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Shuffle Up and Deal: Should We Have Jokers Wild?


Kristen Lampe


In the neighborhood poker games, one often hears of adding the Jokers as wild cards, or declaring deuces wild. In this talk, we’ll explore what happens mathematically when two Jokers are added to the deck. The probabilities for different hands change, in ways that might surprise you. Further, we will explore the mathematical consequences of playing poker with more or fewer than five cards. Finally, we will look at the historical beginnings of poker, and a mathematical anomaly that occurred along the way.