The mechanical characteristics of jointed rocks are mainly controlled by geometrical features of intermittent joints. The failure mechanism and shear behavior of discontinuous joints are simulated by series of direct shear tests using the particle flow code (PFC2D). The effects of joint persistence, separation and azimuth angle on the failure strength of jointed rock are studied in detail. The results shows that peak shear strength can be considered as a function of the geometrical parameters, which is in a reasonable accordance with other experimental results. Meanwhile, as for failure mechanism, joint separation and azimuth angle are especially discussed, and specific damage patterns are presented as well.