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Winner's Guide Volume 1: 2nd Edition - Jacks or Better
by Bob Dancer
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Bob Dancer and Liam W. Daily have just released the second edition of Winner's Guide Volume 1 -- Jacks or Better. This new edition has been expanded to 128 pages and features the following enhancements: 1) A complete discussion of the differences between Jacks or Better and other popular games, including Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus and Deuces Wild. 2) Enhanced (more user-friendly) notations --- done in conjunction with the latest Dancer/Daily Strategy Cards. 3) An updated strategy for Level 4 Flush-5

With these improvements, Winner's Guide Volume 1 presents the most comprehensive discussion of Jacks or Better ever published.

Great Video Poker at Club USA Casino
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Club USA Casino offers a huge variety of video poker machines in a range of denominations. There over 14 different video poker games including Deuces Wild, All American Poker, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker and more. Many are available in multihand video poker format. Coin-in choices range from $.05 to $5.00 on single hand machines and  $.01 to $1.00 on multi-hand machines.
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Learning Joker Mid-Cards in Kings or Better Joker Wild

KBJW is an acquired taste. The best pay schedule, 20-7-5 for 4-of-a-kind, full house, and flush respectively, may be combined with either a 4,000-coin royal (100.65%) or a 4,700-coin royal (101.00%).Bob DancerBob Dancer is one of the world's foremost video poker experts.  He is a regular columnist for Casino Player, Strictly Slots, and the Las Vegas Review-Journa land has written an autobiography and a novel about gambling.   He provides advice for tens of thousands of casino enthusiasts looking to play video poker.  Bob's website is  This game only exists at a few casinos, and generally only for quarters. Most casinos that have this game also have Full Pay Deuces Wild (100.76%) in far greater numbers. FPDW is far more popular; perhaps because it is easier.
Probably the trickiest types of hands in this game are those involving the joker and a single mid-card. I'm talking about a hand such as W Js Th 8d 6h, where the W (for wild card) stands for the joker and the T stands for ten. Straight, flush, and straight flush penalties are important. There are special idiosyncrasies in this game only that make W6, W7, and W8 more valuable than WT, which in turn is more valuable than either W5 or W9, for otherwise equal penalties.
In our strategy cards, Liam W. Daily and I developed a weighting system for how much the various straight penalties hurt you (i.e. a one-away card hurts more than a two-away card, which hurts more than a three-away card), how much a flush penalty hurts you, how much a straight flush penalty hurts, and how much are WT, W5, or W9 worth less than W6, W7, or W8.
These weights work --- except you need to do some calculation --- which takes some people longer than others. It might easily take you a minute or more to be certain that the play you chose is best --- and sometimes choosing the best play is only worth a tenth of a cent more than choosing the second-best play. Since this is a money-making game, losing a minute of play could easily cost you a dime or more of equity. Spending a dime to make an extra tenth of a cent is not a smart investment.
When I was playing the game (i.e. when it was offered for dollars and higher at several different casinos), I developed flash cards. I spent time and found 88 different joker-mid-card hands where the choice was pretty close. I would review these before I played. This would hone my intuition. When a close play arose in the actual game, I had probably just seen it (and the correct answer) before I started to play, and even if it wasn't an exact duplicate, it would be close enough so that whatever "felt right" probably was "right enough." I'd make my choice in a second or two and know that I was usually spot-on and was never far off.
Here is the list I used when I did this several years ago. I was going to publish it in the Joker Wild "Winner's Guide" that was supposed to come about, but that project has been scrapped, so I might as well publish the list here.
W T974   W 'T6' "72"   W Q864   W 'J6' 85
W T973   W 'T5' 97   W Q863   W 'J6' "T5"
W T953   W 'T4' 97   W 'Q8' 75   W 'J5' Q8
W T952   W 'T4' 85   W Q764   W 'J5' "T6"
W T943   W 'T3' 95   W Q763   W '95' T7
W T942   W 'T3' 87   W 'Q7' 85   W '95' "84"
W T875   W 'T3' 86   W 'Q7' "J5"   W '95' "73"
W T873   W 'T3' 75   W 'Q6' J5   W '94' T7
W T872   W 'T3' 74   W 'Q5' T6   W '93' T7
W T863   W 'T3' 62   W 'Q5' J8   W '93' T5
W T862   W 'T2' 87   W 'Q5' 96   W '92' T5
W T853   W 'T2' 86   W 'Q5' 87   W '83' T7
W T852   W 'T2' 85   W 'Q5' 86   W '83' T6
W T843   W 'T2' 75   W 'Q5' "J7"   W '82' T7
W T842   W 'T2' 63   W 'Q4' 96   W '82' T6
W T752   W QT76   W 'Q4' 86   W '82' T3
W T742   W QT65   W 'Q4' 76   W '73' T9
W T732   W QJ75   W 'Q3' 86   W '73' T8
W 'T6' "95"   W Q965   W 'Q3' 76   W '72' T9
W 'T6' "94"   W Q964   W J875   W '72' T8
W 'T6' "93"   W Q875   W 'J6' Q5   W '62' T8
W 'T6' "82"   W Q865   W 'J6' Q5   W '62' QT

Some of these are two-suited (indicated by a set of both single quotes and double quotes), three suited (indicated by a set of single quotes only), or four-suited (indicated by the absence of quote marks.) You'll have to figure out the best plays for yourself, but that's easily done using WinPoker or other computer trainer.
Not obvious to everyone is that this list works equally well for the 4,000-coin royals as it does for the 4,700-coin royals. After all, these hands all have jokers in them (which you NEVER throw away), and having a joker in the hand precludes any chance of getting a natural royal, so the amount you get for the royal is irrelevant.
Even if you are playing the version of KBJW where four of a kinds return 18 instead of 20 (99.29% --- generally unplayable in the absence of a generous slot club or promotion), this list works well. After all, we're talking about choosing between W8 and WT, perhaps, and however much is paid for quads affects both choices equally.
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