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Source: The Pinball Archive

Rules: Jokerz!

1988 Williams

Rules and stuff not copyrighted at all. Written by Bill Cooper (former Jokerz owner -- it left to make room for Whirlwind). Initial version written 19-20 October, 1995, in response to a request from a new owner. Posted to the net as a item of potential interest for other owners, or potential future owners. Feel free to copy and distribute as you see fit.

Features and layout

Starting at left flipper and moving clockwise around the playfield:

lower left drop targets, left ramp entrance, upper left drop targets, gate, B-E-T rollover lanes, draw poker saucer, right ramp entrance, drop targets. There is also an upper level at the back of the playfield (described below), three pop bumpers below the B-E-T rollovers, and the (raisable) center ramp and target.

Upper level
The upper level is reachable via the plunger shot, and by two ramps on either side of the playfield. There are five rollover lanes, each with it's own card, Ace (leftmost) through 10. Going over a rollover lights that card (if unlit). Flippers move lit lanes in the usual way.

Right and left, starting halfway up the playfield and leading to the upper level. Center ramp is raised by hitting center target.

Drop targets
Three banks of three: Lower left, lower right and upper left on the playfield.

Shots and strategies:

The best shot to master
The easiest way to rack up points is to shoot the gate above the upper left drop targets. This lights the lowest unlit card on the upper level, then ejects the ball into the B-E-T rollover area. The ball then (hopefully) will bounce off the pop bumpers through the rollovers a few times (advancing the bonus multiplier). It will also bounce back through the gate a fair proportion of the time, starting the cycle over again. The benefits are advancing the playfield cards towards completion, as well as advancing the Bonus X (which can light extra balls). Finishing two hands on the same ball can yield big points (assuming you max the bonus): 100,000 + current bonus (including multiplier) for completing the hand plus the bonus awarded again at the end of the ball. Shot is easily made from the right flipper, or an easy backhand from the left. The target at the back of the gate doubles playfield values for 20 seconds when hit during multiball.

Upper level -- filling in the hand
When the last rollover on the upper level is made, the game awards 100,000 plus the bonus. A special is lit in the draw poker saucer for completing 3 (or however many are set) hands. The lit bells in the joker's hat (just above the flippers) let you know how many you have completed.

Extra balls
Two ways to get extra balls. The first is to advance the bonus multiplier to the flashing value. Only works once per ball, and reflexes from ball to ball. This lights the extra ball over the in/out lanes. The other way is to get the extra ball award from the draw poker wheel. I can't remember if this awards the ball directly or just lights the in- and out- lanes.

Left and right ramps
These shots always gave me difficulty, probably because the ball would go almost to the top (and trigger the switch), then roll back down between the flippers. A timely slap save helps immensely. The left ramp increases the ramp award. Base is 10k, advances to (this is from memory) 25k, 50k, 100k, 250k and 500k (max). Right ramp collects award, and resets it to 10k. Shooting both ramps within a timed period on the last ball doubles score. Except for doubling score, I tended to avoid ramp shots. Nigh unto impossible to backhand.

Raising the center ramp
The center ramp shot is (at least for me) fairly tricky. When raising the ramp, a shot from a ball trapped on the flipper usually leads to a drained ball. A perfect on-target shot goes STDM, and if you are off to either side, it bounces off the rubbers on the post straight into the outlane. The best way to make this shot is to flip a live ball that has come down the inlane at an angle. It hits the target and bounces off into play.

Draw poker
The left inlane lights the draw poker saucer, located under the upper level next to the right ramp. May be shot from the left flipper, almost impossible to backhand unless the ball has exactly the right spin. Saucer spins the wheel in the backglass, and awards range from 10k to Special. Ball is ejected to B-E-T rollover lanes.

Drop target millions
Completing all three banks of drop targets starts a timed Millions mode. Completing any bank of drop targets in the timed mode awards 1,000,000 points. The upper left targets usually get completed when shooting the upper left gate shot mentioned above. I always found the lowest target on both of the lower banks to be the most difficult to hit.

The jackpot is fairly difficult. The award builds over time to a maximum of 4,000,000. You need to raise the ramp, lock a ball, raise ramp again, lock second ball to start multiball. While multiball (2-ball only) is in progress, you need to make 4 center ramp shots (may be carried over to other multiballs depending on game adjustments). The best strategy is to flip one ball up thorough the left gate, and let it bounce around in the pop bumpers. Then you can concentrate on shooting the other ball up the ramp. The ramp is relatively easy to hit from the left flipper, but almost impossible from the right, unless you catch the ball, let it roll down the flipper, then shoot almost straight up the ramp. If you get the balls under control when multiball starts, you have a chance. Otherwise (at least for me) one ball usually drains quickly.

Doubling Score
On the last ball, you have a fixed period of time to double your score by shooting the left and right ramps. I always try for it (who wouldn't), but getting it was rare. See ramp shots above. Only awarded once per game. Shots do not carry over on extra balls -- you start over. Time decreases by 5 seconds for every million points you start the ball with, to a minimum time of 10 seconds.

I'd usually shoot the first shot described above until extra ball is lit, then shoot for the center ramp and try to collect the extra ball. Repeat on second ball. Try to double score on third ball unless extra ball is lit. If extra ball is lit on third ball, try to rack up points, collect extra ball, then double on extra ball. Pretty boring after a while, but it does rack up the points and extra balls

Tips/ things I had to repair

The prop rod tends to bang the connector for the lower right drop-target board. This leads to intermittent failure, which can lead to frustration if it stops working milliseconds before you hit the last target to collect millions, doesn't register and the mode times out. Solution is to simply replace the connector, and be careful when replacing the hood.

If the backglass wheel motor goes up, the Wms replacement part is $55. I'd suggest that you try Steve Young of Mayfair (I sure wish

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