Odd Todd is finally odd, Square Joker is actually square — and other nonsense only Balatro players will understand, as its biggest update rolls out to all platforms

(Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Balatro just got its first major update in patch 1.0.1f, with huge improvements to the game.
  • Many players have already been playing this version on Steam experimental, but it's now available to everyone on PC and soon will arrive on console. 
  • Improvements have been made to Jokers, such as rewards for skipping blinds and scaling on more difficult-to-play hands.

If you're as addicted to Balatro as half of our team are, I have some good news. A huge update just dropped to the game on PC that has made the game even better. Whether you want to climb the stakes or get all the trophies (including that horrifying Completionist++ achievement), it's just got a whole load easier. I've been playing the previous version of Patch 1.0.1f for nearly a month now on my Steam Deck and I can't wait for everyone else to experience it. 

Balatro patch 1.0.1f is a noticeably better game than it's predecessor, from free Jokers for skipping blinds to less punishing higher stakes

I've already been playing a version of this patch for around a month on Steam, as you can access experimental versions of the game there, and it was immediately so good I completely abandoned my Xbox playthrough and advised others to stop playing Balatro on Xbox too. However, at the time, the message was that the patch would be rolling out within a week or so. As it happened, developer LocalThunk wanted to make more adjustments, so it's only hit Steam officially in its current form in the past 24 hours, and they state that "We are submitting the patch to consoles ASAP - I do not have an ETA, but it should be approximately a week or two". There is a raft of changes, but the most game-changing for me is that skipping a blind for a special Joker now awards that Joker for free, all first shops have a Buffoon Pack, and gold stake has a 'rental' mechanic rather than increasing pack costs. These are just a few huge changes that make the game much less punishing when chasing the higher stake completions and trying to unlock Jokers.  You can read the full patch notes on Reddit, but I've summarized them here: 

(Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

Free jokers for skipping blinds, bump to financial rewards.

  • Changed Uncommon tag: Now makes the Uncommon Joker free
  • Changed Rare tag:  Now makes the Rare Joker free
  • Negative, Polychrome, Holo, Foil tags all make their respective Joker free
  • Changed Investment skip to give $25 instead of $15

Changes to Planet cards, making more difficult hands easier to scale

  • Saturn - now gives +3 mult instead of +2 mult for Straights
  • Neptune - now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Straight Flush
  • Eris - now gives +50 chips instead of +40 chips for Flush Five
  • Ceres - now gives +4 mult instead of +3 mult for Flush House

Joker changes, mostly buffs, but some nerfs to overpowered cards like Vampire

Square Joker used to be rectangle, totally unplayable. (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)
  • Square Joker is now actually square in appearance - starts at 0+ chips and costs $4
  • 8 Ball - scrapped old effect, new effect -> 1 in 4 chance to spawn a tarot when any played 8 is scored
  • Mad and Clever Joker - scrapped 'contains 4 of a kind' effect, now applies instead to any hand that contains a 'Two Pair'
  • Yorick - new effect -> gains X1 mult every 23 cards discarded (starts at X1)
  • Midas Mask - now only applies Gold enhancement to scoring face cards, costs $7 was $6
  • Vampire now only removes enhancement from scoring cards, gives X0.1 mult per enhancement instead of X0.2 mult, Rare instead of Uncommon
  • Madness - now only applies on small/big blinds, not on boss blind selection
  • To Do list - poker hand no longer changes on payout, always changes at end of round (won't get stuck on Straight Flush)
  • Changed description of Shortcut to include a more apt example (10 8 6 5 3)
  • Ancient Joker - the selected suit is no longer able to repeat between rounds
  • Swashbuckler - Now adds sell value of all other Jokers to Mult, not just the Jokers to the left
  • Hanging Chad - Now retriggers the first played card 2 times instead of once
  • Flower Pot - Now includes the base suit of debuffed cards when determining if it will trigger
  • Bootstraps to include current mult bonus in description
  • Sinful Jokers (one for each suit) - they now each give +3 mult per suit instead of +4 mult
  • Banner - now gives +30 chips per remaining discard instead of +40 chips
  • Fibonacci - costs $8 instead of $7, because Fibonacci
  • Steel Joker - Now gives X0.2 mult per Steel card in full deck instead of X0.25 mult
  • Odd Todd - Now gives +31 chips per odd ranked card instead of +30 chips (my favorite change, Odd Todd is now actually odd) 
  • Sixth Sense - Now uncommon and $6, was rare
  • Hiker - Now gives +5 chips to every scoring card played instead of +4 chips
  • Gros Michel - Now has a 1 in 6 chance to go extinct instead of 1 in 4
  • Seance - Now uncommon and $6, was rare and $7
  • Riff-Raff - Now $6, was $4
  • Vagabond - applies when you have $4 or less, was $3 or less and is now Rare
  • Cloud 9 - Now $7, was $6
  • Mail-In Rebate - Now $5 was $3
  • Reserved Parking - Now common, was uncommon
  • Lucky Cat - Now gains X0.25 per lucky proc, was X0.2
  • Trading card - Now costs $6, was $5
  • Campfire - Now gains X0.25 per card sold, was X0.5
  • Smiley Face - Now give +5 mult per face card, was +4 mult
  • Wee Joker - now starts at +0 chips, was +10 chips
  • Riff-Raff - Now $6, was $4
  • Golden Ticket - Now pays out $4 per gold card played, was $3
  • Bloodstone - Now has a 1 in 2 chance to proc, was 1 in 3 - gives 1.5x multi
  • Onyx Agate - Now gives +7 mult per club card, was +8 mult
  • Glass Joker - Now gives X0.75 mult per glass card destroyed, was X0.5 mult
  • Stuntman - Now gives +250 Chips, was +300, now Rare
  • Invisible Joker - Now requires 2 rounds and costs $8, was 3 rounds and $10
  • Burnt Joker - Now is rare, was uncommon
  • Changed wording on most scaling jokers to refer to 'this joker'
  • Fixed bug where the card generated by 'Certificate' was not being debuffed by the boss

Tarot card and seal changes

Blue seals no longer award a random Planet card, you'll get one for your last played hand (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)
  • Changed Magician Tarot - now applies lucky to 2 cards instead of 1
  • Changed default fallback tarot from Fool to Strength (when all tarots are on screen)
  • Blue Seal - now creates the planet card of the final poker hand played during the round

Ante scaling changes making higher stakes less brutal

  • White stake
    - Ante 3: 2800 -> 2000
    - Ante 4: 6000 -> 5000
  • Green stake
    - Ante 2: 1000 -> 900
    - Ante 3: 3200 -> 2600
    - Ante 4: 8000 -> 9000
    - Ante 5: 18000 -> 20000
    - Ante 6: 32000 -> 36000
    - Ante 7: 56000 -> 60000
    - Ante 8: 90000 -> 100000
  • Purple stake
    - Ante 2: 1000 -> 1200
    - Ante 3: 3200 -> 3600
    - Ante 4: 9000 -> 10000
    - Ante 6: 50000 -> 60000
    - Ante 7: 90000 -> 110000
    - Ante 8: 180000 -> 200000
  • Orange stake
    - Scrapped increasing pack cost.
    - Added new 'Perishable' mechanic
    - Jokers have a 30% chance to have a 'Perishable' sticker, disabling them after 5 rounds
  • Gold stake
    - Scrapped -1 hand size
    - Added new 'Rental' mechanic; Jokers have a 30% chance to have a 'Rental' sticker (stacks with eternal/perishable), making them cost $1 upfront and $3 every round.
    - Changed eternal to apply to Jokers in Buffoon packs

Adjustments to Perishable mechanic

  • Made some non-retroactive scaling Jokers incompatible with 'Perishable' (Ceremonial Dagger, Glass Joker, Hologram, Ride the Bus, Runner, Constellation, Green Joker, Red Card, Madness, Square Joker, Vampire, Rocket, Obelisk, Lucky Cat, Flash Card, Spare Trousers, Castle, Wee)

More notable changes 

  • Changed Gold Stake random seeds - now ensure that the first Legendary Joker on that seed is a Joker that you have not won with on Gold Stake (For Completionist++ achievement)
  • Changed the first shop in every run to always include a normal Buffoon pack as one of the pack options
  • Upcoming blinds/tags can now be seen in the shop immediately after defeating a boss blind/cashing out
  • Some Blinds are now banned on challenge runs. Banned Crimson Heart, Verdant Leaf and Amber Acorn on 'Jokerless'. Banned Verdant Leaf on 'Typecast'. Banned Verdant Leaf on 'Non-Perishable'. Banned The Plant on 'Mad World'
  • An updated version of Love2D has fixed an issue on Windows and Steam Deck causing poor/stuttery performance for some players
  • Added toggle for 'Reduced Motion,' removing the swirly background and gyrating card motion
  • Banned top-up tag and Antimatter on Jokerless Challenge

When will patch 1.0.1f roll out to Xbox?

The patch is available on PC right now, but due to console verification, we may be waiting for up to a week for the Xbox version of patch 1.0.1f to land. The developer has said "I do not have an ETA but it should be approximately a week or two. I appreciate your patience!" 

Balatro | $17.89now $9.19 at CD Keys  |  $13.49 at Fanatical | $13.49 at GMG

Balatro | was $17.89 now $9.19 at CD Keys  |  $13.49 at Fanatical | $13.49 at GMG

Bolatro is a poker-inspired rogue-lite deck builder. Balatro challenges players to create powerful synergies and win big by playing illegal poker hands with unique Joker cards and arcanas. It's currently reviewed at 97% overwhelmingly positive on Steam for its addictive gameplay and psychedelic visuals. 

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.