PokerStars has launched a new “Jacks or Better” poker challenge in which players can win up to $10,000 instantly by taking down pots with selected hands.
Many players at PokerStars will already be familiar with the concept of winning pots with selected hands to complete part of a challenge. However, unlike the site´s recent “Pyramid” and “Euro2016” promotions, PokerStars´ new “Jacks or Better” promotion enables players to accelerate completion of the challenge by making higher ranking hands.
In the promotion, players are awarded points when they win a hand of NL Texas Hold´em with a Pair of Jacks or Better. The higher ranked the hand, the more points they are awarded. As soon as a player has accumulated 100 points, their achievement is rewarded with an instant random prize that can be anything from $1.00 to $10,000.
The Jacks or Better Challenge
In order to participate in the Jacks or Better Challenge, players have to opt in every day by opening up their challenges window and clicking “start” to begin the challenge. Thereafter, they are awarded 20 points for playing their first hand (win or lose) and awarded further points for every pot of NL Texas Hold´em they win with a Pair of Jacks or better. The points are distributed as follows:
- For winning a pot with a pair of Jacks or Better – 2 Points.
- For winning a pot with any Two Pairs – 3 Points.
- For winning a pot with Three of a Kind – 6 Points.
- For winning a pot with a Straight – 10 Points.
- For winning a pot with a Flush – 12 Points.
- For winning a pot with a Full House – 14 Points.
- For winning a pot with Quads or better – 100 Points.
Only games with a stake level of $0.05/$0.10 or higher with three or more players dealt into the hand are eligible for the promotion. However, a hand does not have to go to showdown in order for the points to be awarded, and players can accelerate the completion of the challenge by playing at the Zoom Poker tables. Each prize is awarded instantly at the completion of the challenge and there are no play-through requirements before the prize can be used to play other poker games or withdrawn.
Easier and Quicker to Complete than Previous Challenges
Over the first few days of the promotion, players have been reporting that Jacks or Better is much easier and quicker to complete than previous challenges. This could be because hands do not have to go to showdown in order for points to be awarded, and therefore players being dealt premium pairs can take down a pot pre-flop without penalty. In some previous challenges, a hand had to go to the flop in order for points to be awarded.
It might also be the case that players with a premium opening hand are seeing their pairs improve to three of a kind or better by the conclusion of the hand – implying that it may sometimes be better to limp into a pot and min-bet throughout the opening exchanges in order to improve not only the value of their hand but also the points they are awarded for it. This strategy naturally has risks associated with it and is not advised.
Always Going To Be Some Complainers
Despite this relatively easy promotion offering players the opportunity to win up to $10,000 every day, there are some people who are never going to be happy. Commentators on the 2+2 poker forum have moaned about heads-up games being excluded from the promotion and also games of FL Texas Hold´em and PL Omaha. Others have complained it is not fair there is a $0.05/$0.10 stake limit and that only one or two players will win the top prize.
Maybe one day PokerStars will launch a promotion for heads-up $0.01/$0.02 PL Omaha players that rewards every player taking part with a minimum $1,000 prize. Until then, “Jacks or Better” is a fun and exciting promotion that costs nothing to participate in and which could see your bankroll boosted by up to $10,000. We suggest you give it a go.