Balatro – RNG Mechanics Guide

In Balatro, RNG mechanics are determined in a queue, with there usually being a different queue for every type of RNG for each ante.

Balatro’s RNG Internals

For items that can spawn from multiple sources (e.g. Jokers in the shop, Buffoon Packs, Judgement, etc.), these sources each have their own queues. If an item is unable to generate, (because it’s not unlocked, already obtained, etc.) Balatro will use a resample queue that runs separately from the main queue, which is also used only for the current ante. If that fails to generate an item, additional resample queues are created until a successful item is generated. For Jokers, each rarity has their own resample queue.

Items with Preconditions

Some items in Balatro require certain conditions in order to spawn. These are:

  • Items that have not been unlocked in the collection.
  • Vouchers that have already been redeemed or require a previous voucher to be redeemed.
  • Planets/poker hands that must be played once to be displayed. (Five of a Kind, Flush House, Five of a Flush)
  • Jokers with specific requirements:
    • Gros Michel: must not have gone extinct before
    • Cavendish: Gros Michel must have gone extinct, this joker must not have gone extinct before
    • Stone Joker: A Stone card must be in the deck.
    • Steel Joker: A Steel card must be in the deck.
    • Glass Joker: A Glass card must be in the deck.
    • Golden Ticket: A Gold card must be in the deck.
    • Lucky Cat: A Lucky card must be in the deck.
  • Tags which cannot spawn in Ante 1:
    • Negative Tag, Standard Tag, Meteor Tag, Buffoon Tag, Handy Tag, Garbage Tag, Ethereal Tag, Top-up Tag, Orbital Tag
  • Bosses which cannot spawn before certain antes:
    • Ante 2: The Mouth, The Fish, The Wall, The House, The Mark, The Wheel, The Arm, The Water, The Needle, The Flint
    • Ante 3: The Tooth, The Eye
    • Ante 4: The Plant
    • Ante 5: The Serpent
    • Ante 6: The Ox

Fallback Items

If every possible item of a certain type is invalid, Balatro will manually choose an item to spawn instead. Here is a list of the fallback item for every item type:

  • Planets: Pluto
  • Tarots: Strength
  • Spectrals: Incantation
  • Jokers: Joker (regardless of rarity)
  • Vouchers: Blank
  • Tags: Handy Tag

Balatro’s RNG Rates

The Shop

The type of item that spawns is chosen based on a weighted average.

By default, Jokers have a weight of 20 while Tarots and Planets have a weight of 4. 

  • With Tarot/Planet Merchant, this weight increases to 9.6.
  • With Tarot/Planet Tycoon, this weight increases to 32.
  • On Ghost Deck, the weight for Spectrals is 2.
  • With Magic Trick, the weight for playing cards is 4.

Pack Rates

The type of pack shown in a shop is also calculated based on a weighted average:

Pack TypeWeightPercent Chance
Arcana/Celestial/Standard Pack417.84%
Jumbo Arcana/Celestial/Standard Pack28.92%
Mega Arcana/Celestial/Standard Pack0.52.23%
Buffoon Pack1.25.35%
Jumbo Buffoon Pack0.62.68%
Mega Buffoon Pack0.150.67%
Spectral Pack0.62.68%
Jumbo Spectral Pack0.31.34%
Mega Spectral Pack0.070.31%


Every Joker generated has a 5% chance to be Rare, 25% chance to be Uncommon, and 70% chance to be Common. Within each rarity, all Jokers have an equal chance of being chosen. Currently, there are 61 Common Jokers, 64 Uncommon Jokers, 20 Rare Jokers, and 5 Legendary Jokers that Balatro can choose from.

For editions, every Joker has a 0.3% chance to be Negative, 0.3% chance to be Polychrome, 1.4% chance to be Holographic, and 2% chance to be Foil. Hone (X2) and Glow Up (X4) don’t affect the chances of Negative Jokers appearing. As a side effect, the chance of Polychrome increases more than expected (becoming 0.9% with Hone and 2.1% with Glow Up).

Joker stickers can only appear on Jokers in the shop or Buffoon Packs. Every Joker has a 30% chance to be Eternal and a 30% chance to be Perishable. Independently, every Joker has a 30% chance to be Rental.

The following Jokers cannot be Eternal:

  • Gros Michel, Ice Cream, Cavendish, Luchador, Turtle Bean, Diet Cola, Popcorn, Ramen, Seltzer, Mr. Bones, Invisible Joker

The following Jokers cannot be Perishable:

  • Ceremonial Dagger, Ride the Bus, Runner, Constellation, Green Joker, Red Card, Madness, Square Joker, Vampire, Rocket, Obelisk, Lucky Cat, Flash Card, Spare Trousers, Castle, Wee Joker


The Soul can only spawn in Arcana and Spectral Packs. Black Hole can only spawn in Celestial and Spectral Packs.

In a viable pack, these Spectrals each have a 0.3% chance of spawning per card generated instead of a regular Tarot/Planet/Spectral.

In general, all Spectrals have an equal chance for any possibility (ex. Sigil, Ouija, Incantation).

For Aura, cards have a 15% chance to become Polychrome, 35% chance to become Holographic, and 50% chance to become Foil.

Standard Packs and Playing Cards in the Shop

Each card in a Standard Pack has a 40% chance to be Enhanced. All 8 enhancements have an equal chance of being chosen, making them each a 5% chance.

Cards in Standard Packs are twice as likely to have editions as Jokers. (1.2% Polychrome, 2.8% Holographic, 4% Foil)

Each card in a Standard Pack has a 20% chance to have a seal. All 4 seals have an equal chance of being chosen, making them each a 5% chance.

Note that the RNG for the enhancements and editions of playing cards with Illusion is not ante-based. 🪲

With Illusion redeemed, every card has a 40% chance to be Enhanced.  All 8 enhancements have an equal chance of being chosen, making them each a 5% chance.

Cards with Illusion are much more likely to have editions. (3% Polychrome, 7% Holographic, 10% Foil)

Cards with Illusion do not generate with seals.


Misprint gives a random amount of Mult between 0 and 23. Other RNG mechanics are uniform and/or follow listed probabilities.

The following RNG elements are not ante-based:

  • Legendary Jokers
  • The Wheel of Fortune
  • Hands generated by To-do List
  • Several Spectrals (Ouija, Sigil, Familiar, Grim, Incantation, Immolate, Ankh, Ectoplasm, Hex)
    • RNG from Familiar, Grim and Incantation are partially linked
  • The Joker duplicated by Invisible Joker
  • The Joker destroyed by Madness
  • The rank and suit of the Stone Card generated by Marble Joker
  • The consumable duplicated by Perkeo
  • Cards generated by Certificate
  • Cards flipped by The Wheel
  • Cards discarded by The Hook
  • Cards selected by Cerulean Bell
  • Cards disabled by Crimson Heart
  • Cards flipped in the X-Ray challenge

Although entering a seed with an O is possible, Balatro will not generate random seeds with Os. It is also possible to enter seeds anywhere from 0-8 characters long.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7011 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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