Balatro – General Tips and Tricks

So with my current 20-2 stats, I now feel I can safely call myself an expert at Balatro.

Tips and Tricks

Rule Number One

Don’t build your deck around a single hand type. If you go for flushes alone, or go in with your mind made up that you’re going to have a specific hand to play every time to win, you’re never going to.

Rule Number Two

The only thing that will make you better is through losing. That’s the magic of a game like this, there’s no quick way to win. You have to pick up the rules of the game and understand every card and how it works completely before you can learn to maximize your profits both on the table and in your wallet. Read the rules for the cards carefully. Sometimes in your haste to read something, you might misunderstand what it means.

Let me give you an example: let’s say you have both a joker that gives you a bonus for a hand that contains a pair, and you also get a joker that contains a bonus for a hand made with three of a kind. Did you know that if you play a Full House, you’re going to get both bonuses? A Full House contains both a pair, and three of a kind. Use these types of situations to your advantage, and let the synergy pay off.

Rule Number Three

Don’t be in a rush to win every Boss Blind. Especially on the first time you play, you’re not going to fully understand how the mechanics of a specific boss blind are going to work. Pay close attention–if you need to take notes or talk out loud to yourself to understand how things are playing out, do it.

There are calculated risks involved in a game like this, and there are also times where, if you’re paying super close attention, you can actually sneak in more hands to play to help yourself out in the long run. Here’s a hint: the Green Joker is your friend. Play as many hands as you can while that card is active.

Rule Number Four

Forget about high ranking poker hands being the key to victory. I’ve played for twenty hours, and coincidentally have played a Royal Flush once—on a losing run. The rare poker hands are not worth the effort most of the time to go for (Think Four of a Kind, Royal Flush,).

Now…that’s not to say these cards won’t pay off if you can find the right cards in shops to create tons of duplicates of one card and then whittle the rest of your deck down to ensure you draw it every single time; but a simple pair is a lot easier to find and takes less cards overall to obtain; plus there are more ways to make a pair than there is to make a Royal Flush.

A standard deck of 52 cards has 26 pairs. Conversely, a standard deck of cards only has 4 Royal Flushes. Commonality can be a big key to winning. As in true Texas Hold ‘Em fashion, think about your “outs” and maximize those chances. Once you’re able to manipulate what you have in your deck, you can greatly affect your odds of winning.

Here are some things that help me, for what that’s worth:

  • Aim to have at least a Joker that reliably gives you bonus chips, a Joker that gives you +Mult, and a Joker that has a Times-X Multiplier. It’s possible to beat the Ante 8 boss without one of those three types of Jokers, but it’s definitely easier if you have them. (Even if you just have, say, a Foil Joker for +50 chips, a Holo Joker for +10 Mult, and a Poly Joker for x1.5 multiplier that’s already a nice baseline.)
  • Always remember to slide anything that is a Times-X Multiplier to the right most part of its track so that it triggers after anything in the track that gives +X multiples. So a X3 Multiplier Joker so be at the right side of the list, in your hand slide your Steel cards that give X1.5 Multiplier to the right side of the hand, and in your played cards slide your Glass X2 multipliers to the right side before you play them.
  • Try to save money up so you can max out your interest (assuming you’re not using the deck that has no interest of course). If you have $25 on hand that extra $5 per blind basically translates into an additional upgrade every time you go to the store.
  • When discarding it’s almost always better to discard 4-5 cards trying for a particular hand than it is to discard 1-2 cards hoping for two or three possible hands. Your probability of getting a card that will improve your existing hand is usually much higher when you draw more cards than when you draw fewer, even if you are “leaving more options open”.
  • You can definitely beat the first Ante with no Jokers at all, but you should as a rule aim to add at least one Joker per blind minimum if not more to minimize the risk of losing to an unlucky draw. Also, having Jokers to increase your score helps you win Blinds in fewer hands which translates into an extra buck or two per Blind versus having to spend all your Hands every time.
Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 823 Articles
A lifelong gamer Jan Bakowski, also known as Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. He lives in Poland (Wrocław). His passion for games began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998. Proud owner of Steam Deck, which has become his primary gaming platform. He’s been making guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job.

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