4 to a straight flush is the same thing as being 1 card away from a straight flush. Doesn't matter if they are consecutive (4567) or if there's a gap (3467). Of course, a dealt straight or flush is better than 4 to a straight flush.
The same applies to 3 to a royal flush. TJQ, TQK, JQK, TKA, etc. are all 3 to a royal.
Basically, just start at the top of the strategy chart, and say, "Is my hand a four of a kind, straight flush, or royal flush?" If it is one of those, hold it. If not, then go to #2, "is my hand a 4 to a royal flush?" if so, hold that. If not, go to #3, "is my hand a straight, flush, three of a kind, or full house?" if so, hold it, otherwise go to #4.....and down the list ya go.
Thanks. For the second rule, "If not, then go to #2, "is my hand a 4 to a royal flush?" if so, hold that.
So do you mean to hold those 4 cards to a royal flush only? what about the rest one card? Discard it or hold it?
And I am not quite follow this rule "2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 then pick the lowest 2)", my understanding is find any 2 dislike and unsuited high card (jack or better), if two of those cards found, hold it and discard the rest. But if more than 2 cards found, HOLD those two with lowest face values? Should it be opposite that to DISCARD those two with lowest face values?
Besides jacks or better, I am also learning the strategy for other video poker games. One of them I am looking is the deuce wild joker. But the game rule for the wild is not very clear to me. Two questions
1) I know deuce plays as wild. However, if there is more than 2 deuces, can I separate the each deuce to replace different card or must all deuces replace the same face value if used?
For example, if I get 2 2 5 6 7, can I make a straight such that first 2 becomes 3 and the second 2 becomes 4?
What about A 2 2 4 5?
2) I think the the deuce only be wild of face value but not suit, am I correct?
For the second rule, you would never hold the fifth card... because then you have a losing hand. You hold the four royal cards and hope to draw the fifth royal card.
for the 2 unsuited high cards.... what they are saying is that if you have a hand like 2s 7c Jh Kd As then you would hold the Jh and Kd and discard the other three. the reason you want to do that is that holding JK allows for more straight possibilities on the draw than either JA or KA.
sorry, didn't see ibeatyouraces' response.
One more question about jacks or better strategy. I following the basic strategy and apply it on the same pay table as described in https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/jacks-or-better/9-6/simple/
But I got a 97% RTP instead of 99.45%, I some random hands with an online trainer here https://www.videopokertrainer.org/calculator/#Ad5d7dTs2c-bn-5-4000:250:400:200:125:40:25:20:15:10:5
and they match. I don't know if my code is messed up or my understanding on the rules are not complete. Let me explain my understanding on the strategy as below
1. Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush
if I get any of above hand, hold all 5 cards
2. 4 to a royal flush
Try to find any 4 cards (doesn't have to be consecutive) of my hand makes partial royal flush, if so, hold those 4 cards and discard the rest one
3. Three of a kind, straight, flush, full house
if my hand is one of above, hold all cards (questions: even for three of a kind, hold all cards instead of just hold the 3 same cards???)
4. 4 to a straight flush
Try to find any 4 cards (doesn't have to be consecutive) of my hand makes partial straight flush, if so, hold those 4 cards and discard the rest one
5. Two pair
Try to find if any two pairs found, if so, hold those 4 cards, discard the rest one
6. High pair
try to find if there is any pair jacks or better, if so hold those 2 cards, discard the rest 3 cards
7. 3 to a royal flush
try to find if any 3 cards (consecutive or not) make partial royal flush, if so, hold those 3 cards and discard the rest 2 cards
8. 4 to a flush
try to find if any 4 cards make partial flush, if so, hold those 4 cards and discard the rest 1 card
9. Low pair
try to find if any 1 pair of deuce to ten, if so hold those 2 cards and discard the rest 3 cards
10. 4 to an outside straight
try to find if any 4 cards (MUST BE CONSECUTIVE and contains no ACE nor KING) makes outside straight, if so, hold those 4 cards and discard the rest 1 card
11. 2 suited high cards
try to find if any two not-same-value cards (jacks or better) but of same suited, if so, hold those two cards and discard the rest 3 cards
12. 3 to a straight flush
try to find if any 3 (consecutive or not) cards make partial straight flush, if so, hold those three cards and discard the rest 2
13. 2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 then pick the lowest 2)
try to find any two high cards (jacks or better), they are of different suit and not identical, if more than 2 found, hold the lowest 2 cards and discard the rest 3 cards.
14. Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
try to find any 10 and J of the same suit OR 10 and Q of the same suit OR 10 and K of the same suit, if so, hold those 2 cards and discard the rest 3.
15. One high card
try to find if any card higher than or equal to Jack (Jack, queen, king, Ace), if yes, hold that one and discard the rest 4 cards.
16. Discard everything
None of above 15 rules apply then discard all cards.
Do you think my understanding on the rules are correct? I still don't know why the RTP is still about 2.4% lower. I got the code from a big project, very hard to extract the necessary code and paste here. But will try if I get a chance.