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Aces vs. deuces wild

May 25, 2004 1:26 AM

I am often asked why I didn’t incorporate any of the deuces wild games into any of my play strategies. I’ll start from the beginning.

In discussions with players, inevitably the issue of overall game pay back percentage comes up. And Full Pay Deuces Wild (FPDW) — with its 100.76% theoretical pay back —takes over the player’s points they try to make.

There are a few other versions of deuces wild that are very near 100% that the players like to cite — especially when they add in cash back, comps, tournament play, bounce back free-play coupons, and just about any other creation just to model a greater-than 100% game.

This is when I can tell if the conversation is going to go anywhere. I know that if I’m able to break through that deuces wild wall they’ve had built up over the years, there’s a good chance I can help the player. But if they are unable to remove the blinders, I won’t waste my time.

Early on, I ran into this situation a lot. Now, however, things are beginning to change. I find that most people these days are able to understand and react to plain old common sense, and that’s precisely what is needed if anyone is going to find that light awaiting them at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel.

The first problem with the deuces games is that they do not have what it takes to be a winner on most visits to the casinos. In FPDW, there are but two hands capable of sending a player home a winner — the royal and four deuces. That’s hardly worth the time, and it is what makes that game an extremely boring endeavor. And those who play this game day after day after day must live in thralls of another world — one which long ago has created a loss of interest in just about anything else the rest of us find worth living for.

When I set out to develop a truly winning play strategy, I had an open mind focused on every game then available. I hired several mathematicians to help me keep that focus, while I worked the common sense end of the equations. When I was told the game of deuces just wouldn’t fit into the plan of consistent winning I set out to develop, it was scrapped. Of course there were no tears shed on my part, because I had already told myself I would never, ever be able to properly concentrate on playing that game correctly. The first hurdle had been overcome.

From the start, I was very partial to playing Bonus Poker in my strategy. The game is interesting, it has several mid-level jackpots, and it is not a terribly volatile game. But alone, it also was not capable of accomplishing the goals I had set for winning, and there was more work to be done. The problem was with quads paying only 125 credits. Enter double bonus and double double bonus poker. The potential of these games had an awesome effect on the strategy I was trying to formulate, and we were off and running.

Although there are a number of other advanced bonus poker games I incorporate into my strategies today, back then I only had two. They not only paid a decent 250 credits for quads — 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s all paid 400 — and in the double double version they paid an amazing 800 credits with any one of four kickers. But the star of the show was — and has proven very successfully to be — aces. Paying either 800 or 2,000 credits, nothing has sent me home a winner more often.

Some people might now be saying "Hey, wait a minute, four deuces pays a thousand — even 2000 in some versions." Yes, that’s true, but the mid-level winners pay so poorly that it is very easy to find yourself out of credits before hitting the deuces.

And here’s the main point: In my Play Strategy, I have many special plays that allow me to see the very powerful aces much more often than the math models say we should. Because deuces are wild cards, it just doesn’t work in the same way with FPDW. Holding a single deuce many times would kill off so many credits that a bankroll would never last.

But none of this would make much of a difference anyway, if it were not for the fact that my Play Strategy also incorporates pre-set win and loss goals — and the strict requirement to pack up and go home the moment a goal is attained. Whereas long-term strategy dictates one spend long hours studying and practicing games at home, the ordeal doesn’t stop there.

It also requires the player to play as long as one’s bankroll can hold out for as many hours as one can stay awake, and to play as often as possible for as many years as possible. It is, in effect, a contradiction of human comfort and reasoning.

And this is precisely why so many players are taking up playing my style of short-term strategies. Changing machines and casinos often is fun. Moving around keeps one more alert. Cashing out often makes it seem not so monotonous. And playing for the aces is fun. No, most people won’t play as seriously as I do and they won’t win as often as I do with my methods. But if they go after the aces rather than chase deuces, they will have far more of an enjoyable time playing.