QUESTION: I like to play Deuces Wild video poker, but I’m not sure of the basic strategy. Can you help me out?
GURU: Of course! Playing Deuces Wild can be a lot of fun because of the four wild cards circulating throughout the deck. When the deuces turn up, straight flushes, five of a kinds and even royal flushes become commonplace.
Because the deuces are so important, playing strategy is evaluated according to the number of deuces dealt and the possible hands they may create.
Hands without deuces:
1. Always draw one card to a royal flush, even if it requires breaking a pat straight flush.
2. Always draw two cards to a royal flush unless you already hold a pat straight, flush or straight flush.
3. Draw one card to a straight flush unless you already hold a pat flush or straight.
4. Draw two cards to a straight flush unless you already hold a pat flush or straight.
5. If you need one card for either a flush or a straight, draw for the flush.
6. If you need one card for either a flush or straight and already hold any pair, keep the pair.
7. Always hold three of a kind. When dealt two pair, discard one of them and draw.
8. Draw five cards when you don’t have a pat hand and you don’t have a chance at the hands listed above.
Hands with Deuces:
1. When dealt four deuces, hold all five cards to minimize the chances of "losing" one in the draw.
2. When dealt three deuces, hold them and draw for the fourth unless you already have a pat royal flush or five of a kind.
3. When dealt two deuces, hold them alone and draw unless you already have a pat four of a kind or better. Also, if you need one card for a royal or straight flush, draw for the one card.
4. When dealt a single deuce, hold any pat hand except break a flush or straight if you have a one-card draw for a royal or straight flush.