Casino Games Rules And Strategy Lessons

Joker Poker Strategy

Joker Poker is a variant of video poker that is offered in most online casinos. It is played with a deck of 53 cards, the extra card being the joker that substitutes for other cards in order to make a winning poker hand. In most online casinos payouts for Joker Poker begin with the "kings or better" poker hand, which is a pair of kings. Though the payout tables may differ slightly from online casino to online casino, the average payout ratio is usually maintained at close to 99% with optimum play.

In fact the high payout ratios of video poker games are subject to optimum play and therefore it is essential to learn the strategy associated with each video poker game. Since the different variants of video poker are played under different rules and with different payout tables the strategy differs and has to be learned separately for each video poker variant.

There is a very simple way of learning the strategy for Joker Poker. The dealt hands are divided into two groups. The first group considers the hands that do not have the joker dealt. The second group considers hands that contain the joker. In either case if the player is dealt with a five card winning poker hand like a royal flush or a straight then he must retain all five cards. This lesson describes which cards must be discarded should the player be dealt with other hands.

In the first group of hands that do not have the joker the following is the strategy that should be adopted by the player:

  • If the player is dealt four of a kind he must discard the fifth card in the hope of getting a joker and therefore a five of a kind hand.
  • If the player is dealt four cards to a royal flush, to a straight flush, to a straight or to a flush he must discard the fifth card in the hope of completing the five card hand with or without a joker.
  • Similarly if the player is dealt three cards to a royal flush, to a straight flush, to a straight or to a flush he must discard the remaining two cards.
  • If the player is dealt three of a kind he must discard the remaining two cards.
  • If the player is dealt two pairs he must discard the fifth card in the hope of getting a full house with or without a joker.
  • The player must hold on to a pair, two cards to a royal flush and two cards to a straight flush and discard the remaining three cards.
  • In all other cases the player must discard all five cards.

In the second group of hands that have the joker the following is the strategy that should be adopted by the player:

  • The player must keep the following four card combinations and discard the fifth card: four of a kind, four cards to a royal flush, four cards to a straight flush, four cards to a straight and four cards to a flush.
  • The player must keep the following three card combinations and discard the remaining two cards: three of a kind and three cards to a straight flush.
  • In all other cases the player must keep the joker and discard the remaining four cards.


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