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Joker’s Wild Poker Guide: Rules, Strategies & Expert Tips

Joker Poker

Joker Poker, also known as Joker’s Wild Poker is one of the most popular video poker games and the reason for its popularity is its fun, exciting, fast-moving and you can win more often. On average, the joker appears in around ten hands, and it is a wildcard that can be nominated as any card you want increasing the chances of winning hands. The Jokers Wild Strategy is fairly easy to grasp, and our strategy card will make it even easier.

How to Play Jokers Wild Poker

How to Play Jokers Wild PokerA popular version of Video Poker is Jokers Poker, also known as Jokers Wild. This version uses a standard deck of 52 cards and also a Joker which can replace any card in the pack.

As you would expect, the chances of getting a winning hand are increased with the addition of a Joker, but the House Odds tend to be higher than for other versions such as Jacks or Better.

In fact, the expected payout is around 98.50%, more than 1% lower than Jacks or Better.

Joker Poker has 2 main versions: Kings or Better and Two Pairs or Better.

As the Kings or Better pays out for 2 extra hands, a Pair of Kings and a Pair of Aces, this one has better odds and should be played wherever you have a choice.

As with all versions of Video Poker, we suggest that you play with maximum coins to ensure the big payout comes when you get that Royal Flush. If you need to reduce the size of a Coin in order to play maximum, then do so.

Although having a Joker in the pack does increase your chances of getting a win, the big payout, for a Royal Flush is only for a ‘Natural Royal Flush’, which includes the 10, J, Q, K and A of the same suit, and no Joker. If the Joker does replace any of these cards, you will still get a nice payout, but considerably less than you would get without a Joker.

The presence of a Joker also gives us a new hand that you won’t get on standard 52 card Video Poker such as Jacks or Better, with 5 of a kind now possible. This is the 2nd best hand after the Natural Royal Flush and is, in fact, better than a Royal Flush that includes the Joker. Clearly, the 5 of a kind isn’t possible without a Joker in your hand.

If you are dealt a Joker, you don’t need to decide what card it will be as the computer will payout after you have discarded and then received cards based on the best possible outcome.

Before you read this strategy, make sure that you are familiar with the rules and poker hands. The video poker rules can be found here . A full breakdown of the poker hands you can get within any form of poker can be found here.

Once you have mastered this, you are ready to consider the best way to play Joker Poker.

Joker Poker Paytable

The payouts for Joker Poker do vary from casino to casino, and from software provider to software provider, so bear that in mind when deciding where to play. Make sure to keep an eye out for those that offer the best payout for a Natural Royal Flush.

The paytable below is one that is fairly standard and is for the Kings or Better version, which as mentioned should be played wherever possible instead of Two Pair or Better.

Hand Payout Probability% Return% Odds 1 in
Natural Royal Flush 1,000 0.00260 2.60 38461.54
Five of a Kind 200 0.00930 1.86 10752.69
Wild Royal Flush 100 0.01070 1.07 9345.79
Straight Flush 50 0.05940 2.97 1683.50
Four of a Kind 17 0.84970 14.44 117.69
Full House 7 1.56120 10.93 64.05
Flush 5 1.59760 7.99 62.59
Straight 3 1.68750 5.06 59.26
Three of a Kind 2 13.31210 26.62 7.51
Two Pairs 1 11.05470 11.05 9.05
Kings or Better 1 13.99880 14.00 7.14
Nothing 0 55.85650 0.00 1.79
Total 100.00 98.602 1.00


You will note that the minimum needed for a payout in Joker Poker is a pair of Kings or better, again this does change from casino to casino but this tends to be the most popular payoff structure.

Below shows a typical Joker Poker game, you will see you can choose the value of the coin, in the above case, it is a 1 unit coin meaning a total of 5 units for the total bet as 5 coins are being used. Playing 4 coins gives a maximum payout for a Natural Royal Flush as 3,000 coins, moving up to 5 coins makes this 5,000 coins so it is worth doing just in case you win the big one!

Joker Poker Strategy

Joker Poker Strategy

For the strategy, see the 2 tables shown below, the top one is for no Joker in your initial 5 cards, and the bottom one is if you are fortunate enough to get dealt a Joker in the 5 cards.

Simply start at the top and work your way down, when you come to an option that represents the cards you have, hold those cards and replace the rest.
It’s that simple!

No Joker

Cards Action
Natural Royal Flush/Royal Flush Keep them all and celebrate!
4 to a Natural Royal Flush Keep the 4, discard 1
Four of a Kind, Full House or Flush Keep the hand, discard 1 card if Four of a Kind
4 to a Straight Flush Discard other card
Three of a Kind or Straight Discard other 2 cards if Three of a Kind, keep Straight
3 to a Royal Flush with K or Q High Discard other 2 cards
Two Pairs Discard the other card
3 to a Royal Flush with A High Discard other 2 cards
AA or KK Discard other 3 cards
4 to a Flush Discard other card
3 to a Straight Flush with no gap Discard other 2 cards
Pair of Queens or lower Discard other 3 cards
T, J, Q, K Discard other card
3 to a Straight Flush with gaps Discard other 2 cards
Suited AK Discard other 3 cards
Suited 10K, JK or QK Discard other 3 cards
4 to a Straight with no gaps Discard other card
Suited 10A, JA or QA Discard other 3 cards
Single Ace or King Discard other 4 cards
Suited 10J, JQ or 10Q Discard other 3 cards
Anything else Discard all 5 cards

With Joker

Cards Action
Any hand of Four of a Kind or better Hold all or discard odd one if Four of a Kind
4 to a Wild Royal Flush Discard other card
Full House Hold all
4 to a Straight Flush with no gap Discard other card
Flush Hold all
4 to a Straight Flush Discard other card
Three of a Kind or Straight Discard other 2 for Three of a Kind, keep Straight
4 to a Flush with A and/or K Discard other card
3 to a Straight/Royal Flush with no gaps Discard other 2 cards
3 to a Straight Flush with gap/s Discard other 2 cards
Joker with 10JK, 10QK or JQK Discard other card
4 to a Straight with no gaps Discard other card
4 to a Flush with no A or K Discard other card
Joker with 3 consecutive cards Discard other card
Joker with A Discard other 3 cards
Joker with K Discard other 3 cards
Anything else Keep Joker, discard other 4 cards

Remember that the above is a guide that will give you the best possible chance of winning a session when followed correctly. Some players like to trust their instincts from time to time and vary their play slightly, feel free to do this as well if it feels right.


High Card – King or Ace. A Pair of these returns your stake, so it is worth holding. Note that due to the payouts High Card for Kings or Better differs from High Cards on some other forms of Video Poker

Outside Straight – 4 Cards that are consecutive and where a card at either end can provide you with a Straight – EG. 5,6,7,8

Inside Straight – 4 Cards where there is one number missing that would complete a Straight. EG 5,6,8,9

Joker Poker Tips

    1. You have 2 different versions of Jokers Wild. Kings or Better and Two Pairs or Better. Kings or Better has the best odds so you should play that one.


    1. Play Maximum Coins – The payout for five coins played is far greater than five times the payout for playing only one coin and is the way to play to maximize your winnings.


  1. Play at Machines that Offer a Full Pay Schedule – The full house pay schedule for jokers wild is a 7 / 5 machine -7 Coins are paid for the full house and 5 for the flush.


Related Articles:

Jacks or Better Strategy
Deuces Wild Strategy

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About the author

Richard Grant
Richard has from an early age been interested in casinos and the thrill of playing casino games. After finishing his degree in Law and business he started this platform in 2007 as a complete resource to online gaming with the primary objective of reducing the house edge for players. Specializing in game guides, reviews, and strategic insights, Richard is devoted to helping you hit the jackpot.



What is Joker's Wild Poker?

Joker's Wild Poker is a variation of Video Poker that functions pretty much the same as any other Video Poker game, but, in this case, you play with two extra cards. The additional card is the wild Joker – the importance of the wild Joker is that it represents a wild card, and it can replace any other card value of the game. So, you have more chances of completing a winning hand. Otherwise, the game is played as any other Video Poker game.


What are the rules of Joker's Wild Poker?

The rules remain the same as with any other Video Poker game. Once you have created an account on a casino site, you can play the game for real money. First, you need to determine the size of your bet, and once your bet is placed, then select the number of hands you would like to play at a time. When you click the Deal button, you will be dealt five cards. From this moment on, you can choose whether you want to keep all of the cards, discard them or choose which ones you want to hold onto. If you get a Joker (Wild), then you can use it to replace any card of your choice.


Can you play Joker's Wild Poker with real money?

Yes, absolutely. There are hundreds of online casinos where you can play the game and wager your own funds. Each casino site hosts a variety of casino games as well as a solid range of payment options, allowing you to make real deposits and withdrawals. When playing Joker's Wild Poker online, you will be playing against the computer or specifically on RNG-based casino games where the RNG software automatically shuffles the cards. Hence the outcome is also arbitrarily.


What do I need to do before I play Joker's Wild Poker with real money?

If you choose to play the game Joker's Wild Poker online, you need to be aware of the reliability of the online casino that hosts the game. More specifically, only online casinos which hold a valid gambling license need to have a verifiable RNG certificate that proves the fairness of the games. The license also proves that they also operate according to the law and protect your personal and financial details. Otherwise, you need to be aware of the basic rules of the game, and you also can check the specific RTP or any extra features of that particular game.


What to do if you are dealt a Joker ?

In case you are dealt a Joker, then you can discard one of the cards. But be aware of the following strong combinations - four cards that lead to a Flush, a Royal Flush, or a Straight Flush. If you have a three-of-a-kind or a Straight Flush, then you can discard two cards. Lastly, you can choose to keep the Joker in order to make a winning combination and discard the rest.


Is Joker's Wild Poker a good game?

In many ways, it is a very good Video Poker game, even though it's not as nearly as popular as other variations. Thanks to the Joker, which serves as a substitute for other cards and you have an opportunity to potentially get a winning combination. The presence of the Joker undoubtedly increases your chances of winning the game. Also, if you're already familiar with Video Poker and 5 Card Draw Poker, you'll be able to play the game in no time.

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