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Etymology appears here: jackpot "big prize," 1944, from obsolete poker sense (1881) of progressive antes that begin when no player has a pair of jacks or better. Earlier, in criminal slang, it meant "trouble," especially "an arrest" (1902). 13:34, 18 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

RFV discussion: August 2011–February 2012[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification (permalink).

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Rfv-sense: "A variant of draw poker in which players contribute equally to the pot and in which betting may be started only by a player with a pair of jacks or a better hand. In some variations the pot accumulates if no player is able to start." I was in the belief that this variant is called "jacks or better". --Hekaheka 07:41, 10 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Difficult. Even if what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, it doesn't preclude this usage. Perhaps more likely is that "jackpot" is any game that involves an accumulating prize pool. One such is described here. Such a sense would possibly be deemed derivative to the prize pool sense. It seems to me that it would be difficult if not impossible to provide three citations that prove the rules of the game. The existing citation, for example, merely hints that they are playing for money. — Pingkudimmi 09:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
My understanding is also that there are several variants of poker, which may by played under "jackpot" rule, i.e. there's an accumulating pot involved. In case of "jacks or better", only the variant in which the pot accumulates could be called "jackpot". I think the definition for "jackpot" poker should be something like this: "Any variant of poker in which the pot accumulates until one of the players gets a hand which qualifies for collecting the pot" (which would bring it so close to def #2 that they could be merged). --Hekaheka 16:24, 10 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
This definition was added by User:Pingku. Maybe he knows better. --Hekaheka 16:30, 10 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Ah.. A mistake, by the look of it; I think I was looking for a definition to match the usage. Thanks for picking this up. Maybe "jackpots"; it's apparently from here, but not backed up with other mentions/usages, as far as I can tell at the moment. — Pingkudimmi 02:59, 11 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I read a number of poker rules available in the internet. Seems that the original definition is almost correct in the sense that "jacks or better" is usually played with jackpot rule. However, there are many other ways to accumulate a jackpot. I think we should delete the sense on the grounds that "jackpot" or "jackpot poker" may mean any of a number of game variants, and cannot therefore be a set term. --Hekaheka 16:59, 12 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I've removed the sense but kept a usage note. The usage note could alternatively be converted back into a broad sense encompassing all variants. - -sche (discuss) 00:28, 8 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]