What the Balatro Negative Joker Effect Does
Image Source: LocalThunk via Twinfinite

What the Balatro Negative Joker Effect Does

A true blessing in disguise.

In a roguelike, the word “negative” is typically a big warning sign and means you should entirely avoid whatever it is attached to. Balatro does things a little differently, but players might still be wary of the Negative Joker effect. However, it is nowhere near as scary as it looks.

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Balatro Negative Joker Effect Explained

If you see a Joker with the Negative effect implied, it simply means that it gives you one additional Joker slot, which is a massive bonus. The ‘negative’ in this instance doesn’t mean there is any unpleasant addition to the card. Instead, it refers to the color negative visual effect applied to the card, like in photography.

The Negative part is just another version you can find of Jokers or playing cards alongside Foil, Holographic, and Polychrome. Information on these can be found in the Collection menu if you’re unsure.

Negative Edition Collection Menu Explanation
Image Source: LocalThunk via Twinfinite

One of the best ways to get a Negative Joker is with the Spectral card Ectoplasm. This will “add Negative to a random Joker,” which is too good to refuse. You might not want the added effect of reducing your hand size, but more Jokers never hurts. Other Spectral or Tarot cards can possibly add Negative, but it is usually a gamble for a slim chance.

One of the best parts of Balatro is that there aren’t really any unseen card effects to drag you down. In order to help you build up strategies, everything in the game is nicely transparent. The only difference to this is the Blank voucher that expects you to spend $10 on something that “does nothing.” Though that’s mostly the truth until you buy it enough times.

Though it sounds harmful, the Negative Joker effect is incredibly helpful. If you need help with anything else in Balatro, be sure to ask us in the comments.

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Cameron Waldrop
Cameron is a freelance writer for Twinfinite and regularly covers battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends. He started writing for Twinfinite in late 2019 and has been lucky enough to review many really great games. While he loves a good shooter, his heart will always belong to JRPGs.