Gambling Tips > Video Poker

Best Deuces Wild Poker Games

By Henry Tamburin


In the previous articles on how to be a smart video poker player, I described what are some of the best video poker games to play. This time, I’ll focus on Deuces Wild.

 

When you play deuces wild, the deuce is a wild card, meaning it can substitute for any card in your hand. What makes deuces wild exciting is that you are paid a mini-jackpot of 200 coins per coin bet for four deuces in the standard game (that’s $250 on a quarter machine, with max coins wagered). However, note that some variations of Deuces Wild pay double or higher for four deuces (more about this in moment)

 

I’ve grouped the different variations of Deuces Wild games you will encounter in a casino by how much you are paid for four deuces.

 

Standard Deuces Wild
The table below lists several pay tables for two standard deuces wild games (all pay 200 coins for four deuces) and their corresponding Expected Returns. (The latter assumes max coin played and you play every hand perfectly. The greater the ER, the better the game is for the player.) Most of these variations of deuces wild have been given names by video poker players. For example, the name of the deuces wild game in first column is Full Pay Deuces Wild (or FPDW). This game is also known as 15/9/5 deuces wild, indicating the payout for the 5-of-a-kind, straight flush, and 4-of-a-kind is 15/9/5). FPDW is one of the best video poker games that you can play because it returns over 100%. (Unfortunately, the game is only available in Las Vegas and a few other venues.)

 

Another good deuces wild game is listed in second column. It has the name Not So Ugly Deuces Wild (or NSU). NSU is another excellent deuces wild game because it returns close to 100% (actually, 99.73%).

 

Notice that the pay schedule for NSU is 16/10 for 5-of-a-kind and straight flush respectively. You’ll often find a variation of NSU that pays the same as NSU except the straight flush pays 9 coins per coin played (known as pseudo NSU or 15/9 NSU). By decreasing the payout by one coin for the straight flush, the Expected Value deceases to 98.91%.

 

The variance for these deuces wild games is about 25 (one-coin variance), which makes them slightly more volatile than Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker games. (This means you’ll need more bankroll playing these deuces wild games compared to Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker to prevent going broke.)

 

 

STANDARD DEUCES WILD GAMES

 

 

FPDW

NSU

Royal Flush

800

800

Four Deuces

200

200

Wild Royal Flush

25

25

5-of-a-Kind

15

16

Straight Flush

9

10

4-of-a-Kind

5

4

Full House

3

4

Flush

2

3

Straight

2

2

3-of-a-Kind

1

1

Expected Return (ER)

100.76%

99.73%

 

What if you happen to come across a deuces wild game with a slightly different pay schedule than FPDW or NSU (and trust me on this, you will find plenty of short-change deuces wild games on the casino floor).You need to jot down the pay schedule and check what the ER is for the game. (You can do this with a video poker training software, a strategy card, the book, The Frugal Poker Video Poker Guide by Jean Scott and Viktor Nacht, which lists the pay schedules and ERs for nearly 200 games, or going to the web site www.vpfree2.com). Don’t assume a deuces wild game is “good” unless you know what its ER is (you should only play deuces wild games that have the highest ERs).

 

As I mentioned in the previous articles in this series, the above ERs assume you play each hand perfectly. That is not as difficult as it first appears. For example, you can play any video poker game on your home computer, using video poker training software (including the above deuces wild games). When you make a playing error, the software will alert you and tell you what the correct play is. The software will also keep track of your playing accuracy. (You need to play with at least 99% accuracy before you risk money in a casino, which is easy to achieve with the software.) In addition, you should always take a video poker strategy card with you when you play (they are casino legal). You can refer to the strategy card if you are not sure how to play any hand. (You’ll find the video poker training software and strategy cards that I use when I teach video poker in my online catalog at www.smartgaming.com.)

 

In my next article, I’ll cover the variations of deuces wild that pay more than 200 coins per coin played (e.g., Loose Deuces, Bonus Deuces, Double Deuces, etc.).