How to Play Deuces Wild Video Poker

Learning how to play Deuces Wild video poker is a lot different than learning to play Jacks or Better. Deuces Wild introduces the wild card to video poker, which creates whole new layers of strategy and many card options that don’t exist in straightforward Draw Poker. Having a wild card offers you the chance to hit on a lot more hands, which gives many video poker players the action they crave. It helps that Full Pay Deuces Wild has a +100% expectation, meaning someone who learns to play the game right can win more than they lose. I know that sounds like someone wanting to sell a gambling e-book, but it’s true in this case.

The truth is, casinos know that most gamblers aren’t going to play perfectly. In fact, men like Dan Paymar wrote a famous book or two discussing “optimal play”–the idea that people aren’t going to play perfect, but gives advice for how players can maximize their talents. But whether your play is perfect or only optimal, the numbers state that a person can have a positive expectation when playing the best version of Deuces Wild video poker. This is a game you have to learn how to play.

Twos in Deuces Wild

Let’s start with the wild cards. In Deuces Wild, 4 of the 52 cards in the deck are wild card: they substitute for any other card in the deck. These wild cards are the 2 of Diamonds, the 2 of Hearts, the 2 of Clubs, and the 2 of Spades. Anytime you receive a deuce, it can be used as any other card in the deck for the purposes of making a winning hand. You should receive a deuce every 6 or 7 hands in Deuces Wild, so this gives you a good chance of building excellent hands.

What’s the Drawback?

To compensate for the better hands that are going to be built in Deuces Wild, the pay table looks much different than it does in Jacks or Better. In Draw Poker, all you have to get is a pair of Jacks or better to win money. That’s not the case in Deuces Wild, which requires you to get at least a three of a kind to win money. You might be saying, “A three of a kind? Good grief,” but if you remember back to those nights playing wild card draw poker with friends in your living room, those wild cards create some wild hands. It happens more often than you think. You to have to jump a high hurdle, but you’re given a trampoline.

Finding Full Pay Games

If you can find the full pay version of Deuces Wild, it helps your bottom line significantly. As mentioned before, Full Pay Deuces Wild video poker has an expectation of 100.76%. Even if you don’t play perfectly, you should be hovering around 100% if you can figure out the strategy of this game, but you have to find the version of Deuces Wild with the best odds.

Video poker game designers know this, so they made it a little tougher to spot the full pay Deuces Wild pay table. They got tricky, because some of the payouts are larger on the Not-So-Ugly Deuces Wild game. The lesser version of Deuces Wild is called “Not So Ugly” because the expectation is still pretty darn good: 99.73%. That’s beside the point, because you’re still throwing away money by missing the full pay machine, so here’s how to tell the difference in the two.

Full Pay and Not-So-Ugly Deuces Wild Compared

About half of the payoffs are the same in these two games, so let’s boil this down to the payoffs you should be focusing on: five of a kind, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, and flush. Four of these pay out more on the full pay version, while one of these have bigger payoffs on the not-so-ugly version.

Poker Hand Full Pay Not So Ugly
5 of a kind 15x bet 16x bet
Straight flush 9x bet 10x bet
4 of a kind 5x bet 4x bet
Full house 3x bet 4x bet
Flush 2x bet 3x bet

The pay charts are counter-intuitive, because one look at these two pay tables and it would be natural to assume the Not-So-Ugly payoffs are the better odds. But paying off 5 times the original wager on the four of a kind makes all the difference. Think about it: those wild cards mean you’re going to hit a four of a kind a heck of a lot more times than normal. You have 8 cards in the deck that could make that happen, instead of the original 4. The 5 of a kind is still rare, while the flushes and full houses are still hard to fill out. So if you want to look at any one payout on the table, look to see what the game offers on a four of a kind.

Playing Deuces Wild

Sitting down at the Deuces Wild machine and playing the game is not much different than playing Jacks or Better. You’ll need to insert your slots card (always) before you play one hand. You’ll choose the coin denomination and the number of coins you want to play. Note that Deuces Wild doesn’t have a graduated jackpot for 5-coin bets that you have in Jacks or Better. In fact, the coin selection is more straightforward in Deuces Wild.

Once you have your money option figured out, hit the “Deal” button and get your cards. Like 5-card draw, you’ll decide which of the 5 cards you want to keep and which you want to discard. When you make that decision, you’ll hit deal again and get your new cards. At this point, you have to have a 3 of a Kind or better to win. If you don’t, it’s time to move on to the next hand. If so, you get paid according to the pay chart.

The whole process of playing a hand of Deuces Wild video poker takes seconds, though I urge you to take as much time as you need in order to use the right video poker strategy. Whatever the case, once you learn how to play Deuces Wild, you’ll probably play big sessions where you see in excess of 100 hands or more before you quit or move on, especially if you followed my instructions and played the Full Pay version of Deuces Wild.