Joker Card

The Joker! Not your typical card. This funny face wasn’t always there to mess with your game. We’ll find out where it came from, how it used to be super important, and how it makes things crazy now. Get ready for a wild ride through the Joker’s story!

joker card

What is a Joker Card?

The joker is an extra card in a deck, typically pictured as a jester. Unlike the numbered cards and suits, the joker’s role changes depending on the game. In some games, it’s tossed out. But often, it’s a wild card, able to act as any other card for surprising plays. This unpredictability, along with the joker’s jester figure, makes it a symbol of chaos and fun in the world of card games


Joker Card Meaning

The Joker in most games acts like a wild card. It can turn into any other card, changing the game and making things surprising. This means the Joker can symbolize being able to handle anything, going with the flow, and making the best of things. 

But it can also mean being unsure of what will happen next. The Joker throws a wrench in the plan, showing us that life can be full of twists and turns. If you take a look at a picture of the Joker, it’s often a silly fool or clown. 

These fools used to work for kings and queens, but they could get away with saying anything, even if it made fun of the king or queen! The Joker can symbolize this kind of rule-breaking and questioning the way things are usually done. Some people say the Joker is like the Fool card in a Tarot deck. The Fool is like a young child, ready to learn and experience new things. 

This means the Joker can also symbolize fresh starts and seeing things in a new way.


History of Joker Card

The Joker card, that grinning prankster in the deck, has a surprisingly interesting history. Unlike the Kings and Queens, the Joker is a late bloomer, arriving on the scene in the 1800s.

Born in the USA, the Joker wasn’t meant to cause chaos. It actually started out as a very important card in a game called Euchre, acting as the strongest trump card. Think of it like the ultimate winner in a game of war!

Over time, the Joker spread to other games, sometimes keeping its top-dog status, and sometimes becoming a wild card – able to fit in anywhere. This unpredictability is what makes the Joker so fun (or frustrating, depending on if it helps you or your opponent!).

Today, the Joker is a familiar sight in decks around the world. While it may not always be used in every game, it adds a touch of mystery and mischief, reminding us that even in something as structured as a deck of cards, there’s always room for a surprise.


Role of Joker in Cards

The Joker card, that mischievous jester in the deck, isn’t just there for show. Its main role depends on the game you’re playing, and it can be a real game-changer (or a total buzzkill) depending on the situation.

There are two most common roles for the Joker:

  • Wild Card: This is the most famous role for the Joker. In games like Euchre (where it originated) or Go Fish, the Joker can act as any other card in the deck. This adds an element of surprise and strategy, allowing players to create winning combinations they wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Top Trump:  Remember how we mentioned the Joker’s high-ranking past? In some games, like Euchre (originally), the Joker isn’t a wild card, but the ultimate trump card, outranking even the Aces. This makes it a powerful tool to have, but also means everyone is gunning to take it down!

There are other, less common roles for the Joker too. In some games, it has a specific point value,  can be used for special actions,  or even be completely excluded.


Relevant Card Games with Joker Card

  • Euchre:  The Joker’s birthplace! Here, it holds a prestigious position as the highest trump card, outranking even the Aces.  In Euchre, the Joker isn’t a wild card, but a powerful force in its own right.
  • Rummy (Variations):  In some Rummy variations, the Joker becomes a valuable wild card.  This allows you to use it as any missing card to complete sequences or sets, potentially helping you from winning melds.  
  • Poker (Variations):  Some Poker variations, like “Joker Poker” or “Jokers Wild,” embrace the chaos. Here, the Joker acts as a true wild card, allowing you to substitute it for any card and potentially create much stronger hands.  
  • Go Fish:  This classic children’s game utilizes the Joker as a wild card. If you ask for a specific rank and someone throws down the Joker, you get to choose any card you need!  This can be a game-changer, helping you complete sets much faster.
  • Spades:  Surprisingly, the Joker is typically excluded from standard Spades games. The focus here is on strategic bidding and teamwork using just the standard 52 cards.
  • Canasta:  This rummy-like game welcomes the Joker as a wild card. Just like in Rummy, you can use it as any missing card to complete your melds.  
  • Crazy Eights:  This fast-paced shedding game relies heavily on the Joker. Here, the Joker acts as a special card that forces the next player to draw five cards!  This can be a powerful tool to disrupt your opponent’s hand and gain an advantage.
  • Old Maid:  This children’s game flips the script entirely. Here, the Joker is the dreaded “Old Maid” card, the one you absolutely don’t want to be left holding at the end!  In Old Maid, the Joker represents being alone, a stark contrast to its powerful roles in other games.


How many Joker Cards are there in a Deck?

In a standard deck of 52 cards, you’ll typically find two Jokers, often labelled as the “Big Joker” and “Little Joker,” or the “Full-Color Joker” and “One-Color Joker.” Initially excluded from many card games, including the popular bridge, their incorporation gained momentum as card gaming evolved. Eventually, they found their way into well-known games like war, canasta, and poker, serving versatile roles as trump or wildcard elements. 

Speculation suggests that two Jokers per deck ensure an even number of cards. Their dual presence enhances game adaptability, offering players flexibility to utilize them as wildcards or exclude them based on game rules, underscoring their enduring significance.


Meaning of ‘JOKER’ in Hold’em

In Hold’em, the term “Joker” doesn’t refer to the Joker card itself.  A standard deck of cards used for Hold’em wouldn’t include Jokers.

Instead, “Joker” is a slang term used by some players to refer to a specific starting hand:  a pair of Jacks.

Here’s why:

  • Jacks: A pair of Jacks is a decent starting hand in Hold’em. It’s a medium-high pair, potentially strong but not unbeatable.
  • Slang: Many Hold’em players use colourful nicknames for different starting hand combinations. “Jacks” might sound a bit boring, so “Jokers” adds a touch of fun and informality.


There are other nicknames for Jacks as well, like “hooks,” “fish hooks,” or “Johnnies.”  So, if you hear someone at the table say they have “Jokers,” they’re simply referring to a pair of Jacks in their starting hand.


What is Joker in Poker?

In many moderation games, the Joker card is typically excluded from play, yet its presence as a wildcard adds an intriguing twist to various game variants.

  • In Forty Thieves, players can utilize the Joker as a placeholder on the foundation when the natural card is unavailable. Subsequent relevant cards can be stacked atop it, and once the specific card it represents becomes available, the Joker is replaced, lingering until an Ace appears.
  • In FreeCell, the Joker can be added to the foundation pile as a wildcard, following the customary card order. It remains there until a natural card is accessible again, and upon completing a foundation pile, it’s placed atop its existing stack.
  • In Pyramid, players have the option to place the Joker atop the discard pile, enabling them to remove any card from the pyramid under that circumstance.
  • Aces Up introduces a dynamic use of the Joker, often dubbed as “Joker Bombs,” where players can deploy them to clear a row. Once a competitor deals into a column, the Joker cards are removed from play and reshuffled into the stock, opening up strategic opportunities for players to enhance their chances of success.



Initially perceived as a mere fool, the Joker card evolved into a symbol of unpredictability and daring behavior. Its incorporation into numerous card games has added an extra layer of intrigue and excitement to gameplay. Whether viewed as a mischievous prankster or a representation of freedom, the Joker card holds significant sway in the dynamics of many card games.



  • Are Jokers always in a deck of cards?

Nope! Standard decks have 52 cards, no Jokers. They’re usually sold separately.


  • What’s the Joker’s most common role?

Wild card! It can act as any other card in games like Rummy or Go Fish.


  • Do Jokers ever trump Aces?

They can! In Euchre (where Jokers were born) the Joker is the ultimate trump.


  • Why might a Joker be bad in a game?

In some games, a Joker can mess up a pure sequence, making it less valuable.


  • Are Jokers ever used in Poker?

Not usually! But some variations like “Jokers Wild” let them act as wild cards.

Your Download file is ready

    Enter your mobile and email address to start downloading app

    Please prove you are human by selecting the flag.