Often times players, playing Jacks or Better video poker, make many of the same common mistakes. Jacks or Better is a game of strategy like most poker games are, and identifying common mistakes and fixing them is a key factor in improving one’s gameplay and overall success in the game. Here are six common mistakes that many Jacks or Better players tend to make.

1.) Mistaking the Benefits of an Open- Ended Straight Draw

In the game of Jacks or Better there is a significant difference between group flush draws and open- ended straight draws. Many people group both of these draw together, because both draws have primarily the same overall possibilities of hitting. Also, both draws are normally (not in this case) two of the most beneficial and major types of draws in a normal game of poker. However, open- ended draws are significantly worse than flush draws in Jacks or Better. In fact, an open- ended draw will not even best a low pair! As surprising as it may seem an open- ended flush will not even provide the payout that is desired even when it is hit. Not knowing this huge difference between these two major types of draw is but one very common mistake made by Jacks or Better players.

2.) Holding the Ace as Opposed to Discarding the Ace

Most would normally think that holding the ace would better the chances of achieving an “ace- high” straight. However, the chances do not make up for the missed opportunities. Logically, there is a better chance to get a full house or a three high that will prove to be more beneficial in this game; as opposed to holding the aces. So to say “putting all of your eggs in one basket, and loosing them all” applies to holding the ace! A huge common mistake is holding out for an ace high straight that will more than likely result in a loss as opposed to a good payout that is the main goal of Jacks or Better.

3.) Lack of Proper Knowledge

As many know Jacks or Better like any poker game is pure strategy, not luck. Yes, luck can be achieved in this game; but primarily the success mainly relies on an understanding of the game. Particularly, the understanding of the flush draw and pairs relationships of the game. Know the two types of pairs in Jacks or Better first and foremost which are categorized into high pairs (which consist of Jacks or higher) and low pairs (which consists of ten cards or less). Also, know when a pair can beat a flush, or vise versa a flush can beat a pair. For example, if a hand consists of a four card flush an opponent with a hand consisting of a high pair will inevitable beat and top the four card flush hand. However, if a hand consists of a low pair going up against a hand consisting of a flush; the flush will top the low pair in any scenario. A big mistake many players playing Jacks or Better make is not taking the time necessary to develop an understanding of the relationships between flushes and pairs.

4.) Discarding a Straight Flush

Typically, players will never think twice about completely discarding cards five and below. It is not as rare as many players think it is to end up with a straight flush. In Jacks or Better many players do not bank on coming up with a straight flush, and simply discard any cards five and below without any thought at all. In some cases this is wise, but always doing so will cause players to miss many good opportunities. Players might be surprised about how more often a straight flush will come around. This proves to be yet another common mistake players make while playing Jacks or Better. Do not ever discard beneficial opportunities at a good hand, and try more for these kinds of hands it most likely will prove to be beneficial in some cases.

5.) Not Knowing the Odds

Knowing odds in Jacks or Better is absolutely crucial! Now for example, playing three cards in a royal flush seems to be a mistake. Most players would much rather play four cards. Typically, one would think that playing four cards is more beneficial. However, by playing three cards odds tend to be better. In a royal flush players are aiming to pick up high pairs to add value to the hand at play. Logically, having two chances to pick a high pair is better as opposed to only having one chance. That is why playing three cards will prove to be more rewarding in the long run. Most players make the mistake of playing four cards, but it is a huge mistake! Remember, Jacks or Better is a game of strategy and bettering chances. Playing three cards will better the chances of picking up high cards.

6.) Keep Aces and Tens

Now this may seem to contradict mistake #2 listed, but it does not! Having an ace and a ten BOTH can prove beneficial. Having both in a hand can improve chances of getting a straight or a flush. However, at some point discarding the ten may be necessary; but keep in mind the benefits of keeping both the ten and the ace cards. Without a good knowledge of these relationships between cards in Jacks or Better can be the biggest mistake ever made by players playing Jacks or Better. This game requires strategy, and understanding which makes it crucial to have both aspects. However, these mistakes can be fixed; and by fixing these common mistakes can improve one’s gameplay when playing Jacks or Better.