Why You Should Play Deuces Wild Over Jacks or Better

By in Video Poker on
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Deuces Wild is Better Than Jacks or Better

It’s a great sign when you get to make a decision between two good options instead of two bad ones. And this is exactly the situation you’ll find yourself in if you’re trying to decide whether Deuces Wild video poker or Jacks or Better is a better option.

Both of these video poker games are good options. Including blackjack, these two games are in the top three that every casino gambler should consider playing. But which one is actually the best?

Here are five reasons why Deuces Wild is better than Jacks or Better if you’re going to play video poker. Neither option is bad, but Deuces Wild is slightly better.

1 – Wild Cards Are Fun

Jacks or Better is my favorite video poker game. The only thing that I don’t like about it is that I sometimes wish it used a wild card or wild cards. When I start feeling this way, I find a Deuces Wild video poker machine.

With four cards out of the 52 card deck being wild, you have plenty of wild cards when you play Deuces Wild. And this is simply more fun than playing a game without wild cards like Jacks or Better.

The fact that a game has wild cards doesn’t mean that it’s easier to win than a game that doesn’t have wild cards. This is a mistake that many video poker players make. In order to see if a game is actually easier to win, you have to look at the hands that pay.

When you play Deuces Wild, the lowest hand you can have is three of a kind. This is more difficult to get than the lowest paying hand on a Jacks or Better machine, which is a pair of face cards or higher.

In the next section, you’re going to learn if Deuces Wild is harder or easier to win than Jacks or Better. But before you learn more about that, you need to know one other thing.

The way to improve your chances of winning on either type of video poker game is to use strategy. The strategy for Jacks or Better is easier to use than the strategy for Deuces Wild. But this doesn’t mean Jacks or Better is better.

The best way to use strategy is to use a strategy card, and you can get a card for either game. Once you have a strategy card, all you have to do is look up the best play for every hand.

2 – Higher Return to Player Possibility

Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better are both games that have machines with a high return to player percentage. An important thing to understand when you’re evaluating video poker games is that the return to player percentage is based on the base game and the amount paid out for each paying hand.

If every hand pays the same amount on two different machines except a full house, the machine that pays more for a full house has a better return to player percentage than the machine that pays less for a full house.

I mentioned in the previous section that just because a video poker game uses a wild card or wild cards, it doesn’t mean that it’s easier to win. But when you compare Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better using the return to player percentage, you will find that Deuces Wild does have a slightly higher number than Jacks or Better.

Video Poker

I used the most common pay table for each game when comparing the two options. You also need to use optimal strategy, like I mentioned in the previous section, to achieve the highest return to player number.

Depending on how well you use the strategy for each game, Deuces Wild has around a 0.2% higher return to player percentage than Jacks or Better. That’s 0.2%, not 2%. This isn’t a big amount, but it is slightly better.

In real-world applications, if you make wagers totaling $1,000 on each machine, the difference in amount would be around $2.

3 – Two Top-Paying Hands

When you compare the top-paying hand for each video poker game, the payout is the same for a five-coin wager. You win 4,000 coins for the top hand on both.

But the second best hand has a big gap in how much you can win. Four deuces pays 1,000 coins on Deuces Wild. The second-highest hand in Jacks or Better is a straight flush. This hand only pays 250 coins.

It’s extremely difficult to hit the top-paying hand on either game. And the truth is that it’s also difficult to hit the second-highest hand. But hitting a top-paying hand from time to time is a big part of keeping the return to player percentage so high.

Having a better payout for the second-highest hand helps keep you in the game longer before your bankroll runs out. And a 1,000-coin payment replenishes your bankroll in a big way.

This doesn’t change anything you learned about the return to player numbers in the last section. All return to player percentages for video poker includes all of the paying hands and the odds of hitting them.

4 – The Power of the Deuce

The math is too complicated for most people to explain exactly why this is true, but any hand when you have a deuce is a profitable hand. You might not win every single hand that starts with a deuce, but overall, you do win more than you lose when you start with a deuce.

Jacks or Better doesn’t have any card that’s this powerful. Of course, if you start with two deuces in a hand, the average win is over three times your original wager. This is because with two deuces, you automatically have three of a kind or better, which is the lowest paying hand.

Jacks or Better

Deuces are so powerful that a large percentage of your profits when you play Deuces Wild come from hands with at least one of them. This is what you’d expect from the Deuces Wild variation, but you just can’t ignore how important this is when you’re playing in a casino.

When you use a strategy card like I recommended earlier, it’s broken up into four sections. The top section is how to play when you have three deuces, the next section is for two deuces, and the third section is how to play with one deuce. The bottom section is how to play your hand if you don’t have any deuces.

5 – More Hope on Every Draw

When you’re playing Jacks or Better and draw to a better hand, you have a set number of cards to complete or improve your hand. This is also true when you play Deuces Wild, but you usually have more cards that can improve your hand.

For Example:

If you have an open end straight draw in Jacks or Better, there are eight cards that make a straight. But with the same hand, assuming you don’t have any deuces, there are 12 cards that complete your straight. Even if you have a deuce in your hand, there are still 12 cards that complete your straight.

The eight cards that complete the straight on either end, and the four cards that replace the deuce, all complete a straight in this situation.

I don’t know how many times I’ve played Jacks or Better where I had four cards to a royal flush and knew that only one card would complete it. Of course, it’s awesome when you get the card you need, but this only happens one out of 47 times.

If you end up in the same situation while you’re playing Deuces Wild, there are more cards to help complete the royal flush. This is what I mean when I say that Deuces Wild offers more hope than Jacks or Better does.


I play both Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better because they’re both good games. If you can find either option with a good pay table, it would be your best option in the casino. But Deuces Wild is just a little bit better than Jacks or Better.

Wild cards truly add a lot of value to a video poker game. They make the game more fun, and you have more cards that can help complete almost every draw you make. With a slightly higher return to player percentage than Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild is simply a better gambling option.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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