Wild Hold’em Fold’em: Rules, Strategy, Payouts, and More

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Wild Hold'em Fold'em

Wild cards aren’t typically available in casino table games. Instead, wild card games are reserved for the video poker world.

Wild Hold’em Fold’em is a rare exception to the norm. Available in certain land-based casinos, this game provides an interesting mixture of poker, wildcards, and huge payouts.

Assuming this mixture sounds intriguing, then you can read the following guide on Wild Hold’em Fold’em. It covers the basics, how to play, payouts, strategy, and more.

Basics of Wild Hold’em Fold’em

This game is like a mixture between Deuces Wild video poker and Let It Ride. It’s similar to Deuces Wild in how it also features wild deuces.

Wild Hold’em Fold’em bears a resemblance to Let It Ride regarding the betting structure. Only, instead of having the option to take away bets, you must place additional wagers to keep playing.

This game uses a single 52-card deck. Unlike with some table games, the dealer shuffles the deck following every round.

The objective of Wild Hold’em Fold’em is to form a qualifying five-card hand. In contrast to games like Pai Gow Poker and Three-Card poker, you aren’t playing against the dealer. Instead, everything depends upon your hand strength.

How to Play Wild Hold’em Fold’em

Here are the steps to playing Wild Hold’em Fold’em hands:

  • Each round starts with you placing an ante bet in the “ante” area.
  • You’ll receive three face-down cards.
  • You must decide whether to fold or bet. In the latter case, you must place a wager equal to the ante in the “bet” area.
  • You’ll receive a fourth face-down card.
  • You must decide whether to fold or raise. When folding, you lose the ante and bet. When raising, you must put 2x the ante in the “raise” area.
  • You’ll receive a fifth face-down card. You must have a qualifying five-card hand in order to earn a payout.

Pay Table

You need at least a pair of aces to win in this game. Payouts can be as high as 1,000:1, which happens when you get a natural royal flush.

Here’s the Wild Hold’em Fold’em pay table:

  • Natural Royal Flush (no wildcards involved) – 1000:1 payout
  • Four Deuces – 200:1 payout
  • Wild Royal Flush (wildcards involved) – 30:1 payout
  • Five of a Kind – 20:1 payout
  • Straight Flush – 10:1 payout
  • Four of a Kind – 4:1 payout
  • Full House – 4:1 payout
  • Flush – 4:1 payout
  • Straight – 3:1 payout
  • Three of a Kind – 1:1 payout
  • Two Pair – 1:1 payout
  • Pair of Aces – 1:4 payout

Wild Hold’em Fold’em Strategy

Like any poker variation, Wild Hold’em features a strategic element. The strategy isn’t overly complicated, but you’ll need to play optimally to achieve the highest return to player (RTP).

The main strategic aspect involves knowing which hands to bet with when holding three or four cards. Here’s a look at when you should wager in these situations:

You Bet With Three Cards When Holding the Following:

  • Any hand with a deuce
  • Any pair
  • Any three of a kind
  • Three cards to a flush, with one of the cards being an ace
  • Three cards to a straight flush
  • Fold any other hand

You Bet With Four Cards When Holding the Following:

  • Any hand with a deuce
  • Any pair
  • Any two pair
  • Any three of a kind
  • Four cards to a straight, flush, or straight flush
  • Fold any other hand

What Is the Wild Hold’em Fold’em House Edge?

On the surface, the Wild Hold’em Fold’em house edge is 6.86%—or 93.14% RTP. This figure is incredibly high in comparison to other table games. With that said, you might initially consider avoiding this game at all costs.

However, Wild Hold’em Fold’em isn’t as unfavorable as it looks on the surface. The 6.86% house edge only measures your chances of winning after placing the ante bet.

Assuming you follow correct strategy, you’ll be placing subsequent bets when holding three cards and four cards. When placed under the right circumstances, these extra wagers boost your long-term chances of winning.

Poker Hand

On average, you’ll be betting just over 2.1 units per hand. The house advantage for the average number of units, under perfect strategy, is 3.23%—or 96.77% RTP.

A 3.23% house advantage isn’t anything special in the gaming world. This is especially true when considering that some games, like baccarat, only feature around a 1% house edge or lower.

Nevertheless, the Wild Hold’em Fold’em house advantage isn’t as bad as it seems at first glance. It improves when considering the average number of units risked in each hand.

Pros to Wild Hold’em Fold’em

This game is certainly unique when compared to other casino table games. You might give it a try when considering the following reasons.

Big Payouts

If you like jackpot-style games, then you should appreciate Wild Hold’em Fold’em. It offers payouts worth as much as 1,000:1 your bet for a natural royal.

Assuming you wager just $10 per hand, you could win up to $10,000 in a single round! Of course, you could always increase wagers even more and try for larger payouts.

Wild Hold’em also provides other big prizes, including 200:1 for four deuces, 30:1 for a wild royal flush, and 20:1 for a five of a kind.

Relatively Simple Strategy

This game does require using basic strategy to boost your chances of winning. However, it’s not so complex that you must spend hours mastering Wild Hold’em Fold’em.

Instead, you merely need to master a few different situations when holding three or four cards. You might even write out proper strategy and bring the paper to the table. After a while, you’ll memorize perfect strategy and not even need the paper.

Unique Gameplay

As mentioned before, Wild Hold’em feels like a mixture of Let It Ride and Deuces Wild. Nevertheless, it is its own game in many ways.

The combination of wild deuces and multiple betting rounds isn’t seen elsewhere in gaming. If you’re looking for something brand new, then you’ll appreciate these aspects.

Cons to Wild Hold’em Fold’em

Despite the positive points covered above, this game does have some flaws. You should keep the following in mind before sitting down to a Wild Hold’em table.

Not the Most Favorable House Edge

As covered earlier, this game’s house advantage isn’t as terrible as it initially seems. The 6.86% house edge alludes to the ante bet. The true house advantage with optimal strategy, though, is 3.23%.

This figure is better than what some table games, like Caribbean Stud (5.22%), offer. However, it’s far from ideal when given that blackjack (0.5% house edge), baccarat (1.06%), and French Roulette (1.35%) are much better.

Big Payouts Rarely Come

The potential 1,000:1 and 200:1 payouts are certainly appealing. Unfortunately, your odds of getting a natural royal flush or four deuces are rather low.

You stand just 1 in 649,739 odds of getting a natural royal. Meanwhile, you only have 1 in 54,145 odds of receiving four deuces.

High Volatility

The long odds of getting big hands certainly affect your short-term chances of winning. In fact, you’ll experience many hands where you fail to get any payouts at all.

The starting payout is 1:4 for a pair of aces. Winning just one-fourth of your stake for aces seems rather low. Meanwhile, two pairs and three of a kinds only pay even money.

Long story short, Wild Hold’em Fold’em is as volatile as its name sounds. You’ll go through plenty of dry spells in pursuit of high-paying hands.

Conclusion

Wild Hold’em has steadily increased in popularity over the years. It’s now available in a fair number of land-based casinos—especially those in Las Vegas.

A key selling point on Wild Hold’em Fold’em is that a big payout could be awaiting in any round. You can win 1,000x your bet for a natural royal flush.

The downside, though, is that the best hands don’t come around very often. You’ll need at least a pair of aces just to win anything.

If you can deal with the volatility, then Wild Hold’em Fold’em is worth at least one try. It’s a fun table game that provides a refreshing break from the standard mix of baccarat, blackjack, craps, and/or roulette.

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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