Acey Deucey video poker is a variant of Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker. The
main difference between Acey Deucey video poker and Bonus Poker is the payoffs
for the 4 of a kind hands.
When you’re categorizing video poker games, it’s common to look at them in
terms of pay tables and wild cards. Games with no wild cards can be said to be
based on Jacks or Better. Bonus Poker is just a variation of Jacks or Better
which has bonus payoffs for a 4 of a kind of a certain rank.
In Acey Deucey, you also get a bonus payoff for a 4 of a kind of a certain
rank. If you guessed, based on the name, that aces and deuces pay off more, give
yourself a good start.
The rest of this page examines the basics of playing Acey Deucey video poker,
how the pay tables affect the payback percentage and the house edge, and how to
learn the correct strategy for this game.
But First, What This Game ISN’T
You might have heard of another game called “acey deucey”. We played that a
lot when we were younger and still hosting poker games at our house.
Some people think this card game resembles poker, but it doesn’t really use
poker hands at all. You just bet on whether a card will rank between 2 other
cards that have been dealt.
That game has NO relation to Acey Deucey video poker.
The Basics of Playing Acey Deucey Video Poker
Most video poker games have similar game play. These games look like slot
machines, but instead of arbitrary symbols like fruits and bars, the game
presents you with playing card symbols.
This is an important difference.
When you’re playing video poker, you know the payouts for the hands. Since
the game uses the same probabilities you’d find using a traditional 52-card deck
of cards, someone talented at math can use this combination of information to
calculate a predicted payback percentage for the game.
You can’t do this with a slot machine, because you have no way of knowing
what the probability of getting a specific symbol is.
But a specific card in video poker shows up 1 out of 52 hands. It comes up
with a specific suit 1 in 4 times, and with a specific rank 1 in 13 times.
This isn’t math you can easily do with a legal pad and pencil, though.
Computer programmers and mathematicians have calculated the payback percentages
for these games, though. They assume that you play every hand correctly.
You might be asking yourself what a payback percentage is-stick around for
the next section for a detailed explanation.
In terms of actual gameplay, Acey Deucey plays like other video poker games.
Before you start playing, you must insert money into the machine. (Video poker
has this in common with slots.) That money is converted into credits based on
the denomination of the machine you’re playing.
If you’re playing a quarter machine and insert $100, you’ll get 400 credits.
If it’s a dollar machine, instead, you’ll get 100 credits.
You then get to choose how many credits you want to bet on each hand. You
should always bet the max number of coins (5) when playing video poker, because
you get a bigger payoff for the royal flush if you do.
If you bet 1 to 4 coins, the royal flush pays off at 250 for 1 or 200 for 1
(depending on the machine). But if you bet 5 coins, it pays off at 800 for 1.
This might seem like a minor difference, but it has a big effect on your bottom
line for the game.
Once you’ve chosen how many coins to bet, you press the “DEAL” button, and
you get a hand. Acey Deucey is based on 5-card draw poker. And as in 5-card
draw, you get to decide which cards to keep and which ones to throw away.
To keep cards, you press the “HOLD” button underneath the corresponding card.
Modern machines use touchscreens, too, so you can also just touch the cards you
want to keep. When you press the “DEAL” button again, the game replaces the
cards you discarded.
The game compares your final hand with its pay table and credits you
according to the pay table.
You move on to your next hand from there.
It’s a fast-paced game, too. The average video poker player gets in 600 hands
per hour, which corresponds roughly to the number of spins you’d make on a slot
We recommend opting for video poker over slot machines every time you get to
make that choice. Video poker games offer better odds, and since the odds are
known, it’s an inherently more honest game.
A Quick Explanation of Payback Percentage, Expected Return, and the House
All casino games have payout odds lower than the odds of winning. That’s how
the casino guarantees a long-term profit.
In games like roulette, it’s easy to see how this works. The even money bet
in that game-black, for example-pays off at even money.
But you’d have to win half the time for that to be a mathematically fair bet.
Roulette is set up so that you’ll only win that bet 18/38 of the time, which
is a little better than 47%.
That’s a far cry from 50%, though, and if you play roulette long enough, the
house edge will eat your lunch.
The house edge in video poker is harder to calculate because of the
variables-including how you play each hand-but mathematicians and computer
programs can calculate these numbers with little trouble.
The payback percentage represents the expected return to the player on each
bet. The house edge represents the expected return to the casino on each bet.
If you add the payback percentage to the house edge, the total will always be
If a game has a 99.54% payback percentage, the house edge is 100% – 99.54%,
The casino (and gambling writers and experts) use payback percentage when
talking about or writing about gambling machines. They use house edge when
talking about table games.
We’ll get into the specifics of the house edge and payback percentage for Acey Deucey video poker in the next section.
Acey Deucey Video Poker Pay Tables, Payback Percentages, and the House Edge
The payback percentage is the theoretical amount you’ll get back for every
bet you make over the long run. It’s a concept closely related to that of the
house edge, which represents the amount you expect to lose on every bet on
average over the long run.
Slot machine payback percentages vary from 75% to 95%, but you have no way of
knowing the payback percentage for a specific machine.
Video poker payback percentages, on the other hand, range from 95% or higher,
but some of that depends on how skillfully you decide which cards to keep and
which ones to throw away.
Here’s an example of a pay table for Acey Deucey video poker:
4 of a kind (aces or deuces)
4 of a kind (any other rank)
3 of a kind
Jacks or better
Notice the increased size of the payout for the royal flush, first. That’s
important. You always want to bet 5 coins to take advantage of that bigger
Next notice that you have 2 payoffs for a 4 of a kind, based on the rank. If
you get 4 aces or deuces, you get 160 for 1 on your money. You only get 80 for 1
on any other 4 of a kind.
On a standard Jacks or Better game, a 4 of a kind pays off at 25 for 1.
On a standard Bonus Poker game, you have the following payouts for 4 of a
kind, again based on rank:
4 aces pays off at 80 for 1
2s, 3s, or 4s pay off at 40 for 1
All other ranks pay off at 25 for 1
It’s also important to note that the payoff for 2 pairs has been reduced to 1
for 1 instead of the usual 2 for 1. That’s how the game can afford to pay so
much for a 4 of a kind.
How does all this come together to give you a payback percentage, though?
You take the payoff amount and multiply it by the probability of winding up
with each combination. That gives you the expected return for that hand. Add all
those up, and you get the expected return for the entire game.
In most games based on Jacks or Better, the payoff for a pair of jacks,
queens, or kings is 1 for 1, or even money. The probability of winding up with
that hand is 22.9%, so the expected value for that hand is 22.9%. (22.9% X 1).
2 pairs usually pays off at 2 for 1, but in Acey Deucey, it’s also a payoff
of even month. The probability of getting 2 pairs is 10.9%, so the expected
return for that hand is 10.9%. (Notice that if it paid off at 2 for 1, that
would increase the expected return for that hand to 21.8%.)
3 of a kind pays off at 3 for 1, and your odds of winding up with that hand
are 7.83%. The expected return for that hand is 23.49%, which means it makes up
more of your payback percentage than either of the two more common hands.
Getting a 4 of a kind that doesn’t consists of aces or deuces happens about
0.2% of the time, and it pays off at 80 for 1, making the expected value for
that hand 16.7%.
And so on, for every hand on the table.
This gives the game an overall payback percentage of 99.45%, which makes it
comparable to most of the better video poker games on the market. Full pay Jacks
or Better, with its 99.54% payback percentage, is marginally better.
But Acey Deucey is still competitive.
One aspect of any pay table related to Jacks or Better worth pointing out is
the payoff for the full house and the flush. In this pay table, the payoffs for
those hands are 7 for 1 and 5 for 1, respectively. Some VP experts use this as a
descriptor for the pay table. They would call this pay table “7/5 Acey Deucey”.
You might run into a variation of this game that only pays off at 6 for 1 for
the full house. This 6/5 Acey Deucey pay table only has a payback percentage of
98.57%, which is BARELY competitive.
Remember that this is a long-term expectation, too. It’s an average that
you’ll only see over the course of thousands of hands. A royal flush, for
example, only shows up once every 40,000 hands or so. This means you’ll spend a
lot of time running with a lower payback percentage, unless you’re lucky and hit
a royal flush early.
At 600 hands per hour, it will take you 67 hours or so to get a royal flush.
It could take twice as many hours as that if you’re running cold.
In fact, in the short run, anything can happen in Acey Deucey video poker.
You can make some predictions about how much you can expect to lose per hour
playing Acey Deucey, though. Here’s how you calculate that:
You start by calculating how much money you’re putting into action per hour.
Most players are playing 600 hands per hour. For this example, we’ll assume
you’re playing for $5 per hand. That’s $3000 per hour in action.
It would be incredibly rare to lose every hand in that hour. You’ll win some
and lose some. But the average over time should come close to 100% – 99.45%, or
Multiply the expected loss by the hourly action, and you get $16.50/hour.
Compared to most games in the casino, Acey Deucey is cheap entertainment.
On the other hand, if you know nothing about the appropriate strategy, you’ll
probably lose at least another 1% or 2% per hour, which amounts to another $30
or $60 per hour.
So try to play smart.
Those turn into hourly losses of $78 and $111, respectively.
Acey Deucey Video Poker Strategy
Acey Deucey video poker is an unusual enough video poker game that it’s hard
to find a strategy table for the game. We recommend looking at the pay tables
for some of the other Bonus Poker games, but then prioritizing hands with aces
or deuces in them. The payoff for those 4 of a kind hands are significant.
Other than that, most of the basic principles of Jacks or Better and Bonus
Poker strategy apply to Acey Deucey. For the most part, you’ll be reluctant to
break up pat hands unless you can draw one card to a monster hand like 4 of a
kind or a royal flush.
Acey Deucey is an odd little variation of Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker.
It’s not something you’ll run into often, but if you do, it’s a competitive
game-especially if you can find the 7/5 Acey Deucey pay table.
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