The first step for video poker enthusiasts after playing jacks or better machines is usually the single wild card game, joker’s wild. This variation adds a single joker to the deck, which changes the payout scales a little bit. Now, usually kings or better is the beginning payout line, and two pair now only pays even money as a winning hand. This may seem like a terrible structure, but optimum play on these machines can actually generate an edge over the casino of .6% with optimum play, and possibly even more at the best online casinos.
In joker’s wild poker, straight flush draws are much more valuable and attainable than in standard jacks or better games, as the joker adds many ways for you to make these straight flushes that you wouldn’t have in standard poker. Therefore, in joker;’s wild, you may actually break up trips to go for the straight or royal flush; a hand like 1010(Joker)QK with the 10QK of hearts may be a confusing hand for an amateur to play, but for the biggest profit, pitching the other ten and going for the royal or straight flush is the only way to play the hand.
Straights in this game only pay out 3:1 on your bet, which makes drawing at them a less profitable move. You’d be wise to toss a four card straight draw with a joker to draw at a three card with gaps straight or royal flush draw, like 8910(joker)K with the K10 of hearts. Even though it looks like you should keep the wrap straight draw with your joker, at best, you only return three times your bet, and with a three card royal draw, you have good drawing potential at making hands worth hefty payouts albeit at a lower probability than what your odds of making the straight are. Remember though; it’s the the quantity of winners you make in video poker that make your profits, it’s the frequency that you hit the top payouts.