Playing Online Video Poker With Wild Cards

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Video Poker Sign Mobile

Playing online video poker with wild cards provides exciting action that’s much different from the basic game. When you get a wild card in your hand, they can be turned into whatever card in the deck improves your hand the most. As a result, you have a greatly increased chance of making rare, high-paying hands with wild card play.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been giving you an in-depth look at the world of online video poker. After all, many people are unable to get out and do the things that they normally enjoy. And that includes going out to a casino for some exciting gambling action.

Luckily, online gambling websites can deliver most of that action to any connected device that you might have at your convenience. And video poker is one of the games that translates best to online play. When you play online video poker, you’re getting pretty much the same sights, sounds and game play as you would in the casino.

Online Video Poker Comes With Lots of Variety

The world of online video poker is vast. You can stick with a basic game such as Jacks or Better if you wish. Or you can branch out to one of the more complex pay tables, which can offer increased payback on rare hands to spice up play.

You can play multiple hands at once if you really want to increase the pace of play. Or you can even try a game with special features added to it. There are countless ways you can change up basic video poker, either subtly or drastically.

Perhaps the most popular variation on basic video poker play is wild card play. Many people are familiar with the concept of wild cards, even if they don’t know much about video poker. As such, it’s easy for even beginners to slip into games like Deuces Wild or Joker Poker and get the hang of it.

For those who don’t know, when a card is designated as wild, it means that it can be turned into any other card in the deck. In video poker, the purpose of changing the card is to make the best possible winning hand. Anytime a wild card is in your hand, it will greatly increase your chances of forming a winning combination.

If you’re playing a game like Deuces Wild or Joker Poker, you’ll notice changes on the pay table from basic games like Jacks or Better. Adjustments have to be made to ensure that the pay table doesn’t reward you too much for easily-made hands. But another way to look at it is to realize that certain hands, such as 5 of a kind, wouldn’t even be possible without wild card action in online video poker.

In the following article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about playing online video poker with wild cards. We’ll talk about how wild cards affect play and what different types of wild-card games are available. Finally, we’ll take a look at how wild cards affect learning strategy.

How to Play Online Video Poker With Wild Cards

In terms of playing out a hand of online video poker with wild cards, the basic rhythm of play is the same. You still have to create a bankroll at a gambling website. And you’ll still have the chance to make wagers, in most cases, between one and five credits, with the five-credit wager gives you the best possible payback on the royal flush.

As for playing the hand, that’s still the same as well. You’ll get a five-card deal and then decide which cards you want to hold and which you want to discard. The cards that you discard will be replaced with others from the deck to complete your hand, which will be scored according to the pay table.

The Big Difference is the Wild Card

When you get a wild card (or more than one) on the deal, you can visualize it as whatever card you think might help your hand the most. That will help you make choices about what to hold (if anything) from the other cards in your hand.

Once you finish the hand, whether you held a wild card on the deal or drew one, that wild card will be changed by the software into the card (or cards, if you have multiple) that create the highest-paying winning hand. You don’t have to make that choice at that point, as it will be automatically done.

You also have to realize that the threshold for a winning hand with wild cards will usually be higher than normal. On top of that, there will be hands (specifically 5 of a kind) which will exist solely because of the wild card.

Here are the paying hands on most wild card online poker games:

  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards in a row in rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Five of a kind
  • Wild royal flush (royal flush achieved with the help of a wild card)
  • Four wild cards
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit)

Notice the difference between a wild royal flush and a regular royal flush:

royal flush
joker flush

Sample Wild Card Hand

Let’s take a look at how a sample hand of wild card online video poker might work out. Imagine that you were playing Deuces Wild online video poker, where any twos in the deck are designated as wild. Here is the deal:

  • Two of spades
  • Ten of spades
  • Ten of diamonds
  • Jack of diamonds
  • Queen of diamonds

If you were playing Jacks or Better, which has no wild cards, and received this deal, there wouldn’t be any winning combinations right off the bat. But, because of the two being wild in this case, this deal is actually an excellent one in Deuces Wild.

There are some interesting possibilities available to you with this deal. For example, you have three of a kind right off the bat, since the two can be added to the pair of tens.

Three of a kind is a winning combination in the world of online video poker, albeit one that doesn’t pay that much. But you’d be drawing two cards if you dropped the jack and queen. With two cards on the draw, you could end up improving to a full house, four of a kind, or even five of a kind.

The other direction you can go with this hand would be to keep the ten, queen and jack of diamonds, along with the wild card. You’d have four cards to both a straight flush and a wild royal flush in this case, with one card to draw. There would be a risk here because you’d be giving up a sure winning hand, but the potential rewards would be great.

Let’s take a look at how the hand might play out if you chose the latter option and held the wild card and the three diamonds.

Here is how the draw could work:

  • Two of spades
  • Eight of clubs
  • Ten of diamonds
  • Jack of diamonds
  • Queen of diamonds

You didn’t get one of the diamonds that might have turned this into a high-paying hand. But when you take a look at what you did get, you can see that the wild card can be turned into a nine to make a straight.

When you started the process of making a decision about what to hold and discard, making a straight probably wasn’t foremost in your mind. But this hand shows you how flexible and useful a wild card can be.

As a matter of fact, if you’re playing one of the wild card games where there is more than one wild card deck, you are assured of a winning combination if you end up with two wild cards in your hand. The flip side is that you’ll have a hard time ending up with a winning hand in wild card online video poker without being dealt or drawing whatever card has been designated as wild

Types of Wild Card Online Video Poker Games

As with basic video poker, there are many different wild card online video poker games available at top gambling sites. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is probably the most popular of all wild card online video poker games. The four 2s, or deuces in the deck, are designated as wild.

When you think about it, that represents a substantial portion of a 52-card deck. 4 wild cards in 52 means that you have a one in 13 chance of a wild card appearing anytime a card is dealt or drawn. And then when you consider that you’re getting five cards on the deal and up to five more on the draw, you realize that you won’t go too many hands of Deuces Wild without seeing a wild card.

Let’s take a look at a common pay table for Deuces Wild online video poker:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 1 Coin 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
4 Deuces 200 400 600 800 1000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
5 of a Kind 16 32 48 64 80
Straight Flush 10 20 30 40 50
4 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5

You can see that the biggest payback is reserved for a natural royal flush and four deuces. In that way, a Deuces Wild is structured in a somewhat similar manner to Jacks or Better. Payback is stretched throughout the table in the same manner, albeit over different winning combinations.

Any type of wild card video poker will raise the volatility level. But Deuces Wild pushes the envelope by including the four wild cards in play. You’ll need to make sure your bankroll is sturdy to handle the ups and downs you’re likely to endure during play.

Joker Poker

You’ll see Joker Poker sometimes labelled as Joker Wild or Joker’s Wild, depending on the website involved. In any case, the game is the same, no matter the name.

In Joker Poker online video poker, you’ll be playing with a simulated deck of 53 cards. A joker is added to the traditional 52 cards. And that joker is wild.

In terms of wild card games, Joker Poker is the most conservative. You won’t see wild cards in play nearly as often as in Deuces Wild. But the pay table is also much more forgiving to common winning hands.

Take a look below at a common Joker Poker pay table:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 1 Coin 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 5000
5 of a Kind 100 200 300 400 500
Wild Royal Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a Kind 20 40 60 80 100
Full House 10 20 30 40 50
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
3 of a Kind 2 4 6 8 10
2 Pairs 1 2 3 4 5

The first thing you might notice is that payback on this Joker Poker pay table starts with two pair. As you might remember, Deuces Wild payback begins at a minimum hand of three of a kind.

Right off the bat, you can tell then that Joker Poker puts a wining hand in play that will come up once every ten hands or so. This gives you a chance to churn out more winning combinations per hands played than in Jacks or Better. (You might also find variations of Joker Poker that pay out for a pair of kings or better as well, further lowering the standard for a winning hand.)

That will lower the volatility level, meaning that Joker Poker offers less of a bumpy ride than Deuces Wild. But the drawback is that you’ll see wild card show up far less often. As a result, you won’t get as much of a boost from the wild card aspect in terms of attaining rare winning combinations.

Deuces Wild Bonus

Deuces Wild Bonus or Bonus Deuces Wild really adds a jolt to wild card play. You’ll be dealing with four wild cards as in common Deuces Wild, which is exciting enough. But you’ll also be looking at a pay table with more high-paying winning hands available to you.

Take a look at a common pay table for Deuces Wild Bonus:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 1 Coin 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
4 Deuces with an Ace 400 800 1200 1600 2000
4 Deuces 200 400 600 800 1000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
5 Aces 80 160 240 320 400
5 3s, 4s, or 5s 40 80 120 160 200
5 6s through Ks 20 40 60 80 100
Straight Flush 10 20 30 40 50
4 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 3 6 9 12 15
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 1 2 3 4 5
3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5

The main difference is that 5 of a kind payback is separated by which rank is involved. But no matter what rank is involved, 5 of a kind in Deuces Wild Bonus pays back more than it does in common Deuces Wild.

You’ll also see a special payback available for four deuces with an ace kicker. It’s another way that Deuces Wild payback puts high-payout hands into play.

How does it compensate for this? You’ll notice that a straight in Deuces Wild Bonus pays even money. In Deuces Wild, it pays 2 to 1.

Whenever you have a pay table that increases the payback for rare hands and decreases it for common hands, that raises the volatility. Deuces Wild Bonus is, therefore, high on the volatility scale.

If you really want to push it in this direction, seek out a game call Double Bonus Deuces Wild online video poker. It adds even more high-payback hands to the equation.

Strategy for Online Video Poker With Wild Cards

On one hand, the strategy for wild card online video poker is somewhat easier, in terms of just guessing what to do. Anytime you get a wild card on the deal, you’ll be holding on it, no questions asked. The value that it provides is just too great to pass up.

But as we’ve talked about online video poker in recent weeks in this column, strategy is something you have to memorize. You can’t make it up on your own.

The best way to do it is to consult a strategy chart or video poker training software. These resources have already figured out the math of all the right plays for you. You can reap the rewards of all that math.

With wild card play, you have more to learn. With Deuces Wild, for example, you’ll need to learn a set of plays for every deal with no wild card involved. But you’ll also have to learn what to do with one wild card, two wild cards, and so on.

As a result, it might take you longer to memorize a strategy chart to learn perfect play. And it might take you a little longer playing with training software before you get everything down as well.

If you want simple strategy, you’re better off sticking with games without wild cards. But you’d be missing out on all the benefits that they offer.


We hope that you’ve learned all that you need to know about playing online video poker with wild cards. If you like your video poker action particularly thrilling, wild cards are a great way to go.

Jim Beviglia

Jim Beviglia joined as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog. For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h ...

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