Jacks or Better 9-6 vs. 8-5 Machines

Following is a common paytable for the basic version of jacks or better. This paytable is sometimes referred to as the "9-6" machines, so-named for the payoff on the full house and flush respectively, this is opposed to the "8-5" machine, the common payout found on the progressives.

The minimum hand needed to win in this game is a pair of jacks; any lesser pair or hand pays nothing. The greater the strength of the hand, of course, the larger the payout.

Lesser payoffs can be found for similar winning combinations, but we'll show the basic paytable found in competitive markets like Las Vegas.

The 9-6 machines with the payoffs shown below give you a payback of about 99.5%, a pretty good game especially if you have a good strategy.

Machines that pay only 5 coins for the flush, as opposed to 6 coins, cost you about 1%. When only 6 coins are paid for full house, as opposed to 9, and 5 coins for a flush, as opposed to 6, the overall payback is about 95%, costing about 4 % from the full payback schedule.

Paytable On Jacks or Better Full Pay 9-6 Machine

Coins Played 1 2 3 4 5 Royal Flush 250 500 750 1,000 4000 Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250 Four of a Kind 25 50 75 100 125 Full House 9 18 27 36 45 Flush 6 12 18 24 30 Straight 4 8 12 16 20 Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15 Two Pair 2 4 6 8 10 Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

Jacks or Better 8-5 Machines (Short Pay)

This Jacks or Better short pay machine is identical to the one above except that the payout on the full house and flush respectively, is 8 and 5, as opposed to the 9 and 6 of the 9-6 machines. The cost of the lower paybacks on these hands is a little over 2%, giving you an overall payback of 97.3%, not the ideal full payback we want, and not a payback schedule we recommend.

On the 8-5 progressives below, which do have an identical payback schedule, the loss of the few percent for these hands is made up by a larger progressive payout on the royal flush, provided, that is, that the progressive is high enough.

Jacks or Better 8-5 (Progressives)

The progressive jacks or better machines are really exciting and give players a chance to win big dollars should they get lucky enough to hit the royal flush when the progressive has accumulated a large total. The best way to play the progressives is only when the progressives have grown large enough to tilt the odds.

At reset, right after a royal flush has been hit and the jackpot is set back to the starting point, the payback schedule is one-half percent higher than a non-progressive 8-5 machine. This is due to the progressive starting point of 5,250 coins.

Keep in mind though that progressive payouts are not expressed in terms of coin amounts, but in dollars. A 25-cent machine will typically start out with a $1,250 jackpot for the royal, and $4,000 for $1 machines. As the progressive grows larger (it will typically be at the 5,250 coin level immediately after a royal has been hit), so does the payback percentages for the player.

A full 100% payback will be reached on this progressive when the jackpot reaches $2,200 on a 25-cent machine, or $8,800 if it is a $1 one. (The break-even is actually closer to $2,170, but we're rounding up). A 6-5 progressive is worse for the player, dropping the starting payback to under 96%, and making the break-even point of the jackpot a full $1,000 higher, to about $3,300.

Paytable On Jacks or Better 8-5 (Progressives)

Coins Played 1 2 3 4 5 Royal Flush 250 500 750 1,000 Progressive Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250 Four of a Kind 25 50 75 100 125 Full House 8 16 24 32 40 Flush 5 10 15 20 25 Straight 4 8 12 16 20 Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15 Two Pair 2 4 6 8 10 Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

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