Deuces Wild Video Poker has been around for almost fifty years now; it was one of the first games to be created after the original Jacks or Better iteration of the game hit casino floors In 1981. Jacks or Better was itself an iteration of a previous game, known as “Fortune 1 Draw Poker”, which had been available as far back as 1975. The trouble was, it just wasn’t very popular.
That’s a story for another time, but during the 1980s Video Poker exploded in popularity. The technology had finally caught up with the vision of the minds creating these machines. Si Redd, the creator of the original Jacks or Better Video Poker game knew his game was being copied to death, but it was too late to patent it now - Pandora’s box was open, so to speak.
We have free deuces wild video poker games available below for you to try. Print out our strategy card and you can use these games as a deuces wild video poker trainer. There’s no question that it’s a game with a complex strategy, but it is much easier to learn and remember by super-complex variants such as Double Double Bonus Video Poker!
Si Redd's company – SIRCOMA – short for Si Redds Coin Operated Machines, if that kind of thing interests you, was rebranded as International Game Technology, and the businessman was about to pull a masterstroke that has rarely been seen in the casino industry before or since.
First of all, they created a new Video Poker game named Deuces Wild, which worked in an entirely different way to their previous game, Jacks or Better. Secondly, the new game was distributed as part of the company's new “Game King” cabinet. If a casino wanted Deuces Wild, they needed Game King – if you can’t patent the game, patent the technology required to run the game!
why was deuces wild so Popular?
One of the biggest reasons for the initial success of Deuces Wild is that, in its original incarnation, the most skilled of players could actually beat the casino regularly as a result of the so-called “Full-Pay” Deuces Wild Paytable which offered an RTP of 100.76%.
And it wasn’t just the negative casino advantage that appealed to early players of Deuces Wild – mathematically, hitting four Deuces is no more difficult than hitting four tens. In Jacks or better, any collection of four-of-a-kind would pay you 25x your original stake. In Deuces Wild, four Deuces would return 200x your original bet. Furthermore, the addition of wild cards made new hands possible such as five-of-a-kinds and wild royal flushes.
how to play deuces wild video poker
Our Deuces Wild Strategy is based on the Full Pay version of the game, which is still widely available if you know where to look. The second most popular paytable you will find both on the web and on the casino floor today has been given the nickname “Not So Ugly Deuces Wild” (NSUDW) and has an RTP of 99.73% when played with perfect strategy.
Unfortunately, there are a tonne of poor paytables out there if you don’t bother checking before you start to play. In the same way that Jacks or Better began its life as a 9/6 (or even 10/6!) game, unscrupulous casinos have taken every opportunity they can to grab a few more dollars out of your bankroll by messing with the deuces wild paytable.
In general, you should avoid any game that pays 20 instead of 25 for a Wild Royal, 12 or less for five-of-a-kind, or 7 or less for a Straight Flush. There are a few exceptions, however, such as games that pay a premium of 300 for Four Deuces instead of 200. If in doubt, look for the RTP of the machine – it will be displayed either while loading or in one of the attached help files or screens. I wouldn’t recommend playing anything less than 99.73% when there are so many of those machines available everywhere you go.
things to know before you play deuces wild video poker
If you’ve ever played poker before, whether it be Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, or any other variety, you’ll have a massive leg-up when it comes to getting started playing video poker. This is because the hand rankings are largely the same a lot of the time. If you are unfamiliar with the traditional poker hand rankings, please see our main Video Poker article. And remember, you can play free video poker deuces wild at the top of this page.
Should i play 5 coins whilst playing deuces wild video poker
Almost every Video Poker game has a strange oddity whereby you must play all five coins to receive the maximum jackpot for a royal flush. For some reason this oddity has been copied across to the online casino world too, which makes zero sense whatsoever.
Alas, there is nothing that can be done about it for the time being. Whilst Deuces Wild is much more fun and interesting game than Jacks or Better, the Royal Flush is still by far the biggest hit on the paytable. For this reason, you should always bet five coins when playing any version of Deuces Wild, unless the particular variant you are playing offers 800 coins for a Royal Flush when playing with a single coin. I have seen a few Video Poker games start to do this, so there may well be light at the end of the tunnel yet – we’ll have to wait and see.
The best way to deal with this issue is to set your coin size to the minimum to start with, then set the game to five-coin mode, and then increase your coin size (without changing from playing five coins!) until you reach the bet you are happy with.
Different video poker games have different allowances for coins sizes – you may be limited to quarters, in which case you will have to pay $1.25 per hand, or it could be pennies or dollars. If you are unable to find an overall bet size that you are comfortable with, don’t just play anyway – there may be other versions of Deuces Wild available at the very same casino, and if not, there are hundreds of casinos available on the web today.
deuces wild video poker strategy
Here’s a fun little anecdote or two that I always enjoy passing on – grab a 52-card deck of playing cards and select five cards from the pack. You just chose one of 2,598,960 possible five-card selections that can be pulled from a regular deck. Isn’t that amazing? But the fun doesn’t stop there… pop your five cards back in the deck and give the cards a good shuffle before placing the pack down in front of you.
Now consider this – nobody else who has ever lived or died ever shuffled a 52-card deck into the same order you just did. Sounds ridiculous right? How can I know this for certain? The total number of possible permutations you can shuffle a deck of cards into is (wait for it) …
You don’t need me to tell you that that is a very, very large number – more than 80 unvigintillion, in fact. And yup, that is a real word – trillions, quadrillions, decillions, tredecillions, none of them even start to come close to the number above.
So, next time you and your friends are having a Friday night poker game because each shuffle is creating a brand-new index of the 52-card deck that has never been played before and will never be played again. If that doesn’t blow your mind, you must live an extremely interesting and crazy life, indeed.
our simple deuces wild strategy
So, you may well be wondering how this relates to playing the best possible strategy in Deuces Wild? Ah well you see, the numbers aren’t quite as big, admittedly, but simulations of billions of hands of Deuces Wild have indeed revealed that the true best strategy for each paytable is incredibly complex – much more so than Jacks or Better, Aces & Faces, All Aces, Aces & Eights, Bonus Poker, and many more video poker variants.
This makes it unfeasibly difficult to come up with a simple, multi-step strategy card for Deuces Wild; instead, the easiest way to create a simple strategy is to devise a plan based on the number of Deuces in your initial starting draw.
If you are playing full pay, it won’t get you up to 100.76% - but it’s really close at 100.71%. Trust me when I say, it seriously is not worth learning the extra exceptions, edge-cases, and oddities required to reach the full 100.76%. Even if you are living in your trailer in the casino car park and spending all day every day playing Deuces Wild hoping to exploit that tiny player advantage to make a living (pro tip: there are far better things to do with your time) it still would not be worth it.
… But on the other hand…
That said, drop me an e-mail if you really want me to put together a Full Pay Deuces Wild 100.76% Player Strategy & Cheat Sheet... if I receive enough requests, I will of course oblige.
deciding which cards to keep when playing deuces wild video poker
First of all, if you are dealt four Deuces straight away then there is no need to do anything – for the sake of your sanity, please make sure that the game either has AUTO HOLD turned on or that you have manually held all four Deuces before clicking Draw – it’s almost unbearable to imagine, but people really have thrown away four Deuces by not realizing the game hadn’t auto-held them. I always recommend enabling AUTO HOLD if the option is there… and if it isn’t, you must be playing a very strange (or old) version of Video Poker indeed.
With three Deuces, the only reason to keep any cards other than your three wildcards is if you have two royals of the same suit. Examples would be KJ of Hearts, AQ of Clubs, QK of Spades, anything like that. In this situation hold all five cards and you are guaranteed a wild royal flush.
If you have any other two cards, discard them and cross your fingers for the fourth deuce!
Here’s where things begin to get a little more in-depth. If you have two or three matching cards with identical values (3 of Clubs, 3 of Spades, 3 of Diamonds, for example) then you should keep those as you are guaranteed a four or five of a kind on the draw.
If you have two suited royals as described above in the Three Deuces section, you should hold those two and just discard the fifth card – you have four to a Wild Royal Flush and six possible cards that might get you there. That’s a roughly 1 in 8 shot, which isn’t bad for a 25x return!
Next, if you have four to a Straight Flush with two consecutive cards 6-7 or higher (this is important as it gives you the maximum number of opportunities at both ends of the spectrum) then hang on to those and just make a single discard.
Finally, if none of this applies just keep the deuces and discard the remainder.
Once again, if your single Deuce makes up part of a four or five of a kind then you’ll want to be standing pat, likewise if you happen to have made a full house.
If you have four to a straight flush including three consecutive cards 5-7 or higher then keep all for and just make a single discard.
If you have two matching cards, then hold those with your deuce (for three of a kind) – you never know what it could turn into! A straight of flush scored here is of equal value and you may as well take the double-up on your bet and take your chances on the next hand,
If you have any other four to a straight flush, for example, the two, three, five, and ace of spades, hold all four and make the single discard. Three to a Royal Flush is worth keeping at this point – it’s a long shot, but what else have you got?
Finally, three to a Straight Flush with two consecutive suited cards 6-7 or higher should also be kept, discarding the remaining two cards.
And finally.. should you be dealt no deuces on the initial draw then that’s super bad luck. We’ll present these options in a simple list like on the cheat sheet – play the first one that applies to your hand:
1. Four or Five Cards to a Royal Flush
2. Four or Five Cards to a Straight Flush
3. Three Cards to a Royal Flush
4. Any Pair
5. Four Cards to a Flush
6. Four Cards to an Outside Straight
7. Three Cards to a Straight Flush
8. Four Cards to an Inside Straight
9. Two Cards to a Royal Flush – Jack, Queen High
10. Garbage – Discard Everything
deuces wild cheat sheet
We have done our best to explain all the above concisely on our Deuces Wild Cheat Sheet. Feel free to download it, use it while you play online, or even take it to the casino – there are no rules against it. We hope it helps!
deuces wild video poker final thoughts
Deuces Wild was created very soon after Jacks or Better, and by the same people too – and it shows. It’s definitely a much more exciting game, and it’s easy to see why it has its fans, but for us, there are simply better variation of video poker out there.