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Hold Advice for Jacks or Better

15 May 2021

By Jerry Stickman

Hi Jerry,

I hope you're doing well down there.

I have a sample here to ask you about for the game of Jacks or Better. The sample is:

As, Ks, Jc, 10c, 9c.

What would be the best hold, the second-best hold, and the third-best hold?

Thanks again for your feedback and I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay safe and wishing you the best,

Jody



Hi Jody,

Here are the top three holds along with some explanation as to why they are ranked as they are.

Since you didn’t mention the pay table of the game, I included the numbers for both the 9/6 and the 8/5 Jacks or Better games.

Best Hold:

Jc Tc 9c – returns 3.5754 (9/6 game) / 3.3811 (8/5 game) credits on average for a five-credit bet. Three cards of an open straight flush constitute a fairly powerful hand.

An open straight flush (or straight) can be filled on either the high or the low end. In this case the straight flush can be filled by the Kc, Qc on the high end or the 8c, 7c on the low end or with the Qc on the high end and the 8c on the low end.

This hold has the following possible results out of a total of 1,081 possible final hands when holding three cards:
• Three straight flush hands paying 250-for-5,
• 42 flush hands paying 30-for-5 (9/6) / 25-for-5 (8/5),
• 41 straight hands paying 20-for-5,
• Nine 3-of-a-kind hands paying 15-for-5,
• 27 hands with two pairs paying 10-for-5,
• 127 hands with a pair of jacks or better paying 5-for-5,

Second Best Hold:

As Ks – returns 2.9155 (9/6) / 2.8594 (8/5) credits on average for a five-credit bet.
This hold has the following possible results out of the 16,215 possible final hands when holding two cards:
• One royal flush paying 4,000-for-5,
• Two 4-of-a-kind hands paying 125-for-5,
• 18 hands containing a full house paying 45-for-5 (9/6) / 40-for-5 (8/5),
• 164 flush hands paying 30-for-5 (9/6) / 25-for-5 (8/5),
• 35 straight hands paying 20-for-5,
• 281 3-of-a-kind hands paying 15-for-5,
• 711 hands with two pairs paying 10-for-5,
• 4,914 hands with a pair of jacks or better paying 5-for-5,

Holding for a royal flush (As Ks) could pay 4,000 credits on one out of 16,215 possible hands. However, holding the four cards of an inside straight (because it can only be filled on the lower end) pays 125 credits on two out of 16,215 possible hands, and 45 (9/6) / 40 (8/5) credits on 18 full house hands out of 16,215 possible hands.

That is not enough to overcome the three straight flush hands out of 1,081 possible hands plus other pays in the hold with the best return.

Third Best Hold:

As Ks Jc Tc – returns 2.6596 credits on average for a five-credit bet.

This hold has the following possible results out of a total of 47 possible final hands when holding four cards:
• 4 straight hands paying 20-for-5
• 9 hands with a pair of jacks or better paying 5-for-5

Any other hold returns about 2.35 credits or less for a five-credit bet.

Hope this helps, Jody.

May all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 

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Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com