As video poker games in the 21st century become more varied and complex, your standard Deuces Wild game remains as popular as it was nearly 20 years ago.
With a full-pay table, Deuces Wild has a very generous payback to expert players, some 100.5 percent. But its other attributes are worth mentioning, like its easy-to-learn expert strategy, its higher hit frequency, its "mini-jackpot" for Four Deuces (200-for-1) and its nearly mind-boggling volatility.
When GamingToday first analyzed Deuces Wild, the game was still in its infancy and we spent a lot of time watching the players and getting their reaction. A player would often say that she liked the game better than any other because the 200-for-1 payout on four-deuces was often her bailout from a losing session and it was happening far more often than royal flushes in Jacks or Better.
This player knew nothing technical about a characteristic called volatility and she was certainly right on the mark in sizing up the frequency of four-deuces.
To determine the frequency, we have to know how many hands we will be dealt which are candidates for four-deuces out of all the 2,598,960 unique hands in a 52-card deck and what the chances are for each to make it.
We’ve done the math for you (your welcome!), and it works out to about 525 four-deuce winners or an average occurrence of one in about 4,900 games.
By the way of contrast, the natural royal flush becomes a rather rare hand because we have so few genuine opportunities to try for it, mostly because we have one or more deuces in the pre-draw hands. In fact, 34 percent are ruled out for this reason.
Thus, once again after doing the math gymnastics, catching a natural royal works out to an average of 57 per 2,598,960 games or an average frequency of one per 46,000 hands. Note that we do not draw to a two-card royal unless both cards are below the level of a king. This is about one-ninth the frequency of the four-deuce hand, just like that player concluded.
But that’s enough math and stats. Here’s how you should be playing Deuces Wild:
Hands with Deuces
1. When dealt four deuces, hold all five cards to minimize the chance of losing one in the draw.
2. When dealt three deuces, hold them and draw for the fourth unless you already have a made royal flush or five of a kind.
3. When dealt two deuces, hold them alone and draw unless you already have a made 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.
Hands without Deuces
1. Always draw one card to a royal flush, even if it means breaking a made straight flush.
2. Always draw two cards to a royal flush, unless you already hold a made straight, flush or straight flush.
3. Draw one card to a straight flush unless you already hold a made flush or straight.
4. Draw two cards to a straight flush unless you already hold a made flush or straight.
5. If you need one card for either a flush or 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.