Joker Poker is one of the lesser known video poker varieties which has three different versions. One involves the lowest payout being two pair while the other two versions payout when a pair is made. One has a minimum of a pair of kings. The other requires a pair of aces to get paid.
The aces or better version of Joker Poker should always be avoided. The two pair Joker Poker is generally playable, but difficult to find. The kings or better version is often the best, but can also offer a terrible return that depends on the payout on four of a kind, full house and flush.
The first step in finding the best Joker Poker machine is to walk past any that require a pair of aces to get paid. The return on this game is lower than 98%, which we find unacceptable. If a kings or better version of Joker Poker is not available, there is probably a different game with a better payout on the casino floor.
There are two playable versions of Joker Poker with drastically different pay tables. One has a minimum payout on a pair of kings. The other has a two pair requirement.
The best kings or better version of Joker Poker has a payout of 20 on four of a kind, seven on a full house and five on a flush. Five of a kind pays 200 coins on this game.
There is a two pair version that does not pay on any single pair. This game returns 1,000 coins on a royal flush, as opposed to only 800 on the kings or better version. Quarter players should take notice that a royal flush will trigger a W2G, where the kings or better version will not. The two pair pay table drops the five of a kind payout from 200 to 100. It also cuts the royal flush with a joker payout in half from 100 to 50.
The kings or better version of Joker Poker returns 100.65% with perfect play. The two pair pay table has a payout of 99.92%.
There are several kings or better Joker Poker pay tables out there. The one below is the best available. It returns 100.65% with perfect play.
There are four casinos in Las Vegas that offer the 100.65% kings or better Joker Poker. They are Plaza, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station and Fiesta Henderson. Plaza is the only casino that offers it higher than the $.25 denomination. It spreads a single machine in the $.50 denomination. All full pay Joker Poker machines at Plaza operate on coins.
Only two Las Vegas casinos offer two pair Joker Poker with the 99.92% return. They are Westgate and Eureka Casino. Both casinos offer the game in the $.25 denomination. SLS Las Vegas offered this game when it opened but it was pulled within its first year.
Most online casinos do not offer either of the full pay versions of Joker Poker. The best is usually the 99.29% pay table that either pays 18 on four of a kind instead of 20 but increases the royal flush to 4,700 coins when five quarters are wagered.
The first step in playing Joker Poker is to find the machine with the best return. Once you have done that, make sure to sign up for a players card. This will track your play and award points based on that action. The kings or better machines with the top pay table only return 0.075% at best, but they will also trigger mailers that include free play, hotel comps and food vouchers.
Westgate awards 0.1% in free play based on action at its two pair Joker Poker game. Eureka Casino only gives mailers based on play on the same machine.
Online casinos will not require a player to sign up for a rewards card. It is automatic when creating an account. Online casinos award comps in the form of cash or bonuses.