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Jacks and Back Poker

Jacks and Back Poker Overview

Jacks and Back Poker is a variant of Jacks-or-Better Poker, which is a draw poker game based on Five Card Draw. Like Jacks-or-Better, Jacks and Back is suitable for 3-8 players.

Jacks and Back Poker Rules

Before the deal, each player places an ante. The ante is a small sum which is added into the pot by each player to ensure a cash winner in every game, even if no one raises. It also gives every player an interest in the pot.

Once the ante has been placed, each player is dealt five cards. Any player who has a pair of jacks or better can open the betting. If no player has jacks or better, the game is played as lowball, meaning that the player with the lowest ranking hand wins. In this case, straights do not count.

Whether the game is a lowball game or a regular Jacks-or-Better game, each player has the opportunity to bet. When it is a player’s turn to bet, he or she may choose to check/call, meaning that they meet the current betting level in the pot. Checking means that the current level is the same level that they were already at, so there is no need to add more funds to the pot. Calling means that there is a need to add to the pot. They can raise which means that they add more money, forcing any other player who wishes to stay in the game to add more money to the pot. They may also fold, meaning that they add no more money to the pot, they put their cards down, and are no longer eligible to win the round.

Once all players have made their bets, each player who is still in the game can give up to three cards back to the dealer. They may give four back if the fifth card is an ace. The dealer then gives each player the same number of cards, dealt from the top of the deck.

After this is completed, there is a second round of betting, followed by the showdown. If the game is a Lowball game, then the player with the lowest hand wins. If the game is still Jacks-or-Better, and not a Lowball game, the winner must have at least three-of-a-kind to win. If no one has three-of-a-kind, then the players place new antes, adding to the current pot, and the hand is redealt. Play is the same as before.

A variation on this is that betting only opens with jacks or better, and if there are no jacks or better, then the hand is redealt with an additional ante, and the new round is played as queens or better, followed by kings or better, aces or better, and then back to jacks or better.

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