How to Play Joker Poker

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JokerJoker Poker is a variety of video poker, where a single Joker is introduced into the game, this card acting as a wild card. Due to the introduction of the joker, the strategy for this game will be different to the ones employed at other video poker games.

In this guide, I start with an explanation of Joker poker and explain why you should always play with 5 coins. I then move onto a comprehensive strategy guide for the game – with two tables, based on whether or not you have a Joker in your original 5 cards.

How to Play Joker Poker

Here is an example hand when playing Joker Poker. You’ll notice there is a Joker in the hand, meaning that this card will now become the best possible it can – which in this case is a Queen, improving the hand to 3 of a kind.

Joker Poker 1

You’ll notice from the pay table below that there are five columns, each representing the number of coins you’ll be playing for. As with all forms of video poker, you should always play to the maximum amount of 5 coins. This is due to the increased amount of coins you’ll receive when hitting a Royal Flush – 5,000 with 5 coins, but just 3,000 if betting with 4 coins. In this version of the game, you’ll also find the ‘5 of a kind’ payout and both a ‘Natural Royal Flush’ and a ‘Joker Royal Flush’.

Joker Video Poker

Joker Poker Strategy Chart

No Joker

  1. Natural Royal Flush or Straight Flush – keep all 5!
  2. 4 to a Natural Royal Flush – keep these 4 and discard the other card
  3. 4 of a kind, full house or flush – keep these hands (discard the other card with 4 of a kind)
  4. 4 to a straight flush – discard the other card
  5. 3 of a kind or a straight – discard the other two cards with 3 of a kind, keep all 5 with the straight
  6. 3 to a Royal Flush with K or Q high – discard the other two cards
  7. Two pairs – discard the other card
  8. 3 to a Royal Flush with A high – discard the other two cards
  9. AA or KK – discard the other 3 cards
  10. 4 to a flush – discard the other card
  11. 3 to a straight flush (no gap – for example, 7, 8 and 9) – discard the other two cards
  12. Low Pair (QQ or below) – discard the other three cards
  13. TJQK (unsuited) – discard the other card
  14. 3 to a straight flush with either one gap (for example 4, 6 and 7) or 2 gaps with K or A (for example 9, Q and K) – discard the other two cards
  15. Suited AK – discard the other 3 cards
  16. Open ended straight – discard the other card
  17. 3 to a straight flush with 2 gaps (for example 2, 4 and 6)
  18. Suited TK, JK or QK – discard the other three cards
  19. Suited TA, JA, QA – discard the other three cards
  20. Single Ace or King – discard the other four cards
  21. Suited TJ, JQ or TQ – discard the other three cards
  22. Discard all five cards

With the Joker

  1. Any hand which is 4 of a kind or better (discard the other card if exactly 4 of a kind)
  2. 4 to a wild Royal with King high – discard the other card
  3. Full House – keep all 5 cards
  4. 4 to a Wild Royal with King high – discard the other card
  5. 4 to a straight flush with no gap 3,4,5,6 or higher – discard the other card
  6. Made Flush – keep all 5 cards
  7. 4 to a straight flush (all other straight flush draws not included in 4) – discard the other card
  8. 3 of a kind or straight – keep all five with the straight, discard the other two with three of a kind
  9. 4 to a Flush with at least an Ace or King – Discard the other card
  10. 3 to a straight/royal flush with either no gaps or an Ace or King – discard the other two cards
  11. 3 to a straight flush with 1 gap (for example 4,6 and a Joker)
  12. Joker with TJK, TQK or JQK (not suited) – discard the other card
  13. 3 to a straight flush with 2 gaps (for example 4, 7 and a Joker) – discard the other three cards
  14. Open ended straight draw – discard the other card
  15. Four to a flush with no Ace or King – discard the other card
  16. Joker with a 6, 7 or an 8 – discard the other three
  17. Joker with 10, 5 or 9 – discard the other three
  18. Joker with a Jack – discard the other three
  19. Joker only – discard all other 4 cards

Using the Strategy Charts

To use the above charts, you’ll firstly look at your hand – if you have a joker, you’ll use the ‘with the joker’ chart, if you don’t, you’ll use the ‘no joker’ chart. You’ll then look up your hand on the chart to see the best course of action. On occasions, your hand will apply to two or more sections of the chart – in this case you’ll choose the option which is higher on the list.

Here is an example hand:

Joker Poker Example Hand

In the hand above we have a joker, so you’ll head to the ‘with the joker’ chart. This hand hits the chart in many ways, however there are two obvious hands that stand out. Firstly, you have ‘3 to a straight/royal flush with either no gaps or an Ace or King’ which is number 10 on the chart. Secondly you have a made flush which is number 6 on the chart. As the second option is higher up the chart, you should stick with the Flush by holding all five cards, and forego the possibility of the Royal Flush.

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