Joker Poker (Gottlieb, 1978)

Joker Poker

Pinside rating

This game received 64 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.796 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #75 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.96

Artwork: 7.817

Sounds/Music: 4.088

Other Aspects: 8.043

Rating comments

There are 32 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 2 of us have rated this game.


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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 32 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 32 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 days ago
an old game but a lot of fun
32 days ago
Super fun drop target game.
65 days ago
A great game if you love drop targets. It certainly has the "just one more game. . . " factor.
Even though its is a step back in the evolution of sound I actually like the use of chimes in this game -- they add a pleasant background to game play. No fancy toys or complicated rules. . . this game is proof that sometimes simpler is better.
4 months ago
Games one of the best ever.
Had one for a few months now been hunting for one for awhile. Don't let it fool you. It's difficult sometimes.
Great artwork and design
5 months ago
I can't say that I love the EM machines too much, but Joker Poker is one of the rarities I wish I had in my collection. It's a shooter's game 100%, and is a perfectly enjoyable machine. Not going to rock your socks off, but it simply "works" much more than a lot of later/more involved machines.
6 months ago
My favorite old game, addictive.
1 year ago
Very fun and addictive, the best gottlieg, the best EM style game, the chime sound with digital display is a real + for me.
1 year ago
I love this game. Great ruleset, great layout, great shots. Of 15-or-so machines, this is one that I keep trying to play over and over.
1 year ago
I think this is a fun "Drop Target" game. Has a nice theme, with a great backglass. If you like this era SS, you might really like this one. Has a decently open PF. Isn't filled with a ton of stuff. Just a good solid game.
2 years ago
By far - Joker Poker is the best Gtb-Sys-1 pin. It plays like EM's (I like) - keeps-up with counting, Bonus Multiplyer is great. I like the Em-chime-box in it. The other Gtb-Sys-1 are nice / good, Joker Poker is excellent.
2 years ago
Awesome game, one of the best solid states of all time.
3 years ago
Another masterpiece by Gottlieb this one has it all
3 years ago
My favorite drop target pinball. JP takes advanced skills on the flippers and at aiming to be successful when compared with most other machines. It will punish you for every mistake you make. Still it keeps me coming back again and again. Uniquely addictive.
The art work is absolutely awesome, busty women and cards, what's not to like? JP has some of the nicest visual appearance without making it difficult to follow the ball on the PF.
Game flow is nice as long as you are good at aiming. The Sound, ding-ding-ding.... certainly nothing special.
Cons: upper flipper is a bit awkward. Sides drain easily. If you're not into drop targets look elsewhere.
Bottom line: I played about every major drop target Pinball and JP is my favorite.
3 years ago
this is a fun game that I played as a kid, nice flow and long ball times
3 years ago
Who says Gottlieb didn't make any good games after they switched to solid state technology? Joker Poker stands the test of time, and remains one of the best, if not THE best, card themed game ever made, and certainly the best Gottlieb of the post-wedgehead era. Multi-player play can be quite a ball. The unique "five-ball" aspect of the game as it relates to bonus, at a time when games were moving to three-ball, adds a bit of deepness to an otherwise straightforward game. King drops on the right hand side are tricky, and you have to rely on a little luck from the slings to get them all dropped. Gordon Morison art has that wedgehead 60s vibe going for it...lots of colour, sexy girls, and hypnotic patterns. Great addition of the extra flipper, replacing one of the pops, compounds strategy when trying to complete the ace/joker bank. Great System 1 game that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser in any collection.
3 years ago
Vintage sounds of bells and more bells. I love it! Puts me in the mood for playing. Lots of replay value
3 years ago
The one game that can be easy to beat yet at the same time very frustrating. Very challenging. Getting all the drop targets. A top 5 game for me.
4 years ago
Let me say this first. This is a pin from my childhood. I'm not basing this review on nostalgia. I already had a few late 70's SS games in my collection and sold after a few months. IMO this is the best looking pin out there. Simple classic artwork. Not overdone.
Just a classy looking machine. The rules are great. It's just one of those games that keeps you coming back for more.
4 years ago
Drop targets is the name of the game fun
4 years ago
Joker Poker is a fun, simple drop target game that can also kick your a$$ more times than not. There are three sets of drop targets to shoot for (10, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces), and each ball requires a different set to be knocked down to get the all-important 5x bonus multiplier. Though there are a few other nuances that's pretty much the entire game. It's addictive in that one-more-time way, particularly if your last game served you some tough drains.

Sounds are the classic chime box and work very well with the game for that nostalgic ambiance.

The real standout aspect of Joker Poker is the backglass, which features three busty jester women riding a spacey vortex of playing cards. Does it have anything to do with the rest of the art package? No, not really, but who cares!
5 years ago
One of the truly great playing early solid state games made by any company, hard to find a more enjoyable machine to play in a group!! Unique bonus system makes for huge comebacks and crushing defeats, this is simply an awesome player.
5 years ago
This is a great game that stands the test of time in a collection. Joker Poker is a classic that plays so well and is great set up on five balls. Gordon Morrison art work is awesome and a lot of fun to play.
5 years ago
Joker Poker is a great 70's Gottleib pinball design that shows that even new technology is there to help a great PF layout. 15 drop trgets help out the cause. Simple, yes. Easy... not by a long shot.

The Pros: The shots are well varied and the A-B-C lanes require great skill and nudging to drop the A and C lanes. I usually don't like asymmetrical slings, but these work great! Fantastic angles for the shots and bounces that make you consider what you are shooting for carefully. Bonus mulipliers that make all the difference in the world to your score, prioritize what you need to do differently each ball. One of Gordon Morrison's best art packages. Brilliant colors, top-heavy women with tiny waists... Stunning pf and (you never hear me say this... Brace yourselves) cabinet designs.

The Cons: Just like any other pinball game, if the table is not tip-tip, gameplay suffers (please keep that in mind, for those who say the gameplay lacks on this table...).

The Takeaway: A great game that will keep you coming back again and again. This PF is a winner whether it is in an EM or a SS package. Personally, I think the game plays better in the SS version. The bonus multipliers seem to be integrated into the game a bit better. The entire PF is utilized very well and the upper flipper is just right for the shots at the aces and joker. This game is not a williams DMD game. It has a different look and feel (and manufacturer, and tech, and designer). If this vintage of a game is not your thing... I completely understand. But the apples vs. oranges arguement is not valid in this case. Considering the vintage/limits of this design, it's an incredibly brilliant game. Ed Krynski is THE MAN! All in all... A damn fine game.

I have one SS exception for the 5 ball rule and that is Joker Poker. Granted this is an EM-vintage PF design, but the reason I have the game set to 5 balls has to do with the game's rules.

Ball 1, shoot the single "10" drop target.
Ball 2, shoot the two "J" drop targets.
Ball 3, shoot the three "Q" drop targets.
Ball 4, shoot the four "K" (including that pesky lower right hand one) drop targets.
Ball 5, shoot the five "A and joker" drop targets in the upper left hand corner of the PF.

This ruleset requires you to shoot all over the table and utilize the entire design of the deck. If the game was set to 3 ball, only the 10, Q and A-joker targets would need to be dropped. So in this case, I will make an exception to the SS 3 ball rule. This game really shines with the 5 ball ruleset! At the start of each ball, the game requires you to shoot a different set of the 5 banks across the game. I like the priority of shots changing from ball to ball and thus keep the deck on 5 balls per play. Playing this game does not get old, it gets more nucanced. What I mean by that is that the small techniques make the big difference on this table. The EM nudging and patience techniques pay off big. As does accuracy and secondary aiming off the rubber sides of the game to get the Aces and Joker bank completed. Is hitting that lower king target driving you nuts? Can you access it from a sling rebound? Is the ball near the pops? Just the slightest nudge into the table will make the ball fly around the upper pf, hopefully you will luck into another drop or the saucer. You will become a better pinball player with mileage on a table like this one.

I love playing this deck, I hope you do too!
5 years ago
I like the bell sounds more so than any music background. Gives me a sense of nostalgia of how a pinball would sound from this era. Played this game a few times and it didn't seem to get old!
There are 32 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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