The Symbolism of the Joker Card in Playing Card Decks

The Symbolism of the Joker Card in Playing Card Decks

Playing card games is a common form of entertainment that originated several centuries ago. Today, several modifications have been made to card games, not in gameplay but in the card deck. In some card games, a card in the deck is called “Joker. The joker meaning in cards will usually depend on the game played.

But, how did the Joker card originate? And what purpose does the Joker card play in a standard deck of cards? Join us to explore the meaning of the Joker in cards and delve into its uniqueness in this casino news.

Joker Meaning in Cards: A Jester History

To grasp the joker meaning in card games, is necessary to know about his history or origins. The Joker card has been around for centuries but has recently been an addition to the regular 52-card deck. This unique card is suitless, holding no affiliation with clubs, hearts, spades, or diamonds, but impacts casino games.

The history of the Joker card begins with the game of Euchre. The Euchre’s true origin remains undiscovered, but it gained fame in the 18th and 19th centuries, contributing to the early joker card we use today.

Some say that Joker meaning in cards comes from “Juker,” the German spelling of the game Euchre. Other tales suggest that the Joker was named after a jester character. Jesters were common entertainers for Kings and Queens of court in the Middle Ages, so it’s reasonable that these characters are also together in playing cards. However, there’s no specific reason why there are two jokers; we guess it’s to keep the even numbers of cards in the deck.

The Americans added the Joker card to playing card decks to play Euchre in 1850. In the 1870s, a British producer, Charles Goddall, was the first person to manufacture a deck of cards with joker cards, but it was only available for the Americans. Five years later, the Joker card had evolved from an Euchre-only prop to a wild card or trump card. 

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A Later Change in Card Games

In the late 1940s, it was prevalent for Americans to see a pair of joker cards in every playing deck. As a result, the American Contract Bridge League was founded, and a new joker game, “Canasta,” was viral in the ’50s. A typical modern deck of playing cards contains two jokers and a blank card.

Unlike other cards from top casino games that have their ranks and suits, the Joker card has no specific design. Some may depict a court jester, harlequin, or clown as a symbol of chaos and cunning, but they all have the same purpose.

Joker Meaning in Cards: The Role of the Jester Card

Now, every deck of cards comes with a Joker, and this card has roles that have evolved over the years. You can use it as you deem it fit, as long as you don’t break the casino games rules.

The Joker is mainly used as a wild card or replacement for other misplaced or damaged cards in the deck. Rather than buy a whole deck of 52 cards, you confirm the rank and suit of the lost card and note it on the joker card.

Sometimes in online casino games, the joker card may be the highest ranking, even higher than aces of any suit. This is common in Euchre, Dou Dizhu, Chase the Joker, and Go Fish. In poker and other games, it may hold no value: just a wild card with special functions. So, it’s best to know the game rules before you play.

Like the ace of spades meaning in blackjack, the Joker meaning in cards is unpredictable, making it among the most sought-after cards in casinos where the card is allowed to make your hand or game.


The joker meaning in cards has significance in the world of playing cards. It’s always been a symbol of power and versatility from its European origin in Euchre to its current global evolution. 

Remember that in some games like the Hi Lo Game, having a joker will signify nothing and it does not help you improve your hand value. For example, it is important to know what is surrender in blackjack to understand a joker will have no value in your search for a 21 score in any blackjack game. Therefore, it’s still important, while playing other card games, to know its rules and variants, so you can correctly identify if the Joker is a useful card for you, or not.

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