Having analyzed hundreds of thousands of hands, our program has collected a lot of valuable information. As our program continues to collect data, we see some mistakes being made more than others. Here are the most common mistakes being made in the typical Jacks or Better game (with the 9/6 payout table).

First of all, you have to play for max coins, in our case this is 5. If you’re not doing that, then you are not playing the ideal strategy and allowing yourself the best possible payouts.

Most Common Video Poker Mistakes with Jacks or Better

1. Throwing away 4 to a royal flush.

Dealt: A, K, Q, J, T

Correct Hold: A, K, J, T

Wrong Hold: A, K, Q, J, T

Some people keep the ace high straight instead of discarding the Q and going for the royal flush.

This is a huge mistake!

You have to get rid of that Q and go for the royal flush!

2. Throwing away 3 to a royal flush.

It is almost impossible to have a better draw than 3 to a royal flush. It is better than 4 to a flush, 4 to a straight or 3 to an open ended straight flush. The only draw that beats it is 4 to a straight flush and that comes up very rarely. Made hands are a different story, high pairs and up have this draw beat.

Dealt: A, J, T, 9, 2

Hold: A, J, T

Wrong Hold 1: A, J, T, 9

Wrong Hold 2: J, T, 9

Dealt: A, K, Q, T, 4

Hold: K, Q, T

Wrong Hold 1: A, K, Q

Wrong Hold 2: A, K, Q, T

Exception (high pair):

Dealt: A, K, T, A, 2

Hold: A, A

Wrong Hold: A, K, T

Exception (4 to a straight flush):

Dealt: Q, J, T, 9, 7

Hold: Q, J, T, 9

Wrong Hold: Q, J, T

3. Overplaying 2 to a royal flush.

There is a big difference between 3 to a royal flush and 2 to a royal. By the time we get down to 2 to a royal, marginal hands like low pairs and 4 to an outside straight have this beat. Also, when you have suited TA it is best to break it up and just keep the A.

Dealt: J, T, 7, 7, 6

Hold: 7, 7