Most card decks come with 52 playing cards and two jokers. Many people set the jokers aside or even throw them out as many people do not know how to use the jokers when playing cards.
Jokers can be used a lot of ways in poker, and it can be fun to keep these two cards in the deck. One way the joker cards can be used is as wild cards. A wild card is a card that can be used as any card needed in a hand. If, for example, a person is playing five card stud poker and has a hand consisting of a five, a six, a ten, two Jacks and a joker card, and the joker is wild, that person would have three Jacks in his hand and in a five card stud game, may very likely win the pot. If the person has two jokers, he would have four Jacks and would very likely win the pot in a five card stud poker game. However, if the person has two jokers and one Jack and another person has the other three Jacks, the person with the “natural” hand wins the pot.
Another way to use jokers is similar to the game Black Mariah. This would entail four cards being turned up, either with five or seven cards being dealt. If, during the dealing, a joker appears turned up, all of the cards are given back to the dealer and the game begins again. This is just another variation of Black Mariah, only more difficult as there are two jokers in the deck.
Still another way to play with jokers is to make anyone who gets a joker in their hand split the pot with the winner. A split pot is not desired by most poker players and is hardly ever used in professional poker. No one wants to have four Kings and have to split the pot with someone who is holding a poor hand consisting of one joker. This can be even worse if two people have jokers and the pot has to be split three ways.
Jokers can also be used to throw someone out of the game. Someone holding a joker would then have to fold for that particular game as the joker card contaminates their hand. This would also be very frustrating to a poker player who may be holding four Aces and get dealt a joker on the last card. But it would make the game more exciting.
Most professional poker players never use the joker cards, either as wild cards or as elimination cards as the cards tend to undermine the skill a professional poker player acquires in learning the card game. For this reason, most people tend to put the joker cards aside.
However, when playing cards with family and friends, it can be fun to vary the game by using the joker cards, either as wild cards or elimination cards. It is just another way to add variety to the many different ways to play poker.