Explaining Double Joker Video Poker

Double Joker video poker creates a kind of middle ground between normal Joker Poker and the more aggressive Deuces Wild forms of the game. Instead of one or four wild cards in the deck, there are two jokers acting as wild cards in a 54-card deck. As a result, it finds a sweet spot between a wild-card-heavy game and one that is still indebted to the most basic forms of video poker.

Poker Chips and Playing Cards

One of the ways that video game poker manufacturers have gone about spicing up gameplay for gamblers, both in casinos and on online gambling websites, is to add wild cards. Wild cards allow players to turn them into whatever card helps their hand the most. As you might imagine, that can really boost your chances of achieving winning poker hands.

The two main forms of video poker that use wild cards are Joker Poker and Deuces Wild. Joker Poker adds a 53rd card to the deck, the joker, which is designated as a wild card. Meanwhile, Deuces Wild keeps the deck at the standard amount of 52 cards, but makes each of the 2s, or deuces, in the deck wild cards.

Double Joker video poker sits somewhere in between those two extremes. There are two extra cards added to the standard 52-card deck, each of which are jokers. That means that you have a 2 in 54, or 1 in 27, chance of being dealt or drawing a joker from the simulated deck at any moment during gameplay.

The jokers give you a much better chance at hands that are usually hard to achieve, such as four of a kind or a straight flush. There is even a wild royal flush, which, although it doesn’t pay as well as a natural royal flush, still pays off very well. And wild cards give you the chance of possibly picking up a hand with five of a kind, which is obviously impossible in normal video poker games like Jacks or Better.

Before you get too excited about the prospects of having two wild cards in play, you have to realize that Double Joker video poker also adjusts its payouts to account for this fact. More common hands pay little to nothing at all. And even the hands we mentioned above don’t give the same kind of boost as if you were playing without wild cards, simply because the wild cards make them easier to achieve.

In the following article, we’ll explore all the ins and outs of Double Joker video poker, including basic gameplay and the impact of the two wild cards. We’ll also look at pay tables that you might run across, both online and in actual casinos. And we’ll explore strategy as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this particular game.

Playing Double Joker Video Poker

The good news is that the mechanics of Double Joker video poker are essentially the same as most other forms of video poker, including the ones that many people play when they are first learning the game. You’ll be pushing the same buttons and doing everything else the same, so it’s an easy variation of the game to learn.

The only difference is the inclusion of the wild cards, which really only affects your strategy and not the mechanics of playing the game. Your goal is to try to make a winning hand out of the cards that come up on your screen. For the most part, the more difficult it is to make the hand, the more lucrative it will be for you.

Let’s walk through the process of playing Double Joker video poker, from actually putting your money into the machine to cashing out and walking away from it. We’ll also let you know how the process works for online versions of the game. Once you learn these basics, you’ll not only be able to play Double Joker, but you should be able to handle most kinds of video poker that come your way.

Step 1: Starting Play with Your Bankroll

You need to wager money to win money at Double Joker video poker, or any other form of video poker, for that matter. And that means that you have to create a bankroll at a machine. To do that, you will either insert money into the given slot on the machine, or you will insert a ticket with credits from that casino that you might have earned playing other games.

You have to try to coordinate your bankroll with the denomination for the machine. Some machines have a set denomination amount, while others let you choose the denomination, such as a quarter or dollar. The money that you put in the machine will be rendered as credits (or coins), with each credit equal to a single unit of denomination.

For Example:

If you put a 20-dollar bill into a machine that has a denomination of a dollar, you would get 20 credits. You should try to put in enough money so that you can play for as long as you wish. Along those lines, you should factor in that it’s always wise to bet five credits per hand, which we’ll explain soon.

In terms of an online casino that contains Double Joker video poker, you would have to create an account with them to play the game. That would require funding that account via credit card or some other method of payment. Once you have funds in the account, you can then devote as many of them as you wish to playing the game.

Step 2: Making Your Bets

For each hand that you play, you will have the chance to bet anywhere between one and five credits. But we recommend you make the maximum bet each time. Otherwise, you are essentially short-changing yourself out of your chance to make the most money.

That’s because most video poker games, including Double Joker video poker, pay a much higher rate for a royal flush hand with five credits played than they do with one through four played. If you hit a royal flush with less than the max bet, you will be frustrated at the money that you’re missing.

If you find that playing five credits at a time is too rich for your blood, you’re better off finding a game with a lower denomination. And, if there is no lower denomination for the game in question where you are playing, you’re probably better off switching to another video poker game. This is true especially if you’re concerned about playing for a long time and grinding out winnings, but not so much if you’re a casual player who is only going to be playing for a short time.

Step 3: Playing Your Hand

Once you’ve made the bet by either manually pressing the button to bet the desired amount or simply by hitting the “Max Bet” button, you will then hit the “Deal” button. Once you do, you will receive five cards on your screen. The chances of your receiving a specific card are the same as if you were playing with a deck of cards at home that includes a pair of jokers, for 54 cards in total.

The cards that appear on your screen are determined by a random number generator within the software. This essentially means that the simulated cards are always shuffling. At the moment you hit the “Deal” button, whatever five cards are at the top of the deck will go into your hand.

Your next step is to assess the five cards that you receive. Ideally, those cards will constitute a winning hand. In the case of Double Joker video poker, the winning hands are as follows:

  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • List Item 3
  • Straight (five cards in order of rank)
  • Flush (five cards of the same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind of one rank and a pair of another rank in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (a straight and a flush within the same hand)
  • Five of a kind
  • Wild royal flush (a royal flush achieved with the help of a wild card)
  • Royal flush (10 through ace of the same suit)

We’ll explain the distinction between the wild royal flush and the natural royal flush more when we get to the section on wild cards. For now, just know that you’ll be looking for these combinations within your initial deal. In most cases, you won’t have a winning hand in the deal, but you could get lucky.

Even if you do get a winning hand on the deal, you might choose to try and improve your hand anyway. That’s because, as you’ll see when we get to the section on pay tables, some hands are more lucrative than others. The good news is that you do get a chance to improve your hand on the draw round.

During the draw round, you can discard certain cards in your hand. These cards will be replaced by cards drawn from the same deck from which you were dealt. That deck, by the way, will have been shuffling since the deal so that you are again assured of a random draw, just as you are assured of a random deal.

Let’s see how it all works in practice. Here is a sample five-card deal:

Four of Hearts, Four of Clubs, Seven of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, Nine of Hearts

This hand has no winning combinations as it was dealt. But it does have the so-called “seeds” of many possible hands within it.

Your goal is to decide which of them you should try to pursue on the draw. To do this, you need to measure the probabilities of achieving each hand against the payouts that each of those hands demands.

For example, you could try to go with the pair of fours and hope to improve upon that. This would be your easiest path to a winning hand, since you would have three chances to draw one of the two remaining fours in the deck. But your most likely winning result is three of a kind, which doesn’t return that much.

You also have four hearts in that hand, which means you are just one shy of a flush. If that was the option you chose, you would discard the four of clubs. In that case, you would have a little less than a one in four-and-a-half chance of drawing the flush.

If, however, you are thinking bigger, you might prefer to stick with just the seven, eight, and nine of hearts. This would give you a chance at the royal flush, one of the bigger-paying options in the entire game. And you have an open-ended shot at it, since you could get it by drawing the six and ten of hearts, the five and six of hearts, or the ten and jack of hearts.

These types of choices present themselves in many video poker hands. Sometimes the choice will be pretty obvious. And other times, like this one, you will really have to think hard in terms of probabilities and what you are trying to get out of playing the game.

We’ll talk more about learning how to make those tough choices when we get to the strategy session. For now, let’s assume that you want to go with the seven, eight, and nine of hearts. You would press the “Hold” buttons, either on the machine, your computer, or your handheld device, underneath those three cards, and then you would press the “Draw” button.

At that point, the random number generator software will again stop its shuffling and spit out the top two cards in the deck, since you are only discarding two cards. Again, it’s important to remember this is a random process every time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will get certain cards because they are “due” to come up since you haven’t seen them in a while.

Let’s assume the draw works out as follows:

Seven of Diamonds, Seven of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, Nine of Hearts, Nine of Spades

While you didn’t make your straight flush, you were lucky enough to draw into two pair. That hand returns even money in pretty much every version of Double Joker video poker, which means you would get your initial bet back. With that, the hand is over.

At that point, you can continue to play if you have credits in the machine (or in your online account.) If not, you would need to insert more to continue. At any time, you can also cash out your remaining credits, which, if you were playing in a casino, would mean that the machine would give you a redemption ticket showing your remaining credits.

As you can tell, there really isn’t much to learn about playing basic video poker. If you’re familiar with the card game known as Five-Card Draw or even understand how winning poker hands work, you can likely learn it in a moment or two. Even absolute beginners should have no problems learning the game in a few hands or so.

What you’ll quickly understand once you start playing is that there are some excellent advantages to playing video poker, especially compared to other casino games like slot machines or table games. Included among these are:

  • The ability to control whether you win or lose by the choices that you make
  • The ability to know approximately how much a specific video
  • poker game will return, based on probabilities and how much each winning hand pays out
  • The chance to play at your own pace without any pressure from other casino patrons or employees
  • The opportunity to play quickly, which allows you the chance to earn casino rewards in a faster fashion than other games
  • Average payback that is better than slot machines and right in the same neighborhood as the best-paying table games

With all of those advantages, you’ll probably want to try out Double Joker video poker as soon as possible. Now it’s time to examine this particular game in terms of how it compares to other video poker options that are available to you in casinos or online.

How Wild Cards Work

As we mentioned above, Double Joker video poker is unique because it’s played with 54 cards instead of the regulation 52-card deck used for most video poker games. The two extra cards are jokers, which are designated as wild.

A wild card can be switched into whatever card in the deck helps your hand the most. That gives you the chance to really build up your hand into something special whenever they appear. Let’s look at the following hand that you could potentially end up with playing Double Joker video poker.

Joker, Joker, Queen of Spades, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds

Without the wild cards, this hand might not look like much. But remember that the jokers are wild, so your hand will be converted into whatever makes it the most lucrative. In this case, they would become the queen of hearts and the queen of diamonds, since that would give you four of a kind.

As we mentioned above, the extra joker in the deck, compared to traditional Joker Poker, spices up the gameplay of Double Joker video poker just a bit. But it doesn’t go as far as Deuces Wild, where there are four wild cards in a deck with just 52 cards. Before committing a lot of funds to it, you should find out if you like this option by playing a few hands and discovering if the style of play fits what you’re seeking.

Pay Tables and Payback Percentages for Double Joker Video Poker

When you sit at a Double Joker video poker machine or play it online, you’ll see the pay table for the game right there in front of you. On its surface, the pay table shows you how much you can expect to be paid for each winning hand.

But the pay table is so much more than that. In actuality, it’s a valuable piece of information demonstrating not just what your strategy should be but also what you can expect to receive from the machine in terms of payout.

The structure of each pay table is generally unique to the variation of video poker that you’re playing. On top of that, each specific game tends to have numerous different pay tables. You might run into one pay table for Double Joker video poker in one casino, a different one in another casino, and perhaps even a third one on an online gambling site.

For that reason, it’s always wise to get a good idea of what you should be looking for before you play a specific game. Ideally, you should be looking for the full-pay version of the game. That means it’s the version with the highest average payback out of all the possibilities for the game in question.

In terms of Double Joker video poker, here is what the full-pay pay table looks like:

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Natural royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Wild royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Five of a kind 50 100 150 200 250
Straight flush 25 50 75 100 125
Four of a kind 9 18 27 36 45
Full house 5 10 15 20 25
Flush 4 8 12 16 20
Straight 3 6 9 12 15
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5

Reading the table is relatively easy. For example, imagine that you managed to come up with a hand of three of a kind while playing the maximum bet of five coins.

Simply match the corresponding row and column, and you’ll see the number 10, which means that you would win ten credits on a wager of five coins for a profit of five coins. In terms of money, if you were playing a quarter machine, you would have earned a profit of $1.25, or five times .25.

You’ll notice, as well, the big spike in payouts for the natural royal flush at the five-coin level. That’s why we told you earlier that it’s really important to play the maximum five coins with each wager.

Notice also the big difference in payouts for the wild royal flush compared to the natural royal flush. The natural is much higher in terms of payout because it’s much more difficult to achieve during gameplay.

How can you tell the difference between the two? A wild royal flush includes a wild card, while a natural royal flush is achieved without one. Example:

Natural Royal Flush:

Ten of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, Queen of Clubs, King of Clubs, Ace of Clubs

Wild Royal Flush:

Ten of Clubs, Joker, Queen of Clubs, Joker, Ace of Clubs

Each pay table is accompanied by a corresponding payback percentage. This number is the average amount that a machine with that pay table will pay back over time. It is basically the best way to compare video poker games against each other, with the higher payback percentages being what you should be seeking.

Keep in mind that the payback percentage is only an average, calculated by taking the probabilities of achieving each winning hand and combining those with the payouts for those hands. If you play the game a short time, luck will dictate what you can expect to return. But the more you play Double Joker video poker, the more you can expect your own winnings (or losings) to match what the payback percentage suggests.

In the case of the pay table listed above, the payback percentage sits at 99.97%. That means, for example, that $10,000 put in the machine would result in, on average, a return of $9,997. In other words, the player should expect to lose, on average, $3 when playing that amount.

You might not realize it, but that is actually a very beneficial payback rate, even though you are technically expected to lose money playing the game. Why? Because you also have to take into consideration that you will be earning rewards from the casino for playing the game, and those monetary amounts could conceivably push you into a slight profit.

Consider also the fact that other video poker games, including, as you’re about to see, other versions of Double Joker video poker, don’t meet the threshold of 99% payback that we recommend as a game that you should be playing. Also consider the fact that the average slot machine payout is about 92%! That’s a big advantage for Double Joker, one that you can get if you can find this full-pay version of the game.

The only problem is that you might not be able to find that pay table where you are located. Here is another example of a pay table that you might find for Super Joker video poker:

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Natural royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Wild royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Five of a kind 50 100 150 200 250
Straight flush 25 50 75 100 125
Four of a kind 10 20 30 40 50
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 1 2 3 4 5
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5

The payback percentage for this particular game is approximately 98.6%. You would be giving away more than a percentage point if you play this game compared to the full-pay version. That won’t matter that much if you’re only a part-time player, but it will if you plan to play over a long period of time.

You might look at this pay table and wonder how it can possibly pay less than the one above. After all, the payouts are higher on this game for the four of a kind, full house, flush, and straight. That would seem to make it the better-paying game on the surface.

But the one hand where it comes up short of the full-pay version is the three of a kind. The full-pay version pays off three of a kind at 2 to 1, while this version only returns you even money. How does that possibly outweigh all of those other hands?

The three of a kind will come up much more often in gameplay than all of those other hands. This is especially true with the two wild cards in play. As a result, the lesser payout for that hand in this version makes the big difference between it and the full-pay version.

Remember that payback percentage shouldn’t necessarily be the ultimate deciding factor in choosing a video poker game. For example, if you are only planning on playing the game for a short time and prefer the shot at bigger payouts for those medium hands, the 98.6% version might be preferable for you. Make sure you consider what you want out of the game before you decide.

Also be aware that there are pay tables out there that drop down even further than the two above. And those who play online should be aware that the payback percentages for online video poker tend to sag behind the versions found in casinos. Try your best to find and play the version of Double Joker video poker that gives you the best chance at profits.

Strategy for Double Joker Video Poker

You need to think about developing a proper strategy for playing any type of video poker if you want to maximize your chances of winning big. The payback percentages we listed above are for players who can achieve perfect play. That means making the mathematically correct decisions about what to hold and what to discard on every single hand.

To explain that concept, let’s go back to that hand that we played above. If you recall, we were dealt the following cards:

Four of Hearts, Four of Clubs, Seven of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, Nine of Hearts

We ultimately decided to play the seven, eight, and nine of hearts, discarding the two fours. As it turns out, that was the right mathematical play because it brings the highest expected value to the hand.

Expected value is a lot like payback percentage in that it only makes sense if you think of it over the long haul. If you played that hand once, twice, or even ten times, luck would play a great deal in terms of which strategic play was the best.

For example, had you chosen to keep the pair of fours, which is the mathematically incorrect play, you might have drawn two more fours and made four of a kind. By contrast, you might make the right call to keep the three consecutive hearts ten hands in a row but get unlucky on the draw every one of those times and come up empty.

But over time, the probabilities and the payouts will eventually win out, and the value of the hand will be at its greatest with that one specific hold and discard combination. The trick is to learn the correct hold and discard for every possible group of cards you might receive on the deal.

How do you do that? Here are two ways:

  • Video Poker Training Software: This software will let you play simulated hands and will tell you when you’re making the wrong decision. For example, if you played our sample hand and tried to hold anything but the seven, eight, and nine of hearts, the game would stop and point out your error. By constantly playing hands this way, the right decisions will start to become clear to you for every possible hand.
  • Strategy Charts: In the case of our hand above, you would look at a strategy chart, which can be found online for just about every variation of video poker, and compare your hand to it. The chart shows all the seeds of winning hands that you might receive and then ranks them. For our example, you would see that three consecutively-ranked cards to a straight flush is the highest-ranking possibility out of what you have been dealt.

Double Joker Video Poker Pros and Cons


  • Other than the wild card concept, it’s the same as basic video poker, so it’s easy to learn
  • The extra wild card gives it a bit of an excitement boost
  • Payback for mid-ranked hands can resemble Jacks or Better, even with the wild cards

  • Wild card strategy can be tricky to learn compared to other games
  • There is less chance of a wild card than if you played Deuces Wild
  • Common hands don’t pay much in many pay tables

Conclusion on Double Joker Video Poker

On the whole, Double Joker video poker, whether played in casinos or on top gambling websites, can be considered a kind of middle ground among wild card games. You’ve got a little bit more of a shot of seeing that joker show up in your hand than if you were playing Joker Poker. And it holds some good payback opportunities if you can find the right kind of pay table.