Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy

Deuces Wild is an exciting video poker game because it offers players the opportunity to gain an edge over the casino. With the right payout table, a Deuces Wild player can enjoy an edge over the casino of 0.76%, but the player only has this edge if she’s making the mathematically correct decisions. That’s where the strategy comes into play.

Casinos expect most gamblers to just play using common sense, intuition, and hunches. It’s estimated that this adds between 2% and 4% to the casino’s edge. Even a full pay Deuces Wild video poker game is a profitable game for the casino in the long run.


Deuces Wild Pay Tables

Deuces Wild has a wide range of pay tables, but the most important ones to be aware of are the full pay and the NSU (not-so-ugly) pay tables. In Jacks or Better, it’s easy to spot the difference in pay tables, because the payouts are only changed on two hands—the full house and the flush. But in Deuces Wild, the variations happen across more hands.

Here are the full pay payouts:

  • Royal flush – 800 to 1
  • Four deuces – 200 to 1
  • Wild royal flush – 25 to 1
  • Five of a kind – 15 to 1
  • Straight flush – 9 to 1
  • Four of a kind – 5 to 1
  • Full house – 3 to 1
  • Flush – 2 to 1
  • Straight – 2 to 1
  • Three of a kind – 1 to 1

The payback percentage for this version is 100.76% when played with perfect strategy.

Here are the payouts for a NSU (not-so-ugly) game:

  • Royal flush – 800 to 1
  • Four deuces – 200 to 1
  • Wild royal flush – 25 to 1
  • Five of a kind – 16 to 1
  • Straight flush – 10 to 1
  • Four of a kind – 4 to 1
  • Full house – 4 to 1
  • Flush – 3 to 1
  • Straight – 2 to 1
  • Three of a kind – 1 to 1

The payback percentage on this version is 99.73%.

You might think, looking at the pay tables, that the 2nd version is better than the first. After all, you get a better payout on that 2nd pay table on four hands, and you get a lower payout on only two hands. The difference is the frequency with which you receive those hands.

The four of a kind is a particularly important hand in Deuces Wild. Since there are four wild cards in the deck, the chance of getting a four of a kind is a relatively large 6.5%. Reducing the payout on this hand makes up for a lot of the difference in returns.


The Strategy Chart for Deuces Wild Video Poker

The strategy chart for Deuces Wild is divided into five charts, based on the number of deuces in your hand. You should remember two rules about deuces in this game:

  1. You’ll never discard a deuce.
  2. You’ll never hold any single card UNLESS it’s a deuce.

If you have four deuces, then you only have one option. You discard the card that’s not a deuce and draw a new card.

If you have three deuces, then you start from the top and work you way down until you find the decision that applies to you:

  • Keep a wild royal flush.
  • Keep five of a kind—in other words, if the two cards that aren’t deuces are a pair, you have five of a kind.
  • Otherwise, keep your deuces and draw two new cards.

If you have two deuces, the chart gets a little more complicated:

  • Keep a wild royal flush.
  • Keep five of a kind.
  • Keep a straight flush.
  • Keep four of a kind.
  • Keep four cards to a wild royal flush.
  • Keep four cards to a straight flush draw.
  • Otherwise, draw three cards and keep your deuces.

If you only have one deuce, then the chart gets even more complicated, but it’s still not too unwieldy:

  • Keep a wild royal flush.
  • Keep five of a kind.
  • Keep a straight flush.
  • Keep four of a kind.
  • Keep four cards to a wild royal flush.
  • Keep a full house.
  • Keep a four card straight flush.
  • Keep three of a kind.
  • Keep a flush.
  • Keep a straight.
  • Keep four cards to a straight flush with one gap.
  • Keep four cards to a straight flush with two gaps.
  • Keep A34 suited, A35 suited, or A45 suited. (Don’t forget to keep your deuce, too.)
  • Keep three cards to a royal flush with no ace.
  • Keep three cards to a straight flush.
  • Keep three cards to a royal flush with an ace.
  • Keep the deuce and draw four more cards.

If you have no deuces, then you use the following chart:

  • Keep a royal flush.
  • Keep four cards to a royal flush.
  • Keep a straight flush.
  • Keep four of a kind.
  • Keep a full house.
  • Keep three of a kind.
  • Keep a flush.
  • Keep a straight.
  • Keep four cards to a straight flush.
  • Keep three cards to a royal flush.
  • Keep one pair.
  • Keep four cards to a flush.
  • Keep four cards to an open straight draw.
  • Keep a three card straight flush.
  • Keep TQ suited or JQ suited.
  • Keep four cards to a straight.
  • Draw five new cards.

Simple Strategy Tips

If you don’t want to memorize those tables, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll still do better than most gamblers:

  • Always hold any deuces that you have.
  • Always prefer a pair to a four card straight or to a four card flush.
  • Never hold two pair.

You should also keep in mind that four of a kind is your bread and butter. You’ll get this hand once in every 15 hands, but the payout is good. This should clarify some of the strategy decisions in the table above.