Jacks or Better is the most widespread, simple, and popular form of online video poker. Based on the Five-Card Draw game but adapted to both physical video gaming machines and online gaming, it begins with five cards dealt from a standard, virtual, 52 card deck.
After examining the hand, the player can change one or more cards to try and move closer to a winning hand, or to increase the strength and payout of an already good hand. Jacks or Better takes its name from the fact that winning hands start at a pair of jacks – pairs below that will not trigger a payout.
The payout for a winning hand depends on the game operator, but a typical pay out chart will see a pair of jacks or higher pair pay out on a 1:1 basis, two pairs on a 2:1, three of a kind on 3:1 and so on, right up to the highest hand, a Royal Flush, which will typically pay out at around 800 times the game price.
This high potential payout, coupled with the relatively good chance of getting your play price back with a pair of jacks (around a 20% chance) means that there’s plenty in this game for the player while still providing the casino or game operator with a good return thanks to the fast-paced turnover of games.
Almost all online casinos will offer a Jacks or Better variant, and it is also easy to find free online versions of the game to practice on without committing any money.