Joker Wild

The name Joker Wild is not a protected name, so each game developer can use their own rules for the game, e.g. when it comes to the number or jokers used. However, in most casinos, Joker Wild is a video poker game characterized by the presence of one joker card in the deck. This type of Joker Wild is played with a standard 52 card deck to which one joker card has been added. The joker card is a wild card that can substitute any other card to help you build a winning poker hand. Also, the joker card makes it possible to create the highly unusual poker hand five of a kind.

Joker WildStatistically speaking, since there is one joker card for every other 52 cards and you receive five cards in each game, you can expect the joker to appear – on average – roughly once every tenth hand. This is however just an average and there is nothing stopping the joker from appearing three hands in a row or not appearing in over twenty hands in a row, etc.

Joker Wild video poker is offered in several different variants. These are the three most commonly occurring ones:

  • Joker Wild Kings or Better
  • Joker Wild Aces or Better
  • Joker Wild Two Pair or Better

Finding Joker Wild Tens or Better or Joker Wild Jacks or Better is rare, since the joker makes it easier to form winning hands and the game make needs to adjust the rules accordingly to avoid creating a game with a very high likelihood of the player winning. If you do find Joker Wild Tens or Better or Joker Wild Jacks or Better video poker machines, you can expect the paytable to have been adjusted to accommodate for the presence of a joker card in the deck. So, while you have a higher than normal chance of forming a winning poker hand (as compared to regular Tens or Better / Jacks or Better) you will receive less money when you win.

Example of a payout table for Joker Wild Kings or Better

This is an example of how a payout table can look for Joker Wild Kings or Better. Always check the payout table for the exact machine you are planning to play Joker Wild Kings or Better on, because the tables do vary from machine to machine.

On virtually all Joker Wild Kings or Better video poker machines, you can be 1 coin, 2 coins, 3 coins, 4 coins or 5 coins. However, to simplify things, we are only showing the payouts for 1 coin bets and 5 coin bets in this paytable.

Hand 1 coin 5 coins

Royal Straight Flush without a joker

(also known as natural Royal Straight Flush)

250

4000

Five of a kind

200

1000

Royal Straight Flush with the help of a joker

100

500

Straight Flush

50

250

Four of a kind

20

100

Full House

7

35

Flush

5

25

Straight

3

15

Three of a kind

2

10

Two Pair

1

5

Pair of Kings or Better

1

5

Basic strategy for Joker Wild Kings or Better

You use this strategy outline by starting at the topmost point and see if it is true for your start hand. If not, you go down to the second point, and so on. There is one set of rules for start hands that include the joker card and another set of rules for start hands that don’t.

If one of your initial five cards is a joker:

  • If you get four cards of a Royal Straight Flush (e.g. five of spades + ten of hearts + jack of hearts + king of hearts + joker) discard the card that is not a part of the potential Royal Straight Flush. This is true even if doing so means destroying a winning poker hand, e.g. ten of hearts + jack of hearts + king of hearts + king of spades + joker.
  • If your start hand is three of a kind or better (e.g. 8 + 8 + joker) keep these cards and discard the cards not included in your three of a kind or better.Example: Your hand is 3 + 5 + 8 + 8 + joker. Keep 8 + 8 + joker and discard 3 + 5.
  • If you have four cards of a Straight Flush, discard the fifth card.
  • If you have four cards of a flush, and that flush contains a king or an ace or both, discard the fifth card.
  • If you have three cards of a Royal Straight Flush, discard the other two cards.
  • If you have a pair of kings or a pair of aces, discard the other three cards.
  • If you have three cards of the Straight Flush, discard the other two cards.
  • If you have four cards of a Flush, discard the fifth card.
  • If you have four cards in sequential order, regardless of suit, discard the fifth card.
  • If you do not have any of the above, keep the joker and discard the other four cards.

If none of your initial five cards is a joker:

  • Keep any winning hand, unless you have four cards of a Royal Straight Flush. If you have four cards of a Royal Straight Flush, discard the fifth card even if it means destroying a winning hand.
  • If you have three cards of the Royal Straight Flush, discard the other two cards.
  • If you have four cards of a Flush, discard the fifth card.
  • If you have a non-winning pair, discard the other three cards.
  • If you have three cards of the Straight Flush, discard the other two cards.
  • If you have four cards in sequential order, discard the fifth card.
  • If you have two cards of a Royal Straight Flush, and one of these cards is a king or an ace, discard the other three cards.
  • If you have a king and an ace of different suites, discard the other three cards.
  • If you have an ace, discard the other four cards.
  • If you have a king, discard the other four cards.
  • If you have two cards of a Royal Straight Flush, and none of these two cards is a king or an ace, discard the other three cards.
  • If you have none of the above, discard all five cards.