Deuces Wild still a winner for video poker

Jan 12, 2010 5:10 PM

Venerable game offers lots of action

Despite the myriad of new and exotic video poker machines, Deuces Wild remains one of the casino’s most popular video poker games, especially with players in Las Vegas.

The reason is the "mini jackpot" for catching four deuces, which is a reachable goal, unlike catching a royal flush, which seems to have become more elusive than ever.

The standard jackpot for four deuces pays 1,000 coins (with five coins bet), which equates to $50, $250 and $1,000 for nickel, quarter and dollar machines, respectively.

Some specialized versions, such as Baby Deuces, return a higher jackpot.

The mini jackpot is also the reason for the continuing popularity of other poker games, such as Joker Poker (1,000 coins for five-of-a-kind), and Double Bonus Poker (for catching four aces).

The best Deuces Wild machines offer a 100.6% return to expert players. In its full-pay version, these machines will feature this pay table:

Royal flush 800

Four deuces 200

Wild royal 25

Five-of-a-kind 15

Straight flush 9

Four-of-a-kind 5

Full house 3

Flush 2

Straight 2

Three-of-a-kind 1

In recent years, we’ve seen the casinos fudge a little on the lower level payouts, so the payback will be slightly less.

Nonetheless, the game still offers plenty of action and a nice chance to walk away a winner.

In the case of Deuces Wild, the expert player must be prepared for extremely volatile streaks of winners and losers with fast fluctuations in the bankroll.

The player must be well versed in the strategy for this game which plays radically different from all other versions. To see where you rank, we have prepared this test for which the answers are below. Just circle the cards you would hold (before looking below) and see if you are truly prepared to take on Deuces Wild.

For a complete explanation of Deuces Wild strategy, along with other video poker as well as casino games, go to our Gaming Tutorial section.




(A) Hold the three clubs which make up a double inside straight flush. As rag-tag as they look, they will return 36 percent of your bets on average whereas a draw of five cards averages only 32 percent.

(B) The ace-king combo for the royal is never worth playing in this game. We play two-card royals only if headed by a queen or jack. Keep the three hearts, going for a potential straight flush.

(C) We keep either pair not both and certainly not the three-card straight flush. The pair returns 56 percent, two pair returns 51 percent.

(D) With a pat straight flush worth only nine times the bet and a natural royal worth 800, assuming coin-limit play, the only play is to dump that nine. On less than five-coin play, take the straight flush to the bank.

(E) Don’t even think about going for the straight flush. The straight returns a guaranteed 200 percent, the straight flush attempt will yield an average of 166 percent.

(F) We never waste a deuce looking for a straight or flush. Drawing to the bare deuce averages out to above a tie (104 percent return of bet) while the attempt for the straight will return only 83 percent. Likewise, a four-card flush will waste a deuce, returning 70 percent on average.

(G) Four-card royals (even deucey ones) are too good to pass by. Triplets will produce a 202 percent return whereas the shot at the deucey royal nets an average of 338 percent.

(H) Hold the clubs, looking to fill the straight flush. As bad as it looks, the play will return 170 percent on average.

(I) Keep only the deuces.

(J) Go for the deuce royal.

If you got them all right, you are probably ready to play. Just make sure your machine has the pay table shown above. There are lots of poor-paying Deuces Wild games showing up but there’s no reason to settle for less in video poker heaven.

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