There are many variations of Joker Wild. The game is dealt from a single pack of 52 cards, plus the addition of 53rd card called a joker. This card is wild linking up with other cards to form the best possible hand.

Some video poker games start paying on pairs of Kings or Aces, and move upwards. These machines, if you still find them offer players a reasonable long-term edge approximately 0.5 percent, but only if Four-of-a-Kind is paying 20 coins. If you do find these machines make sure that the payouts offer you the best possible chances of winning (see the below table). These are excellent machines for the player. More commonly is that Two Pair is the starting point for payoffs in the payout schedule. These machines, if accompanied by a Full Pay schedule and played sensibly will offer you the player a game where the house edge is a little over 1.2 percent.

The Full Pay schedule looks something like this:

Credit/Coins 1 2 3 4 5
Royal Flush (natural) 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Five-of-a-Kind 100 200 300 400 500
Royal Flush (Joker) 50 100 150 200 250
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four-of-a-Kind 20 40 60 80 100
Full House 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 7 14 21 28 35
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
Three-of-a-Kind 1 2 3 4 5

Notice that the payouts for the Full House are eight and seven coins respectively and these together with the wild joker card, make these machines likely to prolong your playing pleasure. You will hit the mid-range hands quite often and these tend to pay well. Once again the massive bonus for playing five coins is achieved when you hit the Royal Flush (without the joker). The Royal Flush with the joker and Straight Flush (with or without the joker) both pay an impressive 50 coins, and Five-of-a-Kind pays 100 coins.

Joker Wild Basic Strategy

Play every hand following this order of priorities, holding or discarding cards. Check and play each hand from the top of the list downwards.

With Joker Showing
Hold Five-of-a-Kind/Royal Flush/Straight Flush/Full House/Flush  
Hold Three-of-a-Kind, plus Joker Discard 5th card
Hold Three cards to Royal Flush, plus Joker Discard 5th card
Hold Made Straight  
Hold Pair, plus Joker  
Hold Two suited high cards, plus Joker (for Royal Flush)  
Hold Two suited cards, plus Joker (for Straight Flush)  
Hold Three suited cards, plus Joker (for Flash)  
Hold Four consecutive unsuited cards, including Joker (for Straight)  
Hold Joker only Discard remaining cards
With No Joker
Hold Four Cards to a Royal Flush  
Hold Made Four-of-a-Kind/Full House/Flush/Straight/Three-of-a-Kind  
Hold Four cards to a Straight Flush  
Hold Two Pairs  
Hold Three cards to a Royal Flush  
Hold Four cards to a Flush/Four cards to a Straight  
Hold Three cards to a Straight Flush  
Hold One Pair  
Hold Three cards to a Flush/two cards to a Royal Flush/three cards to a Straight Flush/two cards to a Straight Flush Discard all five cards

Many different variations are available now, based on the original-style Poker machine. These include Deuces and Joker Wild, Full House, Bonus Poker, Five Aces Poker, Sevens and Joker Wild, Sequential Royal Bonus Poker and many more.

If one of these myriad variations is your favourite game always research the best possible strategies first.