Add deuces to royal equation

Aug 28, 2006 3:39 AM

Continuing with my recent them of reviewing the strategy for 2-card royals, today I thought I would take a look at the strategy for royals in the Deuces Wild game.

The strategy for this version of video poker can get complicated because a natural royal (no wild cards) still pays the full 4,000 coins for max-coin play, while a wild royal (using at least one deuce) pays ”˜only’ 25 coins per coin-in. It is still a nice hand, but not quite the payout.

The interesting part is that, as a result of splitting the natural royal and the wild royal, the natural royal actually becomes more rare than it is for jacks or better, appearing only once in about 45,000 hands.

This is because the deuces "get in the way" of making a natural royal. The wild royal should show up about once in 560 hands, which is roughly once an hour.

So, while the natural royal accounts for a little less than 2% of our payback, the wild royal actually contributes about 5% of our totally payback.

Thus, playing the partial royals correctly can be even MORE important in Deuces Wild if we want to achieve the 100.6% payback it affords.

As we always do with Deuces Wild, we break the strategy down by the number of deuces that we are dealt. Obviously, if you are dealt four deuces, there is nothing left to decide. I, personally wouldn’t risk hitting the wrong button, and would just hit Hold for all five cards.

If you are dealt three deuces, then you also have little to decide. If you have a wild royal, you keep it, but you do NOT play a 4-card royal. Instead, you keep only the three deuces.

The strategy for two deuces requires a little more work, but not much. Again, if dealt a wild royal, you keep it. If dealt a 4-card royal, you play it, but not over a straight flush or 4-of-a-kind. 3-card royals are not playable with two deuces. Instead, just keep the two wild cards.

With one deuce, the strategy becomes a bit more complex. A wild royal is still held. As tempting as it might be to go for the natural by throwing the deuce, it simply is not worth it. The 4-card royal is played below the straight flush, so we don’t break up the sure winner.

As should be no surprise, it does outrank straights and flushes, so we do break up these sure winners to go for the royal. We have the three remaining deuces to help us out in these cases.

With no deuces, the fun really begins. Let’s face it, once you have at least one deuce, your top prize when shooting for a royal is only 125 coins if you’re playing max coins.

With no deuces, you’re going for the 4000-coin jackpot. The top two entries on the strategy table are the royal itself and a 4-card royal.

With four deuces remaining, even if you miss the natural royal, you get four chances at the wild royal for a consolation prize. The 3-card royal falls below all 4-card straight flushes (including inside ones), Straights, flushes and three of a kinds. It plays higher than a single pair or two pair (which is not played in Deuces Wild) and above all 4-card straights and 4-card flushes.

With no deuces, only certain 2-card royals are playable. Only those that are made up of 10-J, 10-Q and J-Q are playable. This is because they allow for more straights to be made than a K-A or J-K would allow.

The 2-card royal is not nearly as strong in Deuces Wild vs. jacks or better because there is no high pair to bail you out. It is a bit more of an all or nothing hand in this version. It does, however, still outrank a Razgu, requiring us to throw all five cards.

Deuces Wild can be one of the most profitable of all video poker machines. But, as is always the case, the payback doesn’t come just because you choose to play that particular version. It happens when you play that version AND you play it properly.

The royals are just one aspect of this. If you want to get the full benefit of the 100+% payback, you have to learn the whole strategy table.