In ancient Rome, professional jesters, or 'balatrones' were paid to amuse the wealthy at their tables, a tradition that managed to survive into the Middle Ages and beyond. A court jester, fool or joker was a member of the household of a nobleman or a monarch employed to entertain guests during the medieval and Renaissance eras. Jesters were also itinerant performers who entertained common folk at fairs and town markets, a lively part of society whose legend lives on. The unpredictable nature of the fool saw this character becoming a central part of some of the first card games, a wild card symbol to accompany the royal face cards of Kings, Queens, Jacks and Aces. This whimsical, zany and fun character has the power to change the entire outcome of a game; it's no wonder, then, that when fruit machines and then online slots introduced gaming to a wider audience, the Joker would be a popular reels symbol, sometimes featuring as the main theme of an entire game! Joker-themed slots continue to enthral, let's take a closer look at some of the most engaging ones around at Caxino. Make sure you bring your sense of humour!
It's April, fools!
The Joker gets away with mischief that could land other people in trouble. After all, if you're paid to poke fun at kings, queens and nobles, you'd better make sure you're good at it. Fortunately, we know not to take the chaos brought by this figure too seriously, so there are lots of online slots that allow him free reign to disrupt the gameplay. The milder representation of the Joker is often seen in fruit-themed games, with their roots in classic slots, such as 27 Joker Fruits and 81 Joker Fruits from Synot Games in which the Joker symbol is the Wild symbol capable of activating bonus rounds, if you're lucky enough to land three or more. These games have relatively simple play action and an attractive presentation, in which the Joker symbol jostles with the fruit on the reels to produce combinations.
Welcome to the Dark Side
Don't be fooled, though, the Joker may present a slightly more sinister face to you, too. The fruit-themed game Dark Joker introduces you to the character you may recognise as Batman's nemesis, although Batman himself doesn't appear. What you do see are reels populated with decaying fruit, which is either a comment on the character's stale jokes or an even bigger reason to look forward to his appearance as the Wild symbol in the game. Another title, the Dark Joker Rises also adds a darker side to the game, again adding damaged fruit and flaming bells. Hot to Burn Extreme is another edgy fruit-themed slot from Pragmatic Play, but it doesn't use the name Joker in the title, although there is a joker symbol on the reels once again. A current favourite is Raw's Mad Joker Super Slice Zones which adds sticks of dynamite and bloodied pistols into the symbols mix, presided over by a sinister, purple-coated Joker.
The King of Slots
Joker King, also from Pragmatic Play, reminds us of the regal nature of this slots symbol, who has the right to do what he pleases in front of the King. Seasonal fun is also allowed with the Joker, after all, he can shake up any season. Joker Times Xmas Edition combines some regular fruit symbols with the Joker and a fearsome-looking medieval club-styled weapon, which is either used to keep the peace or to make war, we can't be certain. It's a spinoff game from Kalamba Game's original Joker Times in which the Joker seems to be cast as the king, since he's featured sitting on a throne.
Joker Jackpots and more
Don't despair! The Joker isn't just for milder classic slots, he also features in some of the most popular formats, as seen in Joker Megaways, for example, in which giant symbols may appear to occupy more than one place on the reels. Wazdan's Hot Spot Mystery Jackpot Joker is another fast-paced jester adventure! Dueling Jokers Dream Drop is another high-octane game to look out for.
The Joker may usually be seen as a wild chard symbol, but he (or she) occasionally teams up with other characters or themes. Partnerships like Joker Lanterns, Joker Leprechauns and Joker Troupe add to the versatility of this all-rounder slots character, who appears when you least expect him.
Why not try out a joker-themed slot in April, the perfect month for a bit of fooling around? Some of the most-popular titles include Respin Joker, Fire Joker and Joker's Jewels. If good fortune is one your side, maybe you'll be enjoying the last laugh!