The Jack

This New Yorker cartoon made me think about asking my fellow poker players what you think about Jacks. I’ve read some comments here that suggest players often overestimate the Jack’s value because it’s “paint”–looks royal–but really is just a dressed up 11, putting on airs. Looking forward to your thoughts.

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I have learned to be careful when you get a jack, in many cases it does not lead to a win if you are not lucky with the other card :slight_smile: Have a nice day!!

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“There’s three ways to play Jacks preflop – and all of them are wrong.” - Overheard at a 2/5 NL table in Vegas.

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LOL I cant reply to this , I may get banned If I do.

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I like these odds. Thanks, Craig. Very helpful.

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You’re welcome Jan

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A pair of jacks is an unlucky pair for me. I never flop a set of jacks. Never.

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This question sent me into a (another) Internet rabbit hole. I know you wanted mostly to know how to play a Jack in poker, but this is interesting info too.

Until the time of the French Revolution, the King was always the “highest card in the deck.” Starting after the French Revolution, the Ace or 1 was ranked highest. It’s one of the few lasting changes that came from the French Revolution.

Originally, the 2nd ranked “court card” was a Knight. About 1590 or so (perhaps connected to the reign of Elizabeth I of England), the Knight was turned into the Queen. The Knight’s assistant–the 3rd ranking Court card–was first called a Knave, or a Squire. When the Knight became a Queen, the Knave’s title was changed to Jack because he jacked–meaning, did small personal services–for the Queen, just as he would’ve for the Knight. He was a hired workman, usually young, and sometimes training to become a Knight himself, sworn to give loyal service to the Knight or Queen. Part of his duty as a Squire would’ve also been to carry that person’s flag–or jack (a small flag), as in Union Jack–into battle. But, the Jack himself was never Royal or a Prince.

In German, the Jack is called “Knabe” which means “Knave.” In Dutch, the Jack is called “Boer” which can mean workman, helper, or assistant–in other words, Squire to his sworn master. I suspect you’ll find similar translations of the rank in other tongues, as well.

Of course, credit for this information does not belong to me!

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Alternative names for the Jack.

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That was courtesy of Wikipedia LOL

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It’s “Bube” in german. :wink:

Thanks for that! Is Knabe nothing to do with the jack, then? Just curious.

Nothing to do with the Jack.

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All true, but you typically don’t want to go post flop multi-player with jacks, as the odds that jacks will stay the best hand then really drops off. If you have 8 opponents to the flop, any A, K or Q on the board likely means you are behind, if you haven’t spiked a set. JJ has roughly 70% equity against a single opponent with a normal limping range (I’m including all premium cards in this “normal” range, since so many players here almost never raise), but that tanks rapidly as you add opponents.

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With more players:

  • 2 opponents: 52% equity
  • 3 opponents: 42%
  • 5 opponents: 28%
  • 8 opponents: 18%

Here, also, I’ve given every opponent the same kind of range… as soon as you start giving each a different kind of range, the equity drop starts getting even worse. Note that you still have a better share than your opponents individually do, but equity realization also becomes increasingly more difficult.

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Here’s an example with 3 opponents against tighter ranges (maybe typical of some 3 bet situations).

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Excellent cautionary data!

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Thank you for posting all of that data but believe you me against 3 opponents or less I’m going in and I’m going in hard. Probably to 4 LOL :joy:. I have no Jack-O Phobia :rofl::rofl:… thanks again.

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I like to play jacks really aggressively too, especially since I’d like to have fewer opponents post flop. Same is true of QQ, although it is not quite as severe.

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I think you have to evaluate the whole situation including stack sizes and position. If the betting is folded to you in the SB preflop and you have JJ, it is a pretty good hand, especially if you make a set. At other times the hand can just be limped for set mining purposes. Obviously the problem with preflop raises is when overcards come on the flop. Who is going to call your preflop raise? Probably people with Aces, Kings, and Queens and such. Still JJ can be a very useful hand for blind stealing too, but if you are called by the BB, overcards come on the flop, and he bets back at you, it is usually best to throw the hand away. It works best when you raise preflop and are called by the BB with AJ (or KJ) and the flop comes Jack high. Your opponent will be very unwilling to give up on the hand and if he makes two pairs, he will be ecstatic and may even shove his whole stack and be left with a 2-outer.

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