Guide to Playing Jester Poker Video Poker

Jester Poker video poker makes for an interesting online twist on the Joker Poker game that is one of the more popular video poker variations. Gameplay is essentially the same, with a jester substituting for a joker as a wild card added to the deck. But the pay table is drastically different.

Video poker is one of the most popular casino games. Like slot machines, it can be played by a single person, which eliminates a lot of distractions. It allows you to make decisions as if you were playing table games, giving you some control over the outcome.

Jester Hat

Because it is so popular, video poker has also established itself as one of the most popular of all online casino games. It makes sense because video poker translates well to the online realm. Many online gambling sites now offer video poker variations that can’t really be found at in-person casinos.

Jester Poker video poker is an online video poker variant. But in many ways, it is similar Joker Poker or Joker’s Wild.

Joker Poker includes a joker as the 53rd card in the deck. That joker is considered “wild,” which means it can be turned into any other card in the deck to give your hand the best chance of being a winner. Having a wild card gives you more opportunities to achieve rare, high-paying hands.

In Jester Poker video poker, the joker has been replaced by a jester, but it’s the same concept. You’ll still be hoping it shows up as often as possible. The rest of the game play, including the format of deal, hold or discard and draw, is just as you would expect from traditional video poker games.

Where Jester Poker video poker separates itself is in the pay table. Most Joker Poker-style game prioritize a pure royal flush, meaning one that is made without the use of a wild card, as the highest-paying game of all. That puts it in line with most video poker games.

But Jester Poker video poker prioritizes five of a kind as the most valuable hand. As a matter of fact, five of a kind, which is achieved with the help of the wild card, pays back at the same level as the royal flush does in most video poker games.

Meanwhile, the royal flush in Jester Poker video poker is discounted and pays off the same as a wild royal flush or the straight flush. These changes on the pay table mean that you have to make severe adjustments to your strategy. You’ll have to really look out for any opportunity to score five of a kind.

Overall, the payback for Jester Poker video poker, even in the highest-paying version, is a bit lacking. Still, it can give you good chances at making a lot of money in a short period of time. As such, it could be an interesting change of pace for wild card-loving video poker players.

On this page, we’ll tell you all about playing Jester Poker video poker. We’ll explain how basic video poker works, then talk about playing with a wild card. Finally, we’ll get into more advanced concepts like volatility, payback percentage, and video poker strategy as it pertains to this particular game.

The Lure of Video Poker

Why are games like Jester Poker video poker so popular? Why do some video poker fans insist on playing nothing else when they’re in a casino or visiting a gambling website?

It’s because video poker gives you the best of all possible gambling worlds. You get the self-contained play of slot machines. But you also get the strategic aspect of table games.

That simple explanation sums up just how beneficial video poker is to gamblers, especially when compared to other casino games. If you’re on the fence about trying Jester Poker video poker, check out this list of positives below.

  • Video poker can be played by a single person. In other words, you don’t have to rely on a dealer or other casino employee. And you won’t have to deal with casino patrons. This allows you the ultimate experience in gambling privacy.
  • Video poker can be tailored to your gambling needs. Because there is such a wide variety of video poker games available in casinos and gambling sites, you never have to get stuck with a game that suits you. You can adjust based on your desire for jackpots, the size of your bankroll, your tolerance for risk, and many other factors.
  • Video poker is one of the easiest of all casino games to learn. If you have even the slightest background in forming poker hands, you’ll be able to hit the ground running. Even if you’re a total newcomer, it’s an easy game to pick up and learn, something that can’t be said for some of the more complex casino options.
  • Video poker is a strategy-based game. Your decisions will actually have some impact on whether you end up winning or losing specific hands. In fact, the better you are at making those decisions, the better the chances that you’ll come out a winner.
  • Video poker provides ultimate transparency. The pay table is right there on the screen for you to see how much you’ll get by forming winning hands. And those winning hands will appear with a frequency that can be figured out by applying unchanging probability math.
  • Video poker pays back well on the average. When you compare it to other casino games in the payback department, it ranks very well. It is certainly more lucrative than slot machines, the other main vehicle for solo casino gameplay.
  • Video poker is an ideal game for online play. Some table games don’t translate that well when they’re played online. But playing a video poker game at a top gambling website will be essentially the same for you as if you were playing on a machine in a casino.

That should give you an idea of how video poker benefits you as a gambler. Now, it’s time to learn how to play, first in basic format, then with wild cards in the mix as they will be in Jester Poker video poker.

How to Play Video Poker

Step 1: Establishing a Bankroll

Your bankroll is a necessity in video poker because it allows you to make wagers. It will also be the place where you’ll collect your winnings.

Since Jester Poker video poker is an online-only game, your bankroll will come from an account that you fund at a gambling website. This requires you to put in your credit card information or perhaps use an alternative type of funding. If you’re playing in a land-based casino, you’ll have to put money or a redemption ticket into the machine to get your bankroll started.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll see your bankroll rendered on screen as units known as credits or coins. These units will be tied to the denomination that you’ve chosen to play. For example, if you win 20 credits on a 25-cent game, you’ll have won a total of $5 (20 times .25).

Step 2: Making a Bet

When playing Jester Poker video poker, you have the choice of betting between one and five credits per hand, in increments of one coin. That puts it in line with most other video poker games. You can bet the same amount every time or you can change it up as you play.

In most video poker games, there is an incentive to bet five coins per hand (also known as the “max bet”). The payback for royal flush rises significantly in games like these when you bet the five coins. As a result, you are actually hurting your payback percentage when you don’t make the max bet.

But Jester Poker video poker doesn’t include this incentive. You’ll be getting paid back in direct proportion to how much you bet. And your payback percentage won’t be affected by how much you wager.

You can look at this as a benefit to Jester Poker video poker. Since it doesn’t matter how much you bet, you can pick a level that is best for your budget.

Once you’ve made your bet, you’ll see the amount that you wagered deducted from your bankroll. That means that any winnings you reap later will include the amount that you bet in the total.

Step 3: Playing a Hand

A hand of video poker plays out in much the same way as would a hand of the card game known as Five-Card Draw. In both games, you get five cards and are able to hold on to some cards and discard others. The discarded cards will be replaced by others from the deck to make your final hand.

When you play Five-Card Draw, however, you have to worry about beating everybody at the table, no matter how many players there might be, to win the pot. That might require you to make the best hand possible or bluff everyone else into giving up their hands.

In video poker, the burden for winning isn’t nearly as steep. You can come away with payback as long as you form one of the winning combinations listed on the pay table. In the case of Jester Poker video poker, here are the hands you’ll be trying to make.

  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Wild royal flush (royal flush with wild card involved)
  • Five of a kind
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit)

On this list, the hands at the top are those which will show up with some regularity during Jester Poker video poker play, especially with the wild card helping out. As you move down the list, the hands become harder and harder to achieve. But the payback rises as you move down the list.

The Deal

Once you’ve made your bet and activated the “deal” icon, you’ll see five cards appear on the screen. In the case of Jester Poker video poker, these cards will come from a deck of 53. That includes the standard 52 and jester as the 53rd card.

Each deal of Jester Poker video poker is random, thanks to software inside the machine. The chances of your receiving a particular card in a particular spot is always 1 in 53, no matter what has happened in previous hands. You should keep that in mind and disavow any notions of patterns or trends in hands of video poker, which will lead you into making poor decisions.

When you get these cards, you have to decide which of them you’ll be holding and which you’ll be discarding. You can hold them all or discard them all. Or you can come up with some combination of holds and discards.

How will you make this decision? You should be thinking about which cards held will give you a good chance to make a winning hand when you consider what you might get on the draw, which will come from the 48 remaining cards in the deck. But you should also be thinking about what kind of payback you’ll get from winning hands.

The Draw and the End of the Hand

Once you make your decision about what to hold and what to discard, you’ll indicate which cards you want to hold, if any, by clicking on the icons of those cards. Then, you’ll activate the “Draw” icon to complete the hand.

All cards that you’ve discarded will be replaced on the draw to complete the hand. If you’ve formed a winning combination, the winnings will be added to your hand. Remember that your bet will have already been deducted.

From there, you can continue playing in this fashion for as long as you have enough credits left in your bankroll. Simply repeat these steps for as long as you wish to play.

If you wish to quit, you can do so as well. As for withdrawing money from your account, that will depend on the guidelines of the website that you’ve chosen to use.

Now that you know the basics of video poker, it’s time to move to the specifics of Jester Poker video poker. We’ll talk about playing with a wild card and then we’ll talk about its unique.

Playing With the Jester

For the most part, Jester Poker video poker will look pretty much like other basic video poker games, such as Jacks or Better. But every once in a while, a jester will show up on the screen. When it does, it will change the complexion of the game.

The jester is wild. What that means is that it will be changed at the end of the hand to the card that makes the best possible winning combination when you factor in the other four cards.

By best, we mean the one that pays back the most. When a wild card is involved, it’s not uncommon for multiple winning combinations to be available at the end of the hand. The software will sort this out automatically and find the highest-paying one.

Considering the jester is just one card out of 53, it won’t have as much impact as the wild cards in some other popular wild card games. For example, deuces wild video poker allows for all twos in the standard deck to be wild. That means that one out of every 13 cards is wild, as compared to 1 in 53 in Jester Poker video poker.

When you get the jester on the draw, it will be automatically transformed into the card that helps you the most. But when you get it on the deal, that means you’ll have to speculate how you’ll be using it going forward.

You know you’ll be holding the jester, since the value it provides is impossible to ignore. The tricky thing is deciding which of the other four cards you’ve been dealt should be held, if any. Let’s take a look at a sample Jester Poker video poker to illustrate this dilemma.

Sample Jester Poker Video Poker Hand

Imagine that you receive the following five-card deal in Jester Poker video poker:

Jester, Four of Diamonds, Five of Diamonds, Six of Clubs, Jack of Diamonds

In this hand, there are several directions you can go even though you don’t have a winning combination right off the bat. You’ll have to decide how the jester fits in with what you have. That will affect what other cards you want to keep.

For example, you have three diamonds in the deal. If you hold on to them, you could imagine the jester as another diamond. It would take just one more to create a flush.

There is also a stretch of three cards that are consecutive in rank in the four, five and six. Adding the jester to either side of that stretch would put you just one card shy of a flush.

Finally, you have the four and five of diamonds, which gives you two cards in consecutive rank of the same suit. Imagining the jester connecting with them puts many possible winning hands into play, including the straight flush.

It is truly a tough decision that you have to make. In many hands, your choices won’t be as complicated as you play Jester Poker video poker. But this is one that might make you stop and think, and it’s one where a knowledge of good strategy (more on that below) is important.

For the sake of this example, let’s say that you decided to hold on to the four and five of diamonds. Imagine that you received the following draw to finish the hand.

Jester, Four of Diamonds, Five of Diamonds, Five of Spades, Five of Hearts

As you can see, you have three of a kind with fives in this hand before even considering what the jester can do. In actuality, it can improve this hand a few different ways.

If you imagine it as a four, it would make a full house. But the highest-paying version of this hand is if the jester is turned into a five. That gives you four of a kind, and the game will recognize this and reward you accordingly.

This example should give you an idea of how a jester as a wild card can really be beneficial and flexible. When you held the four and five of diamonds, you likely were doing so with the idea of something like a straight flush coming out of it.

You likely couldn’t have envisioned that the jester would become a four instead. But that’s how it helped the hand the most. Thus, that’s what it became.

Basically, when you get a jester in your hand, either on the deal or the draw, in Jester Poker video poker, your chances of winning that hand go up dramatically. And by contrast, you’ll have to struggle a bit to make a winning hand when you don’t receive one. As you’ll see when we get to the pay tables for this game, you have to work a little harder for a winning combination than you would in non-wild card games.

Jester Poker Video Poker Pay Table

It’s important that you look at the pay table closely before starting any new video poker game. Obviously, the pay table will tell you what to expect in terms of payback from winning hands that you might make. But it does much more than that.

Because it shows you how much each winning combination will be paid, it should impact your decision-making process on each hand. If you know how to spot it, a pay table will also help you understand whether a game is volatile or not. And it will also unlock the payback percentage you can expect from the game.

Let’s take a look at the full-pay (highest-paying) pay table for Jester Poker video poker that you might be able to find online.

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Five of a kind 800 1,600 2,400 3,200 4,000
Wild royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Straight flush 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a kind 16 32 48 64 80
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5

Perhaps the best way to understand this pay table is to draw some comparisons. First of all, here is the full-pay pay table for the most common form of video poker, known as Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

As you can see, there are drastic differences between the two. Some of these are caused by the presence of the wild card in Jester Poker video poker. For example, the only way that you can make five of a kind is with a wild card, which is why you don’t see a five of a kind hand listed on the Jacks or Better pay table.

Another big difference is in the fact that the Jacks or Better game pays back for a pair of high cards. This does not happen in the Jester Poker video poker game.

And you’ll see a 3 to 1 payback for three of a kind on Jacks or Better, compared to 2 to 1 on Jester Poker video poker. The reason for these discounts is because you have a wild card in play in Jester Poker, which makes these common hands much easier to achieve.

The other thing that you’ll notice is the big discrepancies at the tops of these tables. Jester Poker video poker awards five of a kind more than any other hand, while paying a royal flush, wild or otherwise, the same as a straight flush. On the Jacks or Better table, the royal flush stands well above the rest and, as we said, there is no five of a kind.

You might think that the high payback of five of a kind is something common to wild card games. But let’s take a look at the pay table for Joker Poker, which is the common game on which the online-only Jester Poker video poker is based, and you’ll see that this isn’t the case.

Joker Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 5,000
Five of a kind 100 200 300 400 500
Wild royal flush 50 100 150 200 250
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 10 20 30 40 50
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5

You can see that there the Joker Poker pay table actually hews closer to the structure of the Jacks or Better pay table than it does the Jester Poker video poker pay table. You can see the pure royal flush (one with no wild cards involved) is restored to the top of the pay table. Five of a kind is second in payback, but nowhere near what it earns in Jester Poker.

It’s also important to note that this is just one Joker Poker pay table that you might find. There are several versions of the game where you can get even-money pay back for a pair of kings or a pair of aces. No Jester Poker video poker games allows that.

What does that all mean? Well, first of all, and we’ll talk more about this when we get to strategy, five of a kind hands are an absolute must if you’re going to earn decent payback in Jester Poker video poker. You really have to be on the lookout for any possible opportunity to make that hand.

In addition, Jester Poker video poker raises the volatility level from common Joker Poker. By volatility, we’re talking about the ups and downs of game play. Wild card games are volatile to begin with, and the Jester Poker pay table raises it even further.

It does this through the reliance on the five of a kind hand. And it also does this through the fact that you can’t get paid back for a pair of kings or aces.

High volatility means that playing Jester Poker video poker will generally require a big bankroll. Otherwise, you could find that your bankroll might evaporate completely if you hit a slump and can’t prop it up with payback from common winning combinations.

One other thing to note: The pay table listed above is not the only one you’ll find in the world of Jester Poker video poker. You might also be able to locate the one below.

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Five of a kind 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500
Wild royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Straight flush 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a kind 16 32 48 64 80
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5

As you can see, the only difference in this pay table from the full-pay version of Jester Poker video poker is that this one pays less for a five of a kind. This change will bring your expected payback percentage down several points, so try to avoid this pay table if possible.

Jester Poker Video Poker Payback Percentage

Payback percentage is perhaps the most important statistic to discover about any video poker variation. It will reveal the average results you can expect from a video poker session. And it will tell you whether a specific game will be worth playing over the long haul.

In the case of Jester Poker video poker, the payback percentage comes in at around 97.2%, assuming perfect strategy. What this means is that, with a hypothetical budget of $1,000, your average return would be about $972. You’d be looking at a $28 loss.

Would those results hold true every time you played? Not necessarily. Luck will be more of a factor in a short session.

If you sat down to play Jester Poker video poker and hit five of a kind in one of your first few hands, your payback percentage for that session would be well over 100%. In the same manner, you could play 20 hands and lose them all, in which case you’d be looking at a payback percentage of zero.

Yet the more you play the game, the less luck will be a factor. Your results will start to resemble what the probability of making winning hands and the payback for those hands say they should.

The question then becomes whether or not 97.2% is a good payback percentage. Unfortunately, for serious video poker players who are hoping to make a profit, the answer is no. You’d be looking at a house edge of 2.8%, which is a little steep.

We normally recommend 99% as a good threshold for video poker games. With games like those, your average loss, also known as the house edge, would be under 1%.

You’d possibly be able to make up that amount through rewards given out by gambling websites for frequent play. As such, you might be able eke out a profit with games at the 99% mark or above.

That’s not likely to happen with Jester Poker video poker. You’d probably be unable to recoup losses of close to 3%.

Casual players, however, might not mind the lower payback percentage. After all, they might be more interested in the high payback potential of some of the rarer hands.

Strategy for Jester Poker Video Poker

In terms of strategy, Jester Poker video poker presents some problems. On the one hand, the wild card aspect of it will force you to think a little bit harder whenever you see a jester on the deal.

You know you’ll be holding the jester. But because you won’t quite know how that wild card will be deployed, it’s a little bit harder to pin down the right strategy for those other cards in the hand.

The other problematic part of strategy for Jester Poker video poker is the odd pay table. Most other video poker games with wild cards are set up to favor the royal flush.

As a result, you really have to go into this game with a different approach. And you have to make sure that you find some help that is specifically tailored to this game.

The Importance of Good Strategy

You might think that you’ll be able to wing it and hope for the best with your Jester Poker video poker. But you have to remember that video poker strategy isn’t based on hunches or gut feelings. It is based on the probability math of attaining certain hands and the payback potential of those hands.

In every deal that you receive, you’ll have 32 possible combinations of what to hold and what to discard from which to choose. But only one of those is correct in terms of the math. That combination would bring the most value to the deal over the long haul compared to all other options.

Normally, to get strategic help playing a specific video poker game, you would consult resources like strategy charts or video poker training software. You can certainly find resources like that to help you with a common Joker Poker game.

But Jester Poker video poker is such a drastic reimagining of the pay table that any advice you get on Joker Poker might be misleading here. Your best bet in devising strategy would be to utilize a video poker calculator, inputting the pay table values and specific deals where you might be up in the air about what cards to hold and discard.

This is, by no means, a fool-proof process. And it would likely take you a long time to figure it all out. But if you really want to be accurate about your Jester Poker video poker strategy and play the game to its maximum payback potential, it could be worth the effort.

Pros and Cons of Jester Poker Video Poker


  • Wild card play can be extremely exciting
  • Five of a kind hands pay more than in most other games
  • Different approach to the pay table can make for a nice change of pace

  • Finding the right strategy can be extremely difficult
  • Lack of payback for a high pair raises the volatility level a great deal
  • Overall payback in the game is lacking even at the full-pay level

Jester Poker Video Poker Conclusion

Jester Poker video poker takes Joker Poker, borrows its concept, then puts the pay table into a blender to shake things up. As a result, you’ll have to look at your approach to certain hands in a completely different manner. If you’re willing to make that leap, you certainly might enjoy this game for variety’s sake!