One of the most popular online casino games, Joker Poker, is a video poker game that is also known as ‘Joker Wild.’ This game is readily available at every casino, in-person and online too. In this game, the objective of the players is to try to get the best possible poker hand. What makes this game even more fun is that it involves skill and is not based on pure chance. The player has some control over the outcome. Some other video poker games like this are ‘Jacks or Better’ and ‘Deuces Wild.’ All of them are quite similar to each other, with just a few distinctions. Joker Poker is a variation of ‘Jacks or Better,’ and the only difference between them is the presence of the wild card – the Joker in Joker Poker. There are so many variations of video poker so that the concept never gets old, and players never get bored of them.
In this article, we will focus on Joker Poker and if you are interested in the game or want to become a better player, then, read on further.
The Wild Card in Joker Poker
As mentioned above, Joker Poker has an additional card, which is the Wild Joker. The presence of this wild card changes the standard deck of cards from 52 to 53. Due to this, the rules of this video poker game also becomes different from that of ‘Jacks or Better.’
The advantage of the Wild Joker card is that the player can replace any card with it to create a better hand. This makes the Wild Joker card the strongest card in the deck. With the five cards that a player is dealt with, the aim is to try to get the best hand. When you have the Wild Joker card, it makes it easier for the player to land the strongest Poker hand with which they can probably even win the game.
Joker Poker: How to play?
Joker Poker, like every other video Poker game, follows the same format. You have to insert money, and it gets converted into credits depending on the denomination of the gaming machine. Suppose, if you are playing on a quarter machine ($0.25) and you insert $100, it gets converted to 400 credits. When you play on a dollar machine, the $100 will be 100 credits only.
After this, you have to decide how many credits you want to use on a single hand, ranging between 1 and 5, but if you want to win, you should always choose five credits. You ask why? Let’s get into the explanation.
In any video Poker game, a royal flush is the biggest jackpot. A royal flush entails the 10, jack, queen, king, and ace of a single suit. This will have a payout of 200 to 1, but if you have used five credits, then you get a payout of 800 to 1. That is a big difference and makes up for risking the credits to a very high payout percentage. Payback percentage is the amount of money that the casino is expected to pay you back on each of your bets statistically. Thus, you should always make the bet which offers you the highest payback percentage when everything else is equal. The chances of acquiring a royal flush are very low. It occurs about once every 40,000 hands, even with a wild joker card.
After choosing the credits, the game machine deals with a five-card hand. Now, it’s your choice to keep or discard any card in your hand. Thus, you get a total of 32 possible ways to play each hand, which puts you on the steering wheel of this game. You are offered an expected return on each possible way of playing each hand. This is why Joker Poker employs skill much more than luck and makes the game even more interesting and fun to play.
The more mistakes you make, the lesser your payout percentage is. After you have chosen the cards you want to keep, the game deals you replacement cards for the cards you have thrown away, and based on the paytable in the game; it pays you off. The paytables vary from machine to machine in Joker Poker. Let’s take a look at the poker hands rankings that you are highly likely to find on most of the paytables in Joker Poker. This ranking is in ascending order:
- Pair of Jacks or Higher – like having two Queens
- Two Pair – a hand with two cards of the same rank, like, two 10s.
- Three of a Kind – a hand with three cards of the same rank, like three 5s.
- Straight – a hand having consecutive cards (2,3,4,5,6)
- Flush – a hand having all cards with the same suit such as hearts, clubs, diamonds, or spaces.
- Full House – a hand with a pair of cards and three of a kind such as three Kings and two 10s
- Poker – a hand has four cards with the same rank, like four Queens.
- Straight Flush – both straight and flush hand. For example, 5,6,7,8,9 with the same suit.
- Royal Flush – a hand having cards of the same suit starting from 10, Jack, Queen, King, to finally Ace.
The best strategies in Joker Poker
There are many strategies in Joker Poker that can help you win a lot and even the biggest jackpot. But there is no foolproof strategy that guarantees you the win because although Joker Poker is a skill-based game mostly, it is also dependent on luck to a great extent. So, you should try to implement the basic strategy. If you follow one rule, you will have much higher chances of winning in this video Poker game, and that is, you must never discard the Wild Joker card.
If you have ever played ‘Jacks or Better,’ you shouldn’t have too much of a problem playing Joker Poker, and it is an easy enough game to learn with a few tips and tricks. The payout of this game is reasonably good, and thus, you should definitely learn and play it.