Jacks or Better - -

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better Review

Video poker may not be the easiest game in the world, but it’s at its best when it’s simple. Playtech understood this while developing their iconic hit - Jacks or Better. Available on all mobile and desktop devices, it boasts an old-school-looking UI and intuitive controls.

The game's objective is to have a better hand than the dealer, but there’s a twist. Players can double their winnings with the two similar but still different Double side bets. The dynamic and easy-to-use UI serves as the icing on the cake. But there’s more to Jacks or Better - let’s take a look!

Game Design and Interface

This game's old-school vibe is immediately noticeable. Jack or Better is clearly reminiscent of poker machines from Vegas’ golden era. However, only the graphic overlay has this style. It might be pixelated, but the UI is based on modern ideas and principles. Minimalism is the name of the game, and the designers did a fantastic job.

All the buttons are large and in contrast with the background. This makes it easy for new players to learn the ropes quickly. Playtech is known for its clean menus and UI design, so this level of execution is no surprise.

The sound effects provide a perfect backdrop, as you can hear them whenever you change cards, draw, bet, or do just about anything. Of course, it’s possible to tone them down, but we haven’t found them too intrusive. Instead, they significantly contribute to recreating the Las Vegas atmosphere Jacks or Better is going for.

How to Play Jacks or Better

A round of Jacks or Better starts by selecting the wager. The minimum is one coin, while the maximum is five. By choosing five coins, all bets and winnings are multiplied by five. “Bet One” adds another coin, and “Bet Max” increases the stake to five. There’s also a paytable on the left, which shows the current coin size.

To commence a hand, click “Deal.” This triggers the virtual dealer to hand out cards. Only one deck is used, and players can pick which cards to hold. After deciding which cards to hold on to, simply select “Draw” and the second hand will appear.

Depending on which two cards one gets, it’s possible to win, lose, or draw against the computer. There are no Wild cards or Jokers in the deck, so here are the available hands, ranked from worst or best:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Two Pairs
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush

Overall, Jacks or Better is an inclusive video poker game. Due to the coin scaling feature, pros and high-rollers can get a kick out of the gameplay. But the simplified rules and the clean UI also make it suitable for beginners.

Extra Features

The first feature players encounter is Auto-Hold. Using a special algorithm, the game strategises for you and logically takes action to meet win conditions. But, of course, the computer doesn’t have the perceptive abilities we humans do. As such, it may not be able to handle some hands correctly.

Double Side Game

If the player beats the dealer, the other extra feature enters the fold - Double. In this phase of the game, it’s possible to double your winnings. Instead of clicking/tapping “Collect,” pick between “Double To” and “Double Half To”.

Both choices start a bonus game, where five new cards are drawn. The first is face-up, and the player has to pick one of the remaining face-down ones. If the uncovered card wins, one of the following happens:

  • The player would double the initial winnings if they chose “Double To”.
  • The winnings would remain the same if the player chose “Double Half To”.

A “Double To” selection results in the initial winnings being voided if the card is lower. However, picking “Double Half To” returns half of the player’s winnings. It functions as insurance against losses in the Double bonus round.

If the two cards are equal, the player can choose to collect their winnings or repeat the side game.

Jacks or Better House Edge and Payouts

Like all video poker games, Jacks or Better uses hand rankings to determine the result. Even though the goal is to beat the dealer, it’s best to do so convincingly. The better the hand a player gets, the higher the payout. Here are the hands, as well as their available payouts. They’re listed in order from least to most lucrative:

  • Jacks or Better - 1:1
  • Two Pairs - 2:1
  • Three of a Kind - 3:1
  • Straight - 4:1
  • Flush - 6:1
  • Full House - 9:1
  • Four of a Kind - 25:1
  • Straight Flush - 50:1
  • Royal Flush - 250:1

Listed payouts apply to a one-coin bet. For example, betting five coins can bring you 250x the bet for a Straight Flush and 4,000x for a Royal Flush.


Jacks or Better is a classic, simply put. It’s the ideal introduction to video poker. Playtech may have made the best iteration yet, thanks to simple rules and a modern UI. Without compromising the core version of the game, Jacks or Better provides quality entertainment.

Its success is largely due to the extra feature - the Double round. When facing a choice of risking it all or taking insurance, there’s no telling what could happen. Try Jacks or Better at Coral casino and find out your luck!