Video Poker Strategy: When to Draw in Jacks or Better

Casino Strategy

Video Poker Strategy: When to Draw in Jacks or Better

If you want to learn how to play online Video Poker, Jacks or Better is definitely the best place to start. The relatively simple rules mean that it's easy to create a basic strategy that increases your odds of winning as you play. A good strategy works to pare down the decisions that you should make at any given time to their absolute minimum. By making it so your only decision is that you need to pick how many cards to draw, Video Poker strategy can help you play more winning hands in a shorter amount of time.


If you have one high card (as in Jack or Better) and a scattered group of other cards, you should be willing to discard everything excluding that high card. If you don't even have a high card, then go ahead and get re-dealt across the board. Chasing flushes and the like isn't worthwhile unless you have at least four cards of the same color.


Similarly, you'll draw three cards when you're holding a pair of high cards or low pairs alike. You'll also want to discard three and keep your Jack/Ten; Queen/Ten or King/Ten, especially if they're suited. The odds aren't quite with you when you're chasing a straight, flush or straight flush but the math's proven that it's best to have those cards on your side instead of throwing them away.


You should opt to draw just a pair of cards when you're holding 3 of a Kind, three cards of a Royal Flush or three cards that give you a run on a straight flush on either side. You'll also want to hold a 10 and two cards to a straight flush or three cards to a straight flush with a gap. On top of that, keep any combination of KQJ, even if there's no ace.


Knowing when you draw just one card can be tough at first, but this list of hands can help you out greatly. Anytime you have four cards to a royal flush, keep them! The same goes with four cards to a straight flush, a four card straight with three high cards, two pair or four cards to a flush.


Of course, there are a few different hands that you'll want to keep and just play through. If you’ve got a Royal Flush, you'd want to keep that and the same goes for a straight flush. I also recommend playing 4 of a Kind, a full house or a flush or straight


This can seem confusing at first — after all, there are a lot of potential card combinations mentioned here — but with a little bit of practice, it'll seem like pure instinct as you play. Just make sure that you've taken the time to break down and make the right decision often enough to justify it.