Joker Poker (Joker Wild) Video Poker

Joker Poker (Joker Wild)

Joker Poker (or Joker Wild in some softwares) is a Jacks or Better variation with one Joker in the deck acting as a wild. There are many variations of Joker Poker paytables. In addition the lowest winning hand in some versions of Joker Poker is Two Pairs instead of Pair of Kings. Usually the version with Pair of Kings has a smaller house edge so you should choose that game. Grand Virtual and Cantor Gaming softwares have Aces or Better version available.

The most common Joker Wild (Kings or better) paytable is shown below. With this paytable the game has 98.60% return or 1.40% house edge.

Hand Payout Probability Return ODDS 1 in … CUMULATIVE ODDS 1 in …
Natural Royal flush 1000 0.00260 % 2.60% 38461.54 38461.54
Five of a kind 200 0.00930 % 1.86% 10752.69 8403.36
Wild Royal Flush 100 0.01070 % 1.07% 9345.79 4424.78
Straight Flush 50 0.05940 % 2.97% 1683.50 1219.51
Four of a kind 17 0.84970 % 14.44% 117.69 107.33
Full House 7 1.56120 % 10.93% 64.05 40.11
Flush 5 1.59760 % 7.99% 62.59 24.45
Straight 3 1.68750 % 5.06% 59.26 17.31
3 of a kind 2 13.31210 % 26.62% 7.51 5.24
Two Pairs 1 11.05470 % 11.05% 9.05 3.32
Kings or better 1 13.99880 % 14.00% 7.14 2.27
Nothing 0 55.85650 % 0.00% 1.79 1.00
Total   100.00% 98.602 % 1.00  

The “Payout” shows the payout in terms of how many times the total bet is returned. The “Probability” column shows the probability of getting this hand and the “Return” column shows how much of total return this hand represents from the total return. For example we see that 26.6 % of total return comes from Three of a kind hands. The first “Odds” column shows how many hands it takes on average to get that payout. We see that it takes ~10700 hands played on average to get Five of a kind (= four of a kind + joker). The second “Odds” column shows how many hands it takes on average to get at least that payout. So on average it takes ~107 hands to get a Four of a Kind or better hand and ~4400 hands to get Wild royal flush or better hand.

Joker Poker Optimal Strategy and Rule Variations

With optimal strategy, Joker Poker with above paytable returns 98.60 % (1.40 % house edge). This paytable is used on Microgaming, Playtech, Rival, Odds On and multihand Chatwell. The simplified optimal strategy is listed in the table below:

JOKER POKER STRATEGY
Choose a play that is highest on the list depending on whether you were dealt Joker or not

NO JOKER
1 Natural Royal Flush, Straight Flush
2 4 to a Natural Royal Flush
3 4 of a Kind, Full House, Flush
4 4 to a Straight Flush
5 3 of a kind, Straight
6 3 to a royal, King or Queen high
7 Two Pair
8 3 to a royal, Ace high
9 Pair of Kings or Aces
10 4 to a Flush
11 3 to Straight Flush, No Gap
12 Low Pair
13 Unsuited TJQK
14 3 to Straight Flush with either of the following: 1 Gap (5,7,8) or 2 Gaps & High Card (9,T,K)
15 Suited KA
16 4 to outside-straight
17 3 to Straight Flush with 2 gaps (eg. 4,6,8)
18 Suited TK, JK, QK
19 Suited TA, JA, QA
20 Ace or King
21 Suited JT, JQ, TQ
22 Replace all cards
WITH JOKER
1 4 of A kind or better to 5 of a kind
2 4 to a Wild Royal with King high
3 Full house
4 4 to a Wild Royal with Ace high
5 4 to Straight Flush, No Gap, excluding A23, 234
6 Flush
7 4 to Straight Flush, 1 or 2 gaps, including A23, 234
8 3 of a kind, Straight
9 4 to a Flush with 1-2 High Cards (King/Ace)
10 3 to Straight Flush / 3 to Wild Royal Flush, either no Gaps or 1-2 High Cards (Ace/King)
11 3 to Straight Flush, 1 Gap (eg.5,7)
12 Joker + Unsuited TJK, TQK, JQK
12 Joker + Ace or Joker + King
13 3 to Straight Flush, 2 Gaps (eg. 5,8)
14 4 to outside straight (345 - 9TJ)
15 Four to a Flush with no high cards
16 Joker + 6 or 7 or 8
17 Joker + T or 5 or 9
18 Joker + Jack
19 Keep Joker only

Definitions:
gap – missing rank between cards, for example 6,8,10 has two gaps
High-card = Ace or King
inside-straight – a straight which can be completed only one way (eg. 7,8,9,J or A,2,3,4)
outside-straight – A straight which can be completed two-way (eg.7,8,9,10)

You can very well use this strategy for other softwares too like Boss Media, Cryptologic, RTG, Net Ent etc. The payout differences are so small that the strategy is basically the same and using the strategy above results just 0.0X% return from the optimal strategy.

Joker Poker Introduction Video

Joker Poker House Edge and Variance

The return of most common Joker Poker paytable is 98.60%. Boss Media and Cryptologic casinos have slightly better paytable with 98.94% return. The standard deviation per hand of Joker Wild is 5.99. This value is close to standard deviation of Deuces Wild so these two games have about the same variance. Notice that the variance is higher than on Jacks or Better (4.42 SD per hand).