Joker Poker Video Poker

Joker Poker is a video poker variation that uses a joker as the wildcard. The joker can be used as a substitute for any other card to form a winning hand.

This game differs from many in that it uses a joker and features a 53-card deck. Most other video poker games exclude jokers and have a 52-card deck.

Aside from the wildcard, Joker Poker is quite similar to Jacks or Better. The latter is the most common game in the Michigan online gaming market. Those who’ve played Jacks or Better should experience little trouble adjusting to Joker Poker.

This guide discusses the finer points of Joker Poker, including its rules, playing process, pay table and strategy.

Joker Poker Rules

Joker Poker features a 53-card deck and one joker. The joker substitutes for other cards when necessary to form winning hands or upgrade existing wins.

Here’s an example:

  • A player receives an ace of diamonds, three of clubs, eight of clubs, 10 of hearts and a joker.
  • This hand would normally not qualify for a win.
  • However, the joker substitutes as an additional ace.
  • The player wins with a pair of aces.

All payouts are based on traditional poker rankings. In the common Kings or Better version, you have to hold at least a pair of kings to earn a payout.

Betting Options

This game lets you wager between one and five coins on each hand. For reasons explained later, gamblers should consider risking all five credits.

Some Michigan online casinos also let Joker Poker players adjust the coin denomination. For example, you might be able to change the coin value from 1 cent to $1.

In this scenario, you could risk anywhere from 1 cent to $5, which would be five hands at the maximum coin size. You can adjust your denomination and number of coins on any hand.

Common Online Buttons

Most Michigan internet casinos offer the following buttons for Joker Poker games:

  • Bet One – Increase the current bet by a single coin.
  • Bet Max – Automatically wager all five coins.
  • Coin denomination – Change the coin value.
  • Number of hands – Add more hands in play (multi-hand variations only).
  • Help screen – See the Joker Poker rules.
  • Speed – Change the speed at which hands are dealt.

How To Play Joker Poker

Online Joker Poker features an easy playing process. Here are the simple steps you take to play hands:

  1. Choose the coin denomination.
  2. Select the number of coins.
  3. Pick the deal button.
  4. Choose which cards to hold and discard.
  5. Select the draw button.

The software will review a hand to determine whether it qualifies for a prize. It’ll pay all wins according to the given pay table.

Wildcard

You should be on the lookout for jokers and definitely should never discard them. These wildcards are key to scoring payouts and earning bigger wins.

Only one joker is in each deck. Therefore, you have approximately a 10 percent chance of being dealt a joker among your five cards.

Of course, you have the opportunity to draw for a joker. This ability improves your chances of obtaining wildcards.

Changing Bets

Online Michigan Joker Poker gives players a variety of betting options. You can use these options to adjust your bet size and coin denomination between each round.

You can also select “max bet” to speed up the process. Max bet automatically wagers five coins, which is optimal from a strategy perspective.

Joker Poker Pay Tables

Joker Poker features a variety of pay tables. No Michigan online casino offers the full-pay version (100.64% Return to Player, or RTP).

However, they may offer one or more of the following pay tables:

Pay Table #1 (20/7)

Hand1 Coin2 Coin3 Coin4 Coin5 Coin
Natural royal flush (w/o joker)25050075010004000
Five of a kind2004006008001000
Royal flush with joker100200300400500
Straight Flush50100150200250
Four of a Kind20406080100
Full House714212835
Flush510152025
Straight3691215
Three of a Kind246810
Two pairs12345
Kings or better12345

Pay Table #2 (18/7)

Hand1 Coin2 Coin3 Coin4 Coin5 Coin
Natural royal flush (w/o joker)7501,5002,2503,0005,000
Five of a kind2004006008001,000
Royal flush with joker100200300400500
Straight Flush50100150200250
Four of a Kind1836547290
Full House714212835
Flush510152025
Straight3691215
Three of a Kind246810
Two pairs12345
Kings or better12345

Maximum jackpot version

Hand1 Coin2 Coin3 Coin4 Coin5 Coin
Natural royal flush (w/o joker)7501,5002,2503,0005,000
Five of a kind2004006008001,000
Royal flush with joker100200300400500
Straight Flush50100150200250
Four of a Kind1736547290
Full House714212835
Flush510152025
Straight3691215
Three of a Kind246810
Two pairs12345
Kings or better12345

Joker Poker RTP

The Joker Poker RTP varies based on which pay table is in use. Here are the varying payout percentages based on the exact table:

  • 20/7 = 99.98% RTP
  • 18/7 = 98.94% RTP
  • Maximum Jackpot = 98.44% RTP

The 18/7 pay table is commonly available across the Michigan gaming market. However, players should look for even better games to improve their chances of making money.

What About Full Pay Joker Poker?

One version of Joker Poker offers 100.64% RTP. Here’s the pay table for this variation:

Hand1 Coin2 Coin3 Coin4 Coin5 Coin
Natural royal flush (w/o joker)7501,5002,2503,0005,000
Five of a kind2004006008001,000
Royal flush with joker100200300400500
Straight Flush50100150200250
Four of a Kind1736547290
Full House714212835
Flush510152025
Straight3691215
Three of a Kind246810
Two pairs12345
Kings or better12345

This pay table would be ideal if it were available. Unfortunately, no Michigan online casino offers the full-pay version.

No online or land-based casino outside of Nevada features this game, and even their casinos have dramatically scaled back on their number of full-pay variations.

How Is Joker Poker Unique?

Joker Poker is fairly unique compared to other video variations thanks to its wildcard. It offers game-specific payouts as a result of the wildcard, including a natural royal, wild royal and five-of-a-kind.

The fact Joker Poker uses a joker at all is significant. Most other video poker games don’t incorporate a joker.

The Kings or Better version also differs from many variations. While many games either make the qualifying hand a pair of jacks or two pairs, Joker Poker requires players to hold a pair of kings.

Finally, this game can feature different maximum royal flush payouts. The last pay table in the section above boasts a 5,000-coin maximum royal flush. The average video poker game, in contrast, offers a 4,000-coin max royal.

Why Play Five Coins?

You can use anywhere from one to five coins when playing this game. However, you should strongly consider wagering five credits. No matter if the maximum royal flush is worth 4,000 or 5,000 coins, you benefit from a larger increase in the top payout.

The royal prize increases proportionally when one bets one through four coins. However, it grows from 1,000 credits on a four-coin bet to 4,000 credits on maximum wagers.

The increase pumps the RTP up by around 2%. Therefore, you should wager five coins per hand if you have the necessary bankroll.

Joker Poker Strategy

Like with any video poker game, Joker Poker features a fairly complex strategy, and no player knows optimal strategy when they first start.

However, you can quickly learn an optimal strategy by reviewing a strategy chart. These charts break down what cards or hands you should keep based on if you’re holding a joker or not.

Our charts below show what combination of cards you should hold onto in each situation.

Strategy When Not Holding A Joker

  • Natural royal flush, straight flush
  • Four of a kind, full house, flush
  • Four cards to a straight flush
  • Three of a kind, straight
  • Three cards to a royal flush (king or queen high)
  • Two pairs
  • Three cards to a royal flush, ace high
  • Pair of aces or kings
  • Four cards to a flush
  • Three cards to a straight flush (outside straight)
  • Low pair
  • Unsuited 10, jak, queen and king
  • Three cards to a straight flush with five, seven and eight, or nine, 10 and king
  • Suited ace and king
  • Four cards to an outside straight
  • Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps (ex. two, four and six suited)
  • Suited king/queen, king/jack or king/10
  • Suited ace/queen, ace/jack or ace/10
  • Ace or king
  • Suited queen/10, queen/jack or jack/10

Strategy When Holding a Joker

  • Four cards to a wild royal flush (king high)
  • Full house
  • Four cards to a wild royal flush (ace high)
  • Four cards to a straight flush with no gaps
  • Flush
  • Four cards to a straight flush with one or two gaps (ex. three, four, six and seven suited)
  • Three of a kind, straight
  • Four cards to a flush with an ace and/or king
  • Three cards to a straight flush, three cards to a wild royal flush
  • Three cards to a straight flush with one gap (ex. seven and nine)
  • Joker + unsuited king-queen-jack, king-queen-10 or king-jack-10
  • Joker + king + ace or joker
  • Three cards to a straight flush with two gaps (ex. four and seven)
  • Four cards to an outside straight
  • Four cards to a flush with no ace or king
  • Joker + eight or seven or six
  • Joker + 10, nine or a five
  • Joker + jack
  • Joker only

Free Online Joker Poker

Each Michigan online casino is expected to offer free video poker when they open either late 2020 or in 2021. You can, and should, use the free version to hone your Joker Poker skills.

All you need to do is register for an account at a Michigan gaming site. After registration is complete, you’ll enjoy access to free games.

You should use the strategy chart presented above in conjunction with the free version. That way, you can practice making the right moves before wagering real money.

Joker Poker Trainers

Trainers offer another way to learn Joker Poker strategy. These programs indicate when you make correct and incorrect decisions.

If you hold one or more of the wrong cards, the trainer will point out the mistake and will also indicate what players should hold instead.

These programs are useful for those who want a more interactive way to learn. You get to enjoy video poker while also receiving a coaching lesson in the process.

Joker Poker trainers are widely available for free across the internet too. You merely need to use your web browser to search these programs to begin using them.

The downside, though, is these programs are like training wheels for video poker. You don’t get the luxury of receiving feedback when playing for real money at Michigan online casinos.

These tools may be helpful in the beginning. Eventually, though, you might want to try standard free video poker so you can make the right decisions without extra help.

Michigan Video Poker Bonuses

One more tip is to pick up bonuses when playing online Joker Poker. Michigan casinos commonly offer welcome bonuses to new players.

A welcome offer consists of a large deposit bonus worth a match percentage based on your deposit amount.

Here’s an example:

  • A casino features a 100% match bonus worth up to $500.
  • A gambler deposits $250.
  • They now qualify for a $250 bonus.

From here, players need to satisfy the terms and conditions of video poker games, which you should always read before depositing at a new casino.

You should also look for other available promotions. More promos ensure you have additional opportunities to keep racking up free money beyond your initial deposit.