Joker Poker is a popular video poker game which adds a wild 53rd card to the deck. Jester Poker switches the pay table for this popular format. The focus in on 5 of a kind hands. Where a Royal Flush is the best hand in most other forms of video poker, Jester Poker takes a very different approach.
In Jester Poker, there is a single drawing round. Having been dealt your five cards, you’ll now get to hold or discard as many cards as you like. The discarded cards are then replaced with new ones, and your aim is to have the best possible poker hand with your final five cards. The biggest prize in Jester Poker is 800x your bet.
Jester Poker can be played in states where online casino play is regulated. This page starts by detailing exactly how the game works, including key bet sizing advice. Next, the large differences between Jester Poker and Joker Poker are examined. You’ll find out how to change up your strategy for this game at the bottom of this page.
How Jester Poker Works
The first consideration when playing Jester Poker is the bet size. In virtually every other form of the game there is a huge premium for playing the maximum 5 coins. Play all five and the Royal Flush payout offers a boost, making the house edge that much smaller.
There is no such boost in Jester Poker. However many coins you play, the house edge is exactly the same. In this game, when playing optimal strategy, the house edge is 98.94%.
There are a number of options when playing. You can toggle the ‘turbo’ option on and off. With the turbo option on, the cards are dealt that much quicker. You also have the option of turning the sound on an off.
You’ve two options for changing the bet size. The first is to hit the ‘Max Bet’ option, which automatically sets the bet size to 5. You can also move the bet size up and down through 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 using the arrows on the right-hand side of the screen.
With the bet size set, you’ll now hit the deal button. Your opening five cards will appear. Now you get to choose which cards you’ll hold.
To do this simply click on a card and a yellow ‘held’ symbol will appear. If you make a mistake and hold the wrong card, or you change your mind, simply click the card again to un-hold it.
You’ll now be ready to hit ‘deal’ again, where your discarded cards are replaced with new ones. If your final hand holds two pairs or greater (in poker rankings) you’ll land a win.
Jester Poker Pay Table
Here’s a look at the payout chart for Jester Poker:
- 5 of a Kind: 800
- Royal Flush (with or without Jester): 100
- Straight Flush: 100
- 4 of a Kind: 16
- Full House: 8
- Flush: 5
- Straight: 4
- 3 of a Kind: 2
- Two Pair: 1
The payouts in Jester Poker is very different from what you would find in any other variations of video poker. One of the first things that stands out is that the payout for a Royal Flush is 100 coins. Play any other game and you’ll usually find a payout of 800 coins. In Joker Poker, for example, you get paid 800 coins for a natural Royal Flush.
You’ll also notice that the payouts for hitting a Royal Flush and a Straight Flush are exactly the same – which is strikingly unusual.
While the payouts for a Royal Flush are lower than usual, this is offset by the huge 800 coin pay out for 5 of a kind. Land five of a kind in Joker Poker and you’re looking at a payout of just 200 coins. This is the big pay-off, and the large positive of the pay table. Weirdly, straight flushes (aside from the Royal one) are given a payout boost.
The other big difference on the pay table is the minimum hand requirement. In Joker Poker, a pair of Kings or a pair of Aces will pay, but in this game, you’ll need to land at least two pairs.
Overall, this makes for a game that is higher in volatility than standard Joker Poker. You’ll receive slightly fewer smaller wins in this version, while you are more likely to land the big 800-coin win for five of a kind (five of a kind wins are slightly easier to land than a natural Royal Flush is).
Strategy for Jester Poker
While the strategy for many forms of video poker is very similar, you can throw the rulebook out of the window for this game. One thing to immediately bear in mind in Jester Poker is that there is absolutely no premium for big cards.
A straight flush pays the same as a Royal Flush and there is nothing for landing a big pair. So, while an Ace or a King might look pretty on the board, they are no more valuable than a 3 or a 7.
Your aim should certainly be to look for those big five of a kind hands. Hold any pairs and it goes without saying that any time that single joker appears you should be holding that.
Look for straight and flush possibilities – that joker will make landing these hands that little bit more likely. Look out for straight flushes too, especially if you have 3 cards to the hand. Get those held, due to the premium on the straight flush pays.
Summing Up – Jester Poker
Jester Poker is certainly one of those weird video poker games. None of the normal rules apply when it comes to strategy, meaning you’ll really have to mix up your play. Now, the whole focus is on landing those big 5 of a kind wins.
You can now play Jester Poker online in a number of states (which include NJ, PA, MI and WV) – you simply have to be within the state lines to enjoy the game. Enjoy Jester Poker alongside all other forms of video poker online.