Joker Poker Online Video Poker Games

Published on: March 27, 2013 

Video poker is a popular class of games at online casinos. Players who are aware of the optimum strategy can get average returns in excess of 98%. A number of video poker variants are played with wild cards that can substitute for other cards to make the best possible poker hand. The discerning player knows that the advantage of this is taken away by the payouts starting from the higher poker hand rankings. However wild card video poker games break the monotony of the regular variants like Jacks or Better and are therefore popular. Most software providers include Joker Poker in their video poker portfolio. Microgaming, which likes to be ahead of the pack, also offers an online video poker variant called Double Joker Poker. This article compares these two online video poker games.

Microgaming Joker Poker is played with a 53-card deck, the additional card being the joker. As explained earlier, the payout table begins with kings or better instead of the usual jacks or better. The payout table for a wager of five coins is given below. The five of a kind hand is four cards of the same rank with the fifth card being the joker. The average return to the player for Microgaming Joker Poker is 98.6%.

Kings or better – 1

Two pairs – 1

Three of a kind – 2

Straight – 3

Flush – 5

Full House – 7

Four of a kind – 17

Straight Flush – 50

Joker Royal Flush – 100

Five of a kind – 200

Natural royal flush – 1000

As the name suggests, Microgaming Double Joker Poker is played with a 54-card deck that has two jokers. With two wild cards it becomes even easier to make winning combinations and therefore some of the lower ranking hands from the Joker Poker payout table are eliminated. In Double Joker Poker the payout table begins with two pairs. The payouts for the higher ranking hands have also been reduced. The complete payout table is given below. The average return to the player is slightly lower at 98.1%.

Two pairs – 1

Three of a kind – 2

Straight – 3

Flush – 4

Full House – 5

Four of a kind – 8

Straight Flush – 25

Five of a kind – 50

Joker Royal Flush – 100

Natural royal flush – 800

The lower return of Double Joker Poker can be understood in the following manner. Joker Poker keeps away 56% of the hands from the payout table whereas Double Joker Poker keeps away 64% of the hands from the payout table because of the exclusion of the kings or better ranking. This is one reason for the lower average return. The lower payouts for some of the hand rankings on the payout table of Double Joker Poker are the second reason. For the dedicated video poker player this small difference in average returns can be significant and such players should wager only on Microgaming Joker Poker. But casual players should not worry too much about this difference.

Both Joker Poker and Double Joker Poker are available as single hand games and as Power Poker games, where they are available in 4 hands, 10 hands, 50 hands and 100 hands. Both these video poker variants can be played at all Microgaming online casinos like Jackpot City, All Slots, Platinum Play and Gaming Club.

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