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Jokers Wild Machines

The above discussion regarding two pair assumes that there is no wild card in the deck. The jokers wild machines have added a single joker, and that makes a big difference. The full payout for a jokers wild machine is:

NAME PAYS RETURN HITS

Royal Flush 4000 1.95% 1 in 41112

Five of a Kind 1000 1.87% 1 in 10706

Wild Royal Flush 500 1.04% 1 in 9604

Straight Flush 250 2.87% 1 in 1739

Four of a Kind 100 17.11% 1 in 116

Full House 35 10.98% 1 in 63

Flush 25 7.79% 1 in 64

Straight 15 4.98% 1 in 60

Three of a Kind 10 26.79% 1 in 7

Two Pair 5 11.09% 1 in 9

Kings or Better 5 14.20% 1 in 7

TOTAL 100.65%

Almost every payout is less than jacks-or-better, and it has the dreaded 5 coin payout for two pair, and yet this machine returns 100.6% for optimal play. If you can find a royal flush payout of 4700, the return increases to 100.9%, the highest of any machine I have found but one. It is also the highest variance of any machine. You can expect big swings if you play jokers wild.

 

Highlights of the Jokers Wild Strategy

This is a complicated machine to play correctly, which is probably why the casinos make money on them. I find myself constantly having to refer to the expert strategy sheet for different hands. But here are some points to keep in mind:

Straight flushes are much more important in this game: they pay the same, but the joker makes them more attainable (five times more attainable, actually). Thus you usually break up a flush or three-of-a-kind if you have four cards to the straight flush. A three-card straight flush with no gaps is better than a losing pair. With one or two gaps, such a hand is still almost always better than two cards to the royal.

On the other hand, straights are less important because they only pay 15. The old saying “never draw to an inside straight” is completely true in this game only. A one-gap three-card straight flush is better than a four-card no-gap plain straight.

When you have a joker and no other obvious Slot Gacor cards to save, always check to see if you have two other cards that could be part of a straight flush. If so, hold them. If not, most other authors recommend that you save the joker alone. My calculations show that you are almost always better off saving one card with the joker. Apparently your increased chances of four-of-a-kind or five-of-a-kind make this the better play. But which card? I have not found any small set of precise rules that can tell you. Roughly, the idea is to save the card that, considering all the other cards left in the deck, is most likely to participate in a flush, or a straight without a king or an ace. Thus cards towards the middle, like sevens, are favored, but saving a seven would not be a good idea if you discarded another card of the same suit (i.e., the flush is less likely) or if you discarded a card close to it like a six (i.e., the straight is less likely).

Two-card royals that do not have a king or an ace are at the bottom of the heap. You only hold them if you have nothing else.

Variations of Jokers Wild

A common variation is to reduce the four-of-a-kind payoff from 20 to 17 or 18. On the surface it does not seem like a big change, but note that the return due to four-of-a-kind is 17.1%. If you reduce the payoff by 10% (20 to 18), that gives 1.71% back to the house, making the game about a 99% return. Not a ripoff, exactly, but below my personal threshold; I do not play those machines.

Deuces Wild Machines

Deuces wild machines are my personal favorites. The four deuces are wild cards, and the payoff seems at first glance to be substantially reduced:

 

NAME PAYS RETURN HITS

Royal Flush 4000 1.77% 1 in 45281

Four Deuces 1000 4.07% 1 in 4909

Wild Royal Flush 125 4.49% 1 in 556

Five of a Kind 75 4.80% 1 in 312

Straight Flush 45 3.71% 1 in 242

Four of a Kind 25 32.47% 1 in 15

Full House 15 6.37% 1 in 47

Flush 10 3.33% 1 in 60

Straight 10 11.30% 1 in 17

Three of a Kind 5 28.45% 1 in 3

TOTAL 100.76%

The high payoff for four deuces acts as a mini-jackpot, one that you actually have a reasonable expectation of hitting in a weekend of play. The average return for deuces wild is also above 100%. It has a noticeably higher variance than jacks-or-better, but not quite as high as jokers wild. You will find the key to deuces wild is how often you hit four-of-a-kind. Four-of-a-kind accounts for about 1/3rd of your total return, yet you hit it on average only 1 in 15 hands. That means about one four-of-a-kind for every two rolls of quarters. If you get three, you will be soaring; if you get none, you will be plummeting. Neither outcome is that unusual.