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Winner's Guide Volume 1: 2nd Edition - Jacks or Better
by Bob Dancer
Book Picture

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.

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More About Playing Multi-Strike Poker

In my last article I discussed the rudiments of Multi Strike Poker, including how you can determine the appropriate value of any pay schedule and how you can adjust "Bob Dancer PresentsBob 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 www.bobdancer.com You can practice Multi-Strike Poker on Bob Dancer's Video Poker for Winners!
You can practice Multi-Strike Poker on Bob Dancer's Video Poker for Winners!
  WinPoker" to practice the different strategy levels. Following are reasonably accurate rules (not counting penalty card situations) for adjustments you should make for each level of play.
Level 1: Play normal 9/6 Jacks strategy with the following exceptions:
Prefer a high pair to any SF4
Prefer a 4-card flush over a RF3 including an A and a T.
Never hold a suited ten with a high card
Never hold any SF3
Prefer two high cards, suited or not, to a low pair
Prefer a single high card or a low pair to a 4-card flush with no high cards.
The only 4-card straight you ever hold is KQJT
Level 2 -- Play normal 9/6 Jacks strategy with the following exceptions:
Prefer a high pair to any SF4
Prefer a 4-card flush over a RF3 including an A and a T.
Never hold a suited ten with a high card
Never hold any SF3
Prefer AKQJ over unsuited high cards. Hold no other inside straight.
Prefer a low pair to a 4-card flush with no high cards
Prefer two high cards, suited or not, to all 4-card straights except KQJT
Prefer two unsuited high cards to a low pair
Prefer a single high card to a 4-card straight with 0 or 1 high card
Level 3 -- Play normal 9/6 Jacks strategy with the following exceptions:
Prefer a high pair to a SF4 with an inside
Prefer a 4-card flush over a RF3 including an A and a T
Never hold a suited ten with a high card
Hold a suited QJ9 and JT9. Hold SF3 (no high cards: no insides) only if there are no high cards in the hand. Hold no other SF3s.
Prefer two high cards to 4-card straights with 1 high card
Prefer a single high card to a 4-card straight with no high cards
Prefer AKQJ over unsuited high cards. Hold no other inside straight.
Level 4 and Free Ride -- Play normal 9/6 Jacks strategy. Period.
To see if you understand the rules, let's play each of the following hands four ways, assuming Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4/Free Ride.
1. Ah As 3s 4s 5s
2. Ac Jd Td 9c 8h
3. Ah Kh Qs Jd 4s
4. Ac Qd 5c 5h 3s
5. Qd Qs Js Ts 9s
6. As Ks Ts 3s 4h
7. 8h 9h Th Ac 3d
8. 3s 5s Ts 3h 9s
9. Kd Jd Td 5d 3c
10. 3s 4s 5s 7d 9c
11. Kc Qc 6c 6h 3s
12. Ah Ks Qd Jc 2h
13. Qs Jh Tc 9d 4s
14. Qd Jd 9d 5c 4h
Q Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4/Free Pass
1 AA AA AA A345
2 AJ AJ AJ JT98
3 AK AK AK AKQJ
4 AQ AQ 55 55
5 QQ QQ QJT9 QJT9
6 AKT3 AKT3 AKT3 AKT
7 A A A 89T
8 33 33 35T9 35T9
9 KJT KJT KJT KJT
10 Draw 5 Draw 5 345 345
11 KQ KQ 66 66
12 KQJ AKQJ AKQJ AKQJ
13 QJ QJ QJT9 QJT9
14 QJ QJ QJ9 QJ9

As users of WinPoker know, the computer program comes with several games "built in," and for which you can change pay schedules easily. To practice this game, I'd probably set up Level 1 in the "Bonus Poker." Now the default for Bonus Poker is to pay four aces more than four 2s, 3s, and 4s, which in turn are more than for the other 4-of-a-kinds. But I can change them all to the same. Normal Jacks or Better returns 25 for 1 for a quad, so if I was practicing Level 1, I'd add 6 to that number and enter 31.
In a like manner, I'd use the Double Bonus "clone" for Level 2 and set the pay schedule appropriately. And maybe Double Double Bonus for Level 3. Double Double Bonus is set up so that it checks for kickers, but if I enter 27 (which is the base amount for 4-of-a-kinds for Jacks or Better plus 2, which is appropriate for Level 3 strategy) for all of the quads, with and without kickers, this Double Double Bonus clone serves my purposes. I could have used the clones for All American Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Double Jackpot, or Double Jackpot just as easily for one of the levels if I wanted.
If I am practicing Multi Strike NSU Deuces, or some other form of Multi Strike Deuces Wild, I'd use the Deuces Wild clone, Loose Deuces clone, and Deuces Deluxe clone to enter the appropriate schedules for Levels 1, 2, and 3. (If I didn't have the basic game memorized or at least well practiced, I wouldn't be playing Multi Strike in the first place.)
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