Joker Poker is one of the world's most popular varieties of video poker. The game uses a 53-card deck with a single joker. With the joker, players are more likely to get winning combinations. To compensate, the paytables are adjusted from conventional Jacks or Better. Typically, the minimum hand is either a pair of kings or two pair. Additionally, wild royal flushes often pay less than natural ones, and prizes for certain hands are reduced.
While Joker Poker may be fun to play, it sometimes has some of the worst odds of all the video poker selections available in an online casino. For this reason, it's important to shop around before you start playing this wild video poker variant online. Let's take a look at the best places to play Joker Poker on the Web.
US Runner-Up: Rival
Rival is the second leading software maker for online casinos operating in the United States. While their video poker selection hardly comes close to that of other software providers, Rival's games are eye-catching. The graphical detail given to the video poker games makes Joker Poker a riot to play here. The game allows for a wide selection of denominations from 5 cents up to $5.
Rival's Joker Poker is pretty standard in terms of the paytable. Wild royal flushes only pay 500 coins at maximum bet as opposed to natural ones, which pay 5000 coins. The game's minimum paying hand is a pair of kings or better. The resulting house edge for Rival Joker Poker is a decent 1.4%, comparable to some of the best table games in the casino.
International Runner-Up: Microgaming Casinos
Microgaming is the world's leading casino software provider. Their games are immense, and their video poker is some of the most enjoyable in the industry. Microgaming has plenty of options for video poker lovers, ranging from standard single-hand video poker to Power Poker or Level-Up Poker. Unlike many other software providers, Microgaming's Joker Poker has the same edge in both single-hand and multi-hand (Power Poker) versions. Single-hand coin sizes range from 0.25 cents to 5.00, and multi-hand coin sizes range from 0.01 to 0.25 cents.
Microgaming's Joker Poker paytable is standard for all non-Level-Up variants. The natural royal flush pays 5000 versus the wild royal flush, which pays 500. The minimum ranking hand is a pair of kings, and all hands up to four of a kind have a reduced payout when compared to standard Jacks or Better. All in all, Joker Poker on Microgaming has a house edge of just 1.4%, which is considerably better than many other games on the platform.
Winner: Real Time Gaming
Real Time Gaming is the largest software provider for US-facing casinos, and their video poker is one of the reasons why. The game is realistic, smooth, and full of thrilling bells and whistles to keep you playing hand after hand. Joker Poker is available in coin denominations ranging from 5 cents to $5.
This software has the best Joker Poker in the whole world of online casinos. While offering a great Joker Poker game, RTG has a unique (and high-variance) version. The game's biggest payout is a sequential royal flush. The amount this incredibly rare hand pays varies among RTG casinos. There are two settings. Assuming maximum bet, the sequential royal flush will either pay 50,000 coins or 20,000 coins. Due to these huge numbers, players should be cautioned that RTG places a maximum cap of $50,000 on a single win.
Be sure to examine the paytable before playing Joker Poker at an RTG casino, though. Many have a reduced payout of 30 coins on a full house rather than 35, making the game much less desirable. As long as the full house pays 35 coins, RTG's single-hand Joker Poker actually has a player edge. A 50,000 sequential royal flush game has a player edge of 0.18%. A 20,000 sequential royal flush game has a player edge of .05%. While narrow, it's definitely the best game to play online, bar none.