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Deuces Wild Poker: Strategy & How To Play

Deuces Wild video pokerToday we’re going to talk about my personal favourite variation of Video Poker, and that is Deuces Wild.

Deuces Wild is actually a pretty common version of the game, second only to Jacks or Better in terms of popularity, and you’ll find it at any of the top online video poker casinos.

Although the game is played in a similar way to JoB, the way the game works means that the strategy you’ll need is very different.

So in this article I’ll show you how to play Deuces Wild (with examples), how it differs from Jacks or Better and what strategy you need to give you the best chance of winning.

How To Play Deuces Wild

If you’ve never played video poker at all, it’s worth referring to our how to play Jacks or Better guide first. Because JoB is the most basic and most commonly found form of the game, that guide goes into more detail about how the controls work and how the game actually plays out.

Terminology Used

Deuces Wild uses the same terminology as other versions of Video Poker, with the addition of the following terms.

  • Deuce – 2 of any suit
  • Wild – Card that can be substituted for any other card value or suit.
  • 5 of a Kind – All 5 cards of the same value. This hand can only be achieved in video poker games that use wildcards.
  • Wild Royal Flush – A sequence of 10, J, Q, K A in the same suit, but using one of more wildcards.
  • Natural Royal – As above, but does not use any wildcards.

Rules of the Game

Deuces Wild uses a standard full 52 card deck, just like Jacks or Better or any other card game.

Like other video poker variations, the idea of the game is to make the best hand possible. To do so, you get an initial 5 Card deal. You then get the option to hold as many of the initial 5 cards as you choose, before replacing the rest in the Draw.

The main difference in Deuces Wild is that, as the name suggests, all Deuces in the game are wildcards.

This allows you to substitute a deuce for any other card, meaning it’s possible – even easy – to create far more valuable and higher ranking hands than in any other type of Video Poker game.

Now the good news is that the wildcard substitution is done automatically. You don’t have to tell the Video Poker machine what cards you want your Deuces to be used as. The game will automatically work out the best “uses for your Deuces” and use them in a way that gives you the best hand possible.

What you do need to know is how the ranking of hands works in Deuces Wild, and a basic strategy of what cards to hold, and when.

Both of these work very differently to other variations such as Jacks or Better, and you need to be aware of these differences if you want to win.

Hand Ranks & Pay Table

Deuces Wild pay table

Deuces Wild might make it much easier to achieve a high ranking hand, but the Pay Table is different to compensate for this.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the lowest paying hand in this game is 3 of a Kind. A high Pair or 2 Pairs won’t win you anything here.

You’ll also notice that 5 of a Kind, which is now possible with wildcards, has been added to the Pay Table. Likewise, the Wild Royal Flush and Natural Royal are present.

As ever, the Natural Royal is the highest paying hand, and the payouts for this are the same as in Jacks or Better. When you play with 5 coins, the Natural Royal pays 4000 x Stake, the best return you’ll find in video poker.

Some mobile casinos also offer the bonus gamble side game in Deuces Wild. This works exactly the same as it does in other video poker versions, offering either a red/lack gamble for double or nothing, or a next suit gamble for 4 x your winnings.

Deuces Wild Strategy

Deuces Wild strategyHaving a strategy for Deuces Wild is extremely important, because it actually offers the player an opportunity to eliminate the house edge altogether, and give an RTP of 100.8% – a slight positive expectancy for the player.

However, both online and brick and mortar casinos still offer the game because the overwhelming majority of players don’t follow the correct strategy.

The first and most obvious play is always hold any and all of your deuces!

Well, duh! But you’d be surprised at how many new players forget, especially if they’re used to JoB.

Other than that though, you’ll find yourself throwing away cards far more often in Deuces Wild. Even deals that look good in other versions of poker, such as a high pair, get routinely discarded here.

The main rule of thumb is “If in doubt, throw it out.”

What Cards To Hold

But what to keep, apart from your Deuces? You should hold the following cards, and discard the rest:

  • Wild Royal Flush
  • 4 to a Royal Flush or Straight Flush
  • 3 to a Natural Royal
  • 5 of a Kind (containing 2 or less Deuces)
  • 4 of a Kind or Straight Flush (containing 2 or less Deuces)
  • 3 of a Kind (containing maximum one Deuce)
  • Full House
  • Straight
  • Any Pair

Like I said earlier, some of these plays are going to feel “wrong” if you’re used to playing most other versions of video poker. But remember the wilds are key to this game, and that is why the strategy you need is “wildly” different (sorry) in some cases.

In video poker, the lower ranking hands simply keep your balance ticking along while you aim for the bigger payouts. When your initial deal doesn’t include Deuces, that means they’re still in play in the rest of the deck. So the correct play is to discard cards which don’t give you a decent chance of getting one of the higher ranked hands, and allow yourself the chance of getting deuces in the draw.

Once you master these plays and stick to them, you’ll find your expectancy and profits from playing Deuces Wild increasing considerably.

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021