It’s only one card, but what a difference it makes! with 53 cards in the deck, the different possibilities for winning hands in Joker Poker are very appealing to slot players who enjoy video poker. When that Joker appears on the screen, it adds an immediate bonus.
The explosion in the popularity of video-poker slot machines has understandably led to the development of games that use wild cards. The Joker Poker slot machine is the most popular of these games. It adds a 53rd card to the deck for each hand. Since this gives the player more opportunities to draw winning hands, and indeed makes the game easier, the payout is lower than ordinary video poker.
The Joker will come up about ten percent of the time and the player must be prepared to react to certain situations in a different manner to how he would in an ordinary video poker game. Strategy changes in this game and the different situations must be understood to take advantage of the higher payouts.
Though there are many different types of Joker Poker machines – most pay only on two pair, others pay for Jacks-, Kings- or Aces-or-better – and pay tables vary, the strategies are applicable to most situations. In Atlantic City and some riverboats, the highest jackpot is for five-of-a-kind. In Las Vegas, the royal flush cops the top award.
The Joker can be used as a substitute for any other card, or used as a fifth imaginary card of any value (to complete a five-of-a-kind hand, for instance). The machine automatically computes the best hand when using the Joker.
The only exception to this rule is that the Joker cannot be used to complete a royal flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of the same suit). A Joker completing this hand is paid off as a straight flush. In most versions of Joker Poker, the lowest payout is two pair, unlike many video-poker machines that pay out for Jacks or Better.
There are some basic rules that apply only to Joker Poker. These guidelines are formulated by the unique situations and odds that exist by the addition of the one wild card.
Never draw more than three cards, regardless of the first five cards received. If you get a Joker in the first five cards, always keep one additional card to start with a pair, before the draw. If you don’t have a Joker, keep at least two cards of the same suit, so you at least have the beginning of a flush. Drawing a royal flush simply is not possible when you get a Joker in the first five cards, so any flush will be paid off, at best, as a straight flush.
When you start with a Joker, you can’t finish with two pair. It’s simple.
With the Joker, partial straights are better than partial flushes. If you have a Joker-Seven-Eight-Nine any Five, Six, Ten or Jack will payoff. That is 16 possibilities. For a four-card flush with a Joker, you only have ten possibilities to complete that flush. Though the payout for a straight is slightly less than for a flush, you will draw a straight more times than a flush.
Winning at Joker Poker is no more difficult than an ordinary video-poker machine. Joker Poker is, however, much more complicated, and you must understand what the addition of the wild card does to the probabilities. This very challenge makes Joker Poker more exciting.
Give it a try.