STICKMAN'S STANCE: PLAYING JOKER POKER-KINGS OR BETTER VIDEO POKER by Jerry "Stickman"
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. Frank Scoblete's and Jerry "Stickman's" book "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker" presents dozens of video poker games and strategies for maximum returns. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" email@example.com.
Last month, we reviewed Super Bonus Deuces Wild video poker. This month we switch to another type of wild card video poker game - Joker Poker. Joker Poker is different than deuces wild. Rather than having any of four cards of a particular rank (such as deuces) as wild, a single extra card (joker) is used. This means that rather than a 52- card deck, we have a 53-card deck. It also means that determining gaps for inside straights is more normal since no rank of cards is wild. This somewhat simplifies the strategy.
In Joker Poker, five-of-a-kind hands get paid a bonus. As with other wild card video poker games, the pays for normal hands such as four-of-a-find, full house, flush, etcetera are reduced since they are easier to make. Because Joker Poker has only one wild card rather than the four wild cards in deuces wild, the pay table includes pays for a pair of kings or better as the lowest pay rather than three-of-a-kind. A straight flush pays 50-for-1 like most Jacks or Better games. Also, two pair is a paying hand in Joker Poker
There are several varieties of Joker Poker. In this and subsequent articles I will cover Kings or Better, Two Pairs or Better and Aces or Better Joker Poker games.
Joker Poker Kings or Better
There are two different Kings or Better Joker Poker pay schedules which are considered full-pay. They are referred to as 20/7 games, paying 20-for-1 for a four-of-a-kind and 7-for-1 for a full house.
The best full-pay game available pays 4,700-for-5 for a natural royal flush. It has a return of 101.00 percent making it among the best games available. Its variance of 33.6, while moderate, can be handled with a large enough bankroll.
Here is the complete pay table information for this full-pay Joker Poker game.
The other full-pay version of Joker Poker is the same as the last version except a 5-credit royal flush pays only 4,000 credits. The return drops to 100.65 which is still a great return and the variance drops to about 26 which is reasonable. The complete pay table information is below.
Short-Pay Kings or Better Joker Poker
Two versions of short-pay Kings or Better Joker Poker are included in the book - 18/7 and 17/7 where the first number refers to the pay for a four-of-a-kind and the second number refers to a full house. Both of these games are playable though the 17/7 game is reaching the lower limit of my tolerance.
The complete pay table information for the 18/7 short-pay version of Kings or Better Joker Poker is presented below...
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