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What is Joker Poker (Joker Wild) & How to Play

As you may already know by now, Video Poker is one of the most popular casino games. No matter which casino you’re at, you’ll be sure to find this machine on the casino floors or online. They also come in many variations. While it may sound confusing to have so many different types, they all have the same goal in mind. The objective is to try and get the best possible poker hand. Aside from being really fun to play, it’s a fairly easy to get the hang of, and there’s also skill involved which makes it more engaging.

Some of the most popular versions of Video Poker are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker. Each one is fairly similar to one another, but with just some minor adjustments made on each. The purpose of having such a large variety of Video Poker games is to enhance them and make it so that they never get old, and so you never get tired of playing them. In this article, we’ll be focusing particularly on Joker Poker. We’ll be going over the basic rules on how to play as well some strategies that can help improve your game play.

Joker Wild Poker

Joker Poker, also commonly known as Joker Wild Poker, is a popular variation of Video Poker. What makes this game different from other versions such as Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better, is that it includes an additional card. In this version, the additional card is the Wild Joker. This extra card turns the standard 52 deck of cards into 53. As a result, some of the rules to the game are slightly different when comparing to other versions. One of the differences, for example, is that a pair of Kings is the lowest hand you are capable of winning with.

What is the purpose of having the extra Wild Joker card? The advantage of this card is that it can replace any of the other cards in order to create a better hand for you. In that case, this is the strongest card in the deck. Just like other Video Poker games, the goal of the game is to try and get the best hand you can with the five cards you’ve been dealt. By having the Wild Joker card in place, this will give you more chances of landing a stronger poker hand, and hopefully a winning hand.

Joker Poker Rules

Joker Poker rules are pretty much the same as other Video Poker games. Once you have placed your bet and selected the amount of hands you would like to play at a time, you will need to select the Deal button. Then you will be dealt 5 cards and will need to decide which ones (if any) you would like to discard. Once you have selected which cards you would like to replace, you can select Draw and you’ll be dealt new ones from the dealer. If you don’t have any cards you would like to get rid of, you can go ahead and keep them all. This is usually done by pressing the Hold button. Each hand will be individually counted if more than one hand is played at a time.

To get a better understanding of how the Joker behaves in Joker Poker, let’s say the cards you’re holding are two Kings, 6, 9 and a Joker. In that case, your hand will be improved from just having a pair of Queens to now having three Queens, as the Joker will now act as a Queen.

Keep in mind, a majority of the payouts for Joker Poker typically starts off with a pair of Kings, however this can vary depending on the casino you’re playing at. In that case, always make sure to check out the pay tables beforehand.

Below are the rankings of poker hands you’ll find on most of the pay tables. Starting from lowest to highest.

  • Pair of Jacks or Higher  for example, having two Queens
  • Two Pair – two cards with the same rank. For example, two 10s.
  • Three of a Kind – three cards with the same rank. Such as three 5s.
  • Straight – a hand with consecutive cards. For example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Flush – where all cards have the same suit, such as, hearts, clubs, diamonds or spades.
  • Full House – a pair of cards as well as a three of a kind. For example, three Ks and two 10s.
  • Poker four cards with the same rank. Such as four Qs.
  • Straight Flush – a hand that is both a straight and a flush. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 all having the same suit.
  • Royal Flush – five cards with the same suit starting from 10 to Ace.

Joker Poker Strategy

Now that you are more familiar with this version, let’s go ahead and talk about some strategies that can help you become a better player. Keep in mind, the average payout ratio is usually somewhere around 99%, depending on the amount of skill you have. This is why it’s important to use a good Joker Poker strategy so that you’ll make wise decisions and your bets won’t go to waste. Speaking of which, you can go ahead and learn some of the basic strategies we’ve provided below. We’ve also broken up the strategies into two different groups. The first group are for hands that include a Joker, and the other is for situations you have not been dealt a joker.

How to play your cards if you are dealt a Joker:

  • Discard just one of the cards if they are not a part of any of these combinations – four cards to a flush, four cards to a straight flush, four cards to a straight, four of a kind and four cards to a royal flush.
  • Discard two cards that do not make up one of these hand combinations – straight flush or three of a kind.
  • For any other hands not mentioned, go ahead and keep the Joker and discard the rest.

How to play your cards if you are NOT dealt a Joker:

  • Discard the remaining two cards if you receive three cards to a straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush
  • Discard the 5th card if you are ever dealt four cards to a straight, flush, straight flush or a royal flush.
  • If you’re dealt three of a kind, go ahead and discard the other two cards.
  • If you are dealt a four of a kind, go ahead and discard the 5th
  • Discard the 5th card if you receive two pairs so that you have a chance to land a full house.
  • Discard the remaining three cards if you ever receive two cards to royal flush, two cards to a straight flush or a pair.
  • Be sure to discard all the cards for any other hands that are not mentioned.

If you like this variation of Video Poker and would like to try some others, we highly recommend you to try out a couple of ours right here at Caesars Casino. We offer two different versions such as Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better. Both of these you can play for free, anytime, any day, anywhere.

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