Jacks or Better Strategy Card
This page is an adaptation of Michael Shackleford's Jacks or Better strategy
card, represented as an intermediate strategy (the optimal strategy is
rather convoluted, and the simple strategy does not return as much as
you likely want).
Using this strategy on a full pay machine will result in an expected
return of 99.52%. To use the strategy look up all viable ways to play
an initial hand on the following list and elect that which is highest
on the list. A "high card" means a jack or higher.
Full house or better
4 to a royal flush
Straight, three of a kind, or flush
4 to a straight flush
3 to a royal flush
4 to a flush
4 to an outside straight
3 to a straight flush (high cards-gaps>=0)
2 suited high cards
4 to an inside straight w/ 3-4 high cards
3 to a straight flush (high cards-gaps=-1)
J/K, Q/K unsuited
J/A, Q/A, K/A unsuited
One high card
3 to a straight flush (high cards-gaps=-2)
Note: The number of high cards in holding 3 to a straight flush
is roughly offset by the number of gaps. When evaluating 3 to a straight
flush subtract the number of gaps from the number of high cards.
High card: A jack, queen, king, or ace. These cards are retained
more often because if paired up they return the original bet.
Outside straight: An open ended straight that can be completed
at either end, such as the cards 7,8,9,10.
Inside straight: A straight with a missing inside card, such as
the cards 6,7,9,10. In addition A,2,3,4 and J,Q,K,A also count as inside
straights because they are at an extreme end.
Gap: The number of ranks needed to fill in the middle of a straight
flush. For example a 6,7,8 would have 0 gaps, a 6,7,9 would have 1, and
a 6,7,10 would have 2. The following are considered to have 2 gaps because
they are at extreme ends: A,2,3; A,2,4; A,3,4; J,Q,A; J,K,A; and Q,K,A.
The following are considered to have 1 gap because they are close to an
extreme end: 2,3,4 and J,Q,K.
There are many other examples of a jacks or better strategy card available
for free on the Internet, but this is one of the best ones.