Deuces Wild’s still a good play

November 27, 2001 2:39 AM
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One of Las Vegas’ most liberal video poker games is Deuces Wild in its full-pay version because, with this pay table:

Royal flush 800
Four deuces 200
Deuce 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
the machine offers 100.6 percent return to expert players. 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.

Which cards would you hold in these hands?

(A) 7C  

JH  

6C  

9S  

3C

(B) 3H  

AS  

KS  

6H  

4H

(C) 8S  

9S  

10S  

8D  

9D

(D) 9D  

JD  

QD  

KD  

10D

(E) 9S  

10S  

JS  

QS  

KH

(F) 2  

4C  

5C  

6H  

QC

(G) 2  

AH  

AS  

KH  

JH

(H) 2  

7C  

9C  

JC  

QD

(I) 2  

2  

10S  

6S  

5S

(J) 2  

 2  

10D  

QD  

4D

Answers:

(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 on page 12. There are lots of poor-paying Deuces Wild games showing up but there’s no reason to settle for less in video poker heaven.

(Editor’s Note: This Lenny Frome article is from the GamingToday archives. For years Frome was the consummate video poker authority, as well as a GT columnist. He passed away in 1998.)