Here is another in our series of tips on how to play the various video poker games on offer at Springbok Online Casino. One thing we always like to point out is that when you play any game at an online casino, you can go from game to game, both within a game category or outside it, and you never “lose your seat” or have to wait when you come back to the game you were playing originally.
So, if you have never tried Joker Poker video poker, we have a great gaming treat in store for you. Come give it a try; you might find that you like it over all other video poker games!
Joker Poker video poker is like any other standard video poker except that one joker has been added to the deck and that joker is wild. If you’re like most video poker players, you like to play deuces wild video poker. In deuces wild there are four wild cards whilst in Joker Poker there is just the one wild joker.
The presence of even a single wild card changes strategy and the fact that there is but one wild card makes strategy different in Joker Poker video poker than it is in Deuces Wild.
Your First Five Cards
As in all variations of video poker, you get five cards. You can keep any number of them and you can discard any number of them. The basic strategy for which cards to keep, if any, and how many cards to draw, if any, is based on the specific game you’re playing.
For instance, if you are playing Jacks or Better, a pair less than Jacks may be a poor hand to keep whilst a pair of jacks or better is usually the best hand to keep. If you remember your Jacks or Better strategy, you might have four to a Royal Flush in addition to a pair of Jacks. In that case, you break the pair and go for the Royal Flush. That’s because the payout for a Royal Flush is so much higher than the payout for a “mere” pair of Jacks.
So, the first key in Joker Poker is whether you have a joker in the first five cards. As in all poker variations with a wild card or cards, there also exists the possibility of five of a kind. In Joker Poker, you could get a Royal Flush with the joker as one of the Royals. This type of Royal Flush pays less than a clean Royal Flush.
Always Bet the Maximum
This is the first basic rule of thumb in all video poker games. The payout for a Royal Flush is much higher if you’ve bet the maximum. Now, in a game without a wild card, if you have four of a kind, you keep the hand and it really makes no difference if you draw or not; you can’t improve on a four of a kind without a wild card.
In Joker Poker, you have to remember to discard the extra card in a four of a kind situation because you could get five of a kind!
Always Go for the Top Prize
The strategy cards in Joker Poker vary depending on whether or not you have a joker in the first five cards but the basic strategy is the same: you try for the highest realistic hand you can get.
For example, if you have a royal flush, a straight flush, a full house, four of a kind, a flush, or in most cases a straight, you hold those hands. You draw with four of a kind hoping to get a fifth card of the same rank. If the straight you have is four to a Royal Flush or a straight flush and an unsuited card, the best strategy is to give up the straight in pursuit of the royal flush or straight flush.
Hierarchy of Hands
Four to a good hand is a lot better than three to a good hand. If you have three to a flush or straight flush it’s a lot better than three to a straight. Some players prefer discarding all cards when it’s three to a straight because they want the chance to get a better hand with five draws instead of two.
Statistically, it’s considered correct strategy to keep three to a straight flush even if you have a low winning pair (Jacks or Queens) but not if you have a pair of Aces or Kings. Some players prefer to keep all winning hands, even the pair of Jacks and discard three to a straight flush.
Playing 100 Hands
Since you can play up to 100 hands in Joker Poker video poker here at Springbok, you’ll probably have many chances to see the odds play out. You might decide to change your strategy regarding discards and draws based on your experience playing so many hands at once.
Keep in mind that playing 100 hands may require a big initial investment as you have to play the same bet on each hand. So, even if you like the idea of playing so many hands at once, you might be better off playing for the minimum bet instead of the maximum in these cases.
You don’t have to play all 100 hands in order to play multi-hand video poker at Springbok so gauge your bankroll and choose your number of simultaneous hands accordingly.
With a Joker
When you get a joker in the first five cards the strategy changes a bit as you have a better chance to get one of the highest paying hands. You should still go for the highest possible realistic hand.
At the lower end of the scale, you will never discard all five of your cards since you have to keep the joker. There are many hands with a joker that are not worth keeping. The presence of the joker makes it much more possible to get a very high paying hand so don’t keep cards looking for the small payout. Use the joker as the stepping stone to a possible big win