses to king-high. A pair of aces is the highest pair, so it loses to any other pair. The rules for deuce-to-seven lowball are the same as those for ace-to-five lowball, except for the following differences: The best hand is of at least two different suits.

Straights and flushes count against a player, and aces are considered high only. Before the draw, an exposed card of 7, 5, 4, 3, or, 2 must be taken. Any other exposed card must be replaced including a 6. Check-raise is allowed on any hand after the draw, and a 7 or better is not required to bet. No-Limit and Pot-Limit Lowball All the rules for no-limit and pot-limit poker apply to no-limit and pot-limit lowball. All other lowball rules apply, except as noted. A player is not entitled to know that an opponent cannot hold the best possible hand, so these rules for exposed cards before the draw apply: In ace-to-five lowball, a player must take an exposed card of A, 2, 3, 4, or 5, and any other card must be replaced.

In deuce-to-seven lowball, the player must take an exposed card of 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7, and any other card including a 6 must be replaced. After the draw, any exposed card must be replaced. After the draw, a player can check any hand without penalty The sevens rule is not used. Draw High There are two betting rounds, one before the draw and one after the draw.

The game is played with a button and an ante. Players in turn can check, open for the minimum, or open with a raise. After the first betting round, players have the opportunity to draw new cards to replace the ones they discard.

Action after the draw starts with the opener, or next player proceeding clockwise if the opener has folded. The betting limit after the draw is twice the amount of the betting limit before the draw. Some draw high games allow a player to open with any holding; others require the opener to have a pair of jacks or better.

Rules of Draw High A maximum of one bet and four raises is permitted in multihanded pots. Check-raise is permitted both before and after the draw. Any card that is exposed by the dealer before the draw must be kept. Five cards constitute a playing hand. Fewer than five cards for a player other than the button before action has been taken is a misdeal.

If action has been taken, a player with fewer than five cards may draw the number of cards necessary to complete a five-card hand. The button can receive the fifth card even if action has taken place. More or fewer than five cards after the draw constitutes a fouled hand. You can change the number of cards you wish to draw, provided: No cards have been dealt off the deck in response to your request including the burncard.

No player has acted, in either the betting or indicating the number of cards to be drawn, based on the number of cards you have requested. If you are asked how many cards you drew by another active player, you are obligated to respond until there has been action after the draw, and the dealer is also obligated to respond. Once there is any action after the draw, you are no longer obliged to respond and the dealer cannot respond. A player who indicates a pat hand by rapping the table, not knowing the pot has been raised, can still play the hand.

You can not change your seat between hands when there are multiple antes or forfeited money in the pot. You have the right to pay the ante whether single or multiple at any time and receive a hand, unless there is any additional money in the pot that has been forfeited during a hand in which you were not involved. If the pot has been declared open by an all-in player playing for just the antes, all callers must come in for the full opening bet.

If you have only a full ante and no other chips on the table, you can play for just the antes. If no one opens and there is another ante, you can still play for that part of the antes that you have matched, without putting in any more money. Draw Jacks or Better There are two betting rounds, one before the draw and one after the draw.

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