From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Joker \Jok"er\, n.
   1. One who makes jokes or jests.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. (Card Playing) See Best bower, under 2d Bower.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. (Card Playing) An extra card usually included in a deck of
      playing cards, having the same design as the others on the
      back, but on the face having a picture of a jester. It is
      not included in the deck used in most games, but in
      certain games may be included and then takes on a special
      value, such as the highest-valued card, or a wild card.

   4. A clause placed in a document, such as a contract or a
      piece of legislation, not itself appearing significant,
      but in a subtle way substantially changing the effect of
      the document.

   5. Hence: Any fact or condition which is unknown or not
      apparent, which reverses an apparently advantageous
      position; a kicker.

   6. A person; a fellow; a chap; -- usually used in a mildly
      disparaging sense; as, who's the joker who left the ice
      cream on the table?.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Bower \Bow"er\ (bou"[~e]r), n. [G. bauer a peasant. So called
   from the figure sometimes used for the knave in cards. See
   One of the two highest cards in the pack commonly used in the
   game of euchre.
   [1913 Webster]

   Right bower, the knave of the trump suit, the highest card
      (except the "Joker") in the game.

   Left bower, the knave of the other suit of the same color
      as the trump, being the next to the right bower in value.

   Best bower or Joker, in some forms of euchre and some
      other games, an extra card sometimes added to the pack,
      which takes precedence of all others as the highest card.
      [1913 Webster]
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