The Joker card is a unique extra card in a deck, apart from the 52 regular cards. This is one of the most important card in different variations of card games. As believed, it was introduced around 1860 by Euchre players, when they established the need for an extra trump card. At first, it was known as ‘Highest Trump Card’ or ‘The Best Bower’.
Another theory, contradicting the Euchre theory says that the Joker was introduced as a wild card for the game of Poker. Earlier represented by a tiger, by 1880s, the Joker was represented with a clown. Decks with Jokers came into production in the American market around 1863 and reached the English market only by 1880.
Some historians relate the Joker of the playing cards to the Fool of Italian tarot cards. They are similar in the way they look and their role in the games. Though the Joker’s clown image may have drawn inspiration from the Fool, their origins cannot be related.
Every deck normally comes with two Joker cards. Depending upon the rules of a game, the Joker may play a vital role in a game or may not hold any relevance at all. Casually, the Joker is sometimes used as a substitute for a lost or misplaced card. In relevant games, Joker card is used as a wild card, where it can hold any value of an existing card. Like in a game of Poker or Rummy, a Joker is used as a wild card to make a hand. Other games place the Joker card at the lowest value and might need to be avoided completely.