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Jacks-or-Better Poker

Jacks-or-Better Poker Overview

Jacks-or-Better Poker should not be confused with the video poker game of the same name. Jacks-or-Better is a draw poker game suited for 3-8 players, which is based on Five Card Draw, with some extra rules.

Jacks or Better Poker Rules

As in Five Card Draw, Jacks-or-Better begins with the placing of antes. Each player places an equal amount of money in the pot to help the game get started. Once the ante has been placed, the dealer gives each player five cards. At this point, there is a betting round in Five Card Draw. In Jacks-or-Better, only someone who already has at least a pair of jacks can open the betting. If no one can open the betting, the dealer collects all the cards, shuffles the deck, and hands it to the player to his left. Each player antes up again, and the new dealer gives each player a new set of five cards. Again, only a player with a pair of jacks or better may open the hand.

Once a player has opened with a bet, betting goes around the table clockwise. Each player can choose to call, raise, or fold. When all players have either matched the current wager or folded, each player still in the game may give back up to three cards, or four if they hold an ace. The dealer exchanges them for new cards from the top of the deck. Another round of betting follows. Then there is a showdown. Each player shows his or her cards. In Jacks-or-Better, the winner must hold a hand of three-of-a-kind or better. If no player holds such a hand, there is no winner, players ante up again, and the game is redealt. If a player has a hand of three-of-a-kind or better, and it is the best hand, he or she wins the pot.

Often, “house rules” don’t allow a player who has folded to re-ante and join future rounds in this game until someone has won a round.

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