Bonus Deuces Wild Poker Video Poker

2 Ways Royal Video Poker

The popular video poker variant known as Bonus Poker was spun off from the classic game of Jacks or Better, simply by adding incentive payouts for various four of a kind hands.

Jacks or Better is also the foundation for Deuces Wild, which simply turns the deck's four 2s into wild cards that can be used to replace any other card - and thus create stronger hands.

By blending those two variants, video poker designers created Bonus Deuces Wild - a game that maintains the juiced payouts for big hands (five of a kind in this case), while adding the intrigue of wild cards to the mix. As a result, every hand of Bonus Deuces Wild you play will have an extra element of excitement, because even with a ragged and unconnected five card starting hand - one draw can spill a slew of deuces onscreen to trigger big winners.

The beauty of a game like Bonus Deuces Wild is its sheer complexity, as even those who have mastered Jacks or Better basic strategy will have a whole lot to learn. Just think about it: adding those four wild cards to the equation creates new hands like five of a kind, while making top hands like the royal flush and straight flush easier to land.

And by maintaining the same Bonus Poker structure that prioritizes five aces above all else, and then five 3s, 4s, or 5s, players are always faced with difficult strategic decisions.

This page was put together to help you make those decisions, while providing a comprehensive introduction to the game of Bonus Deuces Wild. You'll learn the basics of video poker game play, before moving on to advanced ideas like payback percentage and optimal strategy, along with a handy guide to locating the best Bonus Deuces Wild machines out there today.

Bonus Deuces Wild Poker Basics

For readers who are already familiar with the ins and outs of a video poker machine, we recommend skipping ahead to the next section.

But for our beginners, let's walk you through how the game is played from the get go.

First, you'll locate Bonus Deuces Wild machine and examine the pay tables displayed on screen. You'll learn more about these two sections onward, but for now, just now that some machines are set to offer better odds than others. You job is to locate the "full pay" machines (more on this to come) - or those that come equipped with the highest possible payouts vis a vis the probabilities for each hand.

After taking a seat, you'll want to set the game to its maximum bet - meaning you'll be wagering five coins per hand. For quarter stakes machines, in which one coin increment is $0.25, max betting will come at a cost of $1.25. And for the dollar machines, a max bet costs $5.00.

No matter what the stakes are, you'll always want to bet the maximum of five coins, as this "unlocks" the game's highest jackpot payout. Sure, you can still land a royal flush when betting 1 4 coins, but as the pay table section will show, those payouts pale in comparison to the top pay when max betting.

This is the case across the board for all video poker variants, so if max betting on a particular machine feels too rich for your blood, simply dial it back in stakes until a max bet is completely comfortable. Thankfully, you'll find Bonus Deuces Wild machines from the penny stakes (max bet of $0.05) on up, so there's always a game that fits your bankroll on tap.

With the maximum bet selected, the game begins.

After clicking the "DEAL" button, the game will dispense five random cards from a 52 card deck onscreen. This is your five card starting hand, and you'll use it as the basis for all subsequent decisions.

Just like in Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, and Deuces Wild, the game play mechanics after receiving a five card starting hand remain the same: select which cards (if any) you'd like to hold, and discard the rest.

A button underneath each card graphic will be labeled "HOLD," so just click that to freeze the card in place. You can always change your mind though, and a second click of the same button will reverse the move.

After you've run through the crucial hold / discard phase, pressing the "DRAW" button will compel the game's invisible dealer to distribute the requisite replacements. Hold two and draw three to receive three new cards, hold all five cards in a pat hand and take no replacements, and so on.

This phase of the game is where skill comes into play, as those with "card sense" and a grasp on basic strategy will make better drawing decisions more consistently than novices. Be sure to study the optimal strategy tables later in this page to be sure you're playing your cards right.

Let's say you've been dealt something like the As Ah 4s 3s 2s.

This exciting five card starting hand offers plenty of possibility, as you currently hold a pair of aces AND a four card straight flush draw. But wait a second... see that deuce on the end there? That's a wild card in this game, so in reality you have three aces (As Ah 2s), along with that four card straight flush draw.

The bonus element of this game rewards you for making five aces, so holding the three and hoping to see A's and 2's hit the screen is probably a good idea. But that's a long shot compared to drawing for a flush, so some players tend to opt for the conservative route.

We'll let you decide how to play this one, before moving on to the strategy tips section to see if you made the right call.

Once you've held you preferred cards and ditched the rest to receive replacements, your final five card poker hand is judged against the Bonus Deuces Wild pay table. You'll learn more about that two sections on, but sufficed to say, the better hand you make, the higher your payout will be.

From there, the cycle repeats itself and you'll take a fresh five card starting hand.

Now that you know how to play Bonus Deuces Wild, let's learn how to play the game well.

What Is a Payback Percentage in the Context of Bonus Deuces Wild Poker?

Whenever you read about gambling games - from video poker to blackjack and everything in between -the writers will tend to employ two terms above all others:

  • 1The house edge
  • 2The payback percentage

The "house edge" is a metric applied mostly to table games, so blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette players are all prone to house edge discussions. In essence, the term describes exactly what it sounds like: the "edge" a casino holds over players on any given game or wager.

That edge is defined as the amount the house can expect to win, over the infinite long run, when players put money behind a particular bet. For the average recreational player hitting Las Vegas' blackjack pits once a year, the house edge is said to be right around 1 percent.

That means the house will expect to take in $1 for every $100 that player wagers on blackjack. Now, you might be saying to yourself "nobody loses $1 on a $100 hand of blackjack" - and you'd be spot on in that assessment. With a $100 black chip bet, you're either going to win $100, lose it all, chop to break even, or win a $150 premium when making blackjack. But you won't win or lose just $1, so what gives?

Well, the house edge metric applies to the infinite long run, and we mean infinite. You'll hear players talk about the long run quite often, but they usually mean the span of their trip, a calendar year, or even their own lifetime.

But for the casino, the long run stretches much longer, encompassing every wager placed on a particular game from the time a venue opens until it's closed for good. That includes all the bets you make, and every other bet made by every other player.

When that long run is taken into consideration, the millions of dollars in transactions can be boiled down into an average based on $100 increments - which is how the house edge rate is calculated. And when every hand of blackjack ever dealt is factored in, casinos can expect to collect $1 on every $100 wagered.

That's one of the lowest house edges in the gambling world, believe it or not. Games like the double zero version of roulette popularized by American casinos holds a high house edge of 5.26 percent - meaning a whole $5.26 of every $100 put up heads straight to the house.

When you shift to the machine based games like slots and video poker, the preferred metric for assessing odds is known as "payback percentage."

This simply flips the script, so to speak, by looking at the amount players can expect to bring back on every $100 wagered over the long run.

On the classic video poker variant of Jacks or Better, the standard house edge on a "full pay" 9 / 6 machine stands at 99.54 percent. This means a player can expect to win $99.54 for every $100 wagered - which is actually a loss of $0.46 over the long run.

Remember, almost every casino gambling game you'll ever find on the floor offers a negative expectation. In other words, over the long run, you'll always be giving a little bit back to the house - which is why casinos stay in business despite paying out million dollar jackpots and the like.

Astute readers with a mind for math have probably noticed something by now: house edge and payback percentage rates are linked.

Think about it... if we wanted to find the house edge for that Jacks or Better game, the $0.46 lost per $100 wagered seems like a natural fit. And indeed it is.

By taking a baseline figure of 100, and subtracting any payback percentage figure from that, you'll arrive at a video poker game's house edge. Conversely, if you have the house edge rate for a game, you can subtract that from 100 to arrive at the payback percentage.

For the game of Bonus Deuces Wild, which comes with a payback percentage of 99.86 percent, we can subtract that from 100 to arrive at a house edge of only 0.14 percent (100 - 99.86 = 0.14).

Thus, for Bonus Deuces Wild - when using the 10 / 4 / 4 full pay table you'll learn more about later on - the payback percentage is 99.86 percent and the house edge is 0.14 percent.

You'll receive a full education on how pay tables, and adjustments to them, can affect a video poker game's payback percentage. But for now, we'll tell you this: every pay table configuration you'll find comes equipped with its own unique payback percentage.

And for sharp video poker players looking to improve their bottom line, comparison shopping for the best payback percentages is the only ticket in town.

Going back to the standard full pay version of Bonus Deuces Wild, that payback percentage of 99.86 percent is quite high - and it even approaches 100 percent. As you might suspect, finding a situation where the casino is offering a wager with a 100 percent payback percentage - meaning players face an even money probability - is about as rare as it gets.

But when you can, through casino club rebate offers and other promotions, the sky's the limit for profitable play.

Imagine you're playing Bonus Deuces Wild under the regular format, while max betting on a $1 machine for $5 per hand. That 99.86 payback percentage means you'll bring back $4.99 for every $5 bet, so you'll be losing one penny per hand over the infinite long run.

And let's use the average hands per hour rate of 600 that most proficient video poker players attain - we know it sounds fast, but once you're in the groove, that pace will be easy to reach. At 600 hands per hour and $5 per hand, you'll be betting $3,000 every hour - good for an expected loss of $4.90 over that stretch.

Of course, not all Bonus Deuces Wild machines offer the same optimal pay table, and you may encounter a game with a slightly lower payback percentage of 99.45 percent. Just by playing this inferior pay table (which you'll learn more about below), your expected loss drops from $4.90 all the way to $16.50. That's more than three times worse than the full pay version - which is why you should always search for the best pay tables as a video poker player.

We can reverse this dynamic through player clubs and promotions though, and in many cases, video poker regulars are offered rebates of 1 percent on their total action. The casino will track your combined wagers over a session, before offering a free play voucher or similar compensation based on that 1 percent rebate.

For us Bonus Deuces Wild fans, that 1 percent addition works wonders, turning the 99.86 payback percentage into a 100.86 percent positive expectation game.

And by using the same example from above, betting $5 per hand in the course of 3,000 hands, this 1 percent rebate turns our session from a $4.90 loss into a 25.80 win.

If you prefer the house edge metric, the rebate turned the house's edge of 0.14 percent into a "player edge" of 0.86 percent.

With all that said, you should remain mindful of two key factors whenever you think about payback percentages and house edges:

1 - These are theoretical, long term predictions only.

The term "statistically speaking" can be confusing, but it boils down one thing: sample size. Gamblers use the long run as their sample, but in order for these percentages and probabilities to truly bear out, you'd need a sample size in the tens of thousands of hands - or even higher.

Remember, the casino gets to reach this threshold because its games are spread 24 / 7 around the clock, every day of the year, for decades running. They take millions of wagers every year, and that sheer volume lets the house realize its expected edge.

It's not so easy for players, and unless you're a professional who grinds the machines for 10 hours per day, you simply won't be able to work up enough of a sample.

For this reason, the house edge and payback percentage numbers should be used as a rough guide, rather than hard and fast rules. What matters most is the comparisons between one video poker variant and another, and more importantly, the various pay tables for each game.

In the short term, your results will fluctuate wildly and deviate from the baseline. But when you're attempting to comparison shop between competing games and pay tables, these key numbers let you put your money behind the most favorable bets only.

2 - These numbers assume you're playing with optimal strategy.

Only computers calibrated to play video poker perfectly will realize true optimal strategy on every hand, but we humans can try. And try we do, by taking advantage of the optimal strategy charts that have been carefully calculated over time.

But you'll only realize the full potential of a house edge or payback percentage rate when playing perfectly, so always be sure to take that into consideration. If you play Jacks or Better at an expert level - thus realizing the 99.54 percent payback percentage - but are only just learning Bonus Deuces Wild, you won't come close to achieving the 99.86 percent rate.

How the Pay Tables for Bonus Deuces Wild Poker Work

Below you'll find the 10 / 4 / 4 pay table, also called the "full pay," for Bonus Deuces Wild:

Full Pay 10 / 4 / 4 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Natural Royal Flush 800 1600 2400 3200 4000
Four Deuces + Ace 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four Deuces 200 400 600 80 1000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
Five Aces 80 160 240 320 400
Five 3, 4, or 5 40 80 120 160 200
Five Other 20 40 60 80 100
Straight Flush 10 20 30 40 50
Four of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 1 2 3 4 5
Three of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5
All Others 0 0 0 0 0

Just like how Jacks or Better machines come in a full pay variety - with full houses paying 9 coins and flushes paying 6 coins - Bonus Deuces Wild also has a full pay table that sharp players should always look for. This pay table offers players a 99.86 percent payback percentage, which is one of the highest you'll find in video poker - higher than the 99.54 percent rate offered by Jacks or Better, and the 99.17 percent offered by regular Bonus Poker.

In this case, the key payout to keep your eye on is the straight flush, which pays 10 coins in the full pay table above. Some machines will slightly modify that straight flush payout downward, so you'll often see Bonus Deuces Wild games offering 9 coins instead of 10. In this case, that seemingly minor reduction lowers the payback percentage to 99.45 percent.

And if you find a Bonus Deuces Wild machine paying 8 coins for a straight flush, that drops your equity down to 99.06 percent payback percentage.

These variations have a short hand of their own, so video poker players will refer to the 10 / 4 / 4 full pay games - which references the payouts for a straight flush, four of a kind, and a full house, respectively. Alternative versions of the pay table include the 9 / 4 / 4 and 8 / 4 / 4 options already discussed, as well as many others that slightly adjust the payouts for any of the three key hands.

Sufficed to say, you should always be searching for the 10 coin straight flush full pay games whenever possible.

And just in case you're new to the world of Bonus Poker and Deuces Wild hands, we've included a breakdown of every possible paying hand below:

  • Natural royal flush

      You'll land a royal flush whenever you string together a Broadway straight - or the 10, jack, queen, king, and ace -all in the same suit. In this case, the word "natural" means exactly what it sounds like, so you'll need to make the royal without using any deuces as wild cards. That's a longshot of course, coming in every 40,000 hands or so, but max bettors will trigger the machine's jackpot payout of 800 for 1 for their trouble.

  • Four deuces with an ace

      Obviously, the deck's four deuces are coveted by Bonus Deuces Wild fans, and for good reason - they can transform into any other card to help you make better hands. And when you're lucky enough to find all four of them onscreen, along with an ace, you've created this video poker variant's second strongest hand. The ace kicker is pivotal too, as it pays out double the amount you'll earn for a plain old four deuces hand.

  • Four deuces

      This hand is simply those four deuces from above, without the benefit of an ace kicker.

  • Wild royal flush

      We're back to the mother of all poker hands, but in this case, you're free to use one or more deuces to help "fill in the blanks" for a royal flush. Because the wild cards make it so much easier to complete, wild royal flushes only pay 25 coins per coin wagered, which is actually less than the next two hands on the list.

  • Five of a kind (Aces)

      Taking a cue from traditional Bonus Poker, this game prioritizes aces above all else in terms of payout. When you can land five aces, using any combination of one or more wild deuces, the game awards a bonus pay of 80 coins per coin wagered.

  • Five of a Kind (3s, 4s, 5s)

      The next bonus payout comes when you land five of a kind in either 3s, 4s, or 5s. In regular Bonus Poker this caveat applies to 2s, 3s, and 4s, but obviously the deuces wild factor changes things just a bit. But in either case, the payouts are counterintuitively flipped on their head, with five of a kind in baby cards ranked better than their higher counterparts.

  • Five of a kind (any other)

      This hand is your basic five of a kind, meaning five of any rank between 6s and Ks, using one or more deuces as wild cards.

  • Straight flush

      We're back to the traditional poker hands here, with a straight flush consisting of exactly what the name implies: a five card straight that is also a flush. In other words, any string of consecutive cards (5 6 7 8 9; 9 10 J Q K) with all five in the same suit qualifies as a straight flush. And of course, you're free to use those wild deuces as needed to fill in the blanks.

  • 4 of a kind

      Four of a kind in standard Bonus Poker uses the tiered payout structure, rewarding aces and then lower cards above all else. In the game of Bonus Deuces Wild, however, that element shifts to five of a kinds - leaving four of a kind as just another bonus free hand. You'll need to catch four of the same rank to snag this one, with deuces more than welcome to join the party.

  • Full house

      When you combine three of a kind in one rank, and one pair in another, you'll hold a full house. Examples include 7 7 7 4 4, K K Q Q Q, or 5 4 5 4 5.

  • Flush

      Flushes are found when you string together five cards, in any rank, that are all of matching suits. Examples include 4h 7h 9h Jh Ah or 3s 5s 8s 10s Qs.

  • Straight

      Straights are simply five consecutive cards, with suits rendered irrelevant. Examples include the A 2 3 4 5 "wheel straight," the 10 J Q K A "Broadway" straight, or something in the middle like 7 8 9 10 J.

  • 3 of a kind

      The lowest paying hand in Bonus Deuces Wild is three of a kind, which is formed by any three cards of the same rank (4 4 4 A K, 6 6 6 7 5, or J J J 10 4 are all examples). As you might suspect, this means that hands like two pair or one pair don't pay a thing in Bonus Deuces Wild.

One fun thing about video poker pay tables is how they can be used to calculate payback percentages for the entire game. By comparing your odds of hitting a certain hand to the payout offered for it, you'll find payback percentages for each hand as well. And by adding those up and averaging them out, the final result is the expected return for the entire pay table.

We're video poker players turned writers by trade, not mathematicians, so we're definitely not challenging anybody to break out their pencil and pen to do this work. Thankfully, a long line of mathematically inclined video poker experts have taken the time to do those calculations for us.

Take a peek at some examples of the math behind Bonus Deuces Wild below:

On a whopping 55.9 percent of hands you'll play, the best hand you'll make will be two pair or below. And as those hands don't return a single coin in payouts, the expected return for making two pair or below is exactly 0 (55.9 percent x 0 coins paid = 0).

The first paying hand in Bonus Deuces Wild is three of a kind, and you'll land this bad boy on 27.8 percent of hands played. And with a payout of 1 coin per coin wagered, the expected return calculation is as follows: 27.8 percent x 1 = 27.8 percent.

As for the next hand up the payout ladder, you can expect to see a straight onscreen just 4 percent of the time. Straights also pay 1 coin per coin wagered, leaving us with an expected return of 4 percent (4 percent x 1 = 4 percent).

Flushes are next up, and you'll find them on only 2.35 percent of hands dealt. But with a payout of 3 coins per coin wagered, the expected return for a flush stands at 7.05 percent (2.35 percent x 3 = 7.05 percent).

And to the top of the payout ladder we go, with that natural royal flush coming in 0.0024 percent of hands dealt. Using the same formula, we can plug in that jackpot payout of 800 coins (for max bettors) to see that the expected return for natural royal flushes is 1.92 percent (0.0024 percent x 800 = 1.92 percent).

By taking the various expected return rates for every single hand in this particular pay table (the 10 coins on straight flush full pay game), and averaging them out, you'll arrive at the 99.86 payback percentage we referenced earlier.

Of course, that number is based on perfectly optimal play at all times, such as a computer would employ. For the beginning video poker players out there who simply sit down for a session of Bonus Deuces Wild, the payback percentage would drop down to something like 95 percent to 97 percent.

But as you master the basic strategy for this particular variant, and begin playing each hand as perfectly as possible, you can easily achieve the full equity of that 99.86 payback percentage rate.

That's only on the full pay version, however, and slight variations to the pay table figures will wreak havoc on your payback percentage. Take a look below to see how a few commonly used Bonus Deuces Wild pay tables stack up:

  • 9 coin straight flush (9 / 4 / 4) - 99.45 percent
  • 8 coin straight flush (8 / 4 / 4) - 99.06 percent
  • 13 coin straight flush (13 / 4 / 3) - 98.80 percent
  • 4 coin 4 of a kind (13 / 4 / 3) - 98.80 percent
  • 3 coin full house (13 / 4 / 3) - 98.80 percent

As you can see, the main shift to Bonus Deuces Wild pay tables affects the straight flush payout. Full pay games offer 10 coins for a straight flush, but that can be reduced to 9 or 8 coins - with each reduction lowering the game's overall payback percentage in kind.

However, a few clever casino operators and game designers try to trick players by offering a higher payout for straight flushes, as evidenced by the 13 coin payout shown above. But upon closer inspection, you'll see that the 4 coin payout for a full house has been downgraded to 3 coins. This subtle switcheroo turns the full pay game's enticing 99.86 payback percentage into a much less desirable 98.80 rate - a loss of a full percentage point in equity.

Obviously, we recommend scouring the casino floor for full pay versions of Bonus Deuces Wild only, but that can be difficult depending on the venue. When in doubt stick to the three alternative pay tables we listed above, as anything else will plummet too far into the depths of negative expectation, making profitable play over the long run impossible.

Bonus Poker Strategy Tips

When it comes to a skill based game like video poker - which allows players to exert some level of control over the results through the hold / discard process - strategy is the key to sustained success.

Simply put, unless you know how to play your cards right in any possible scenario, the mistakes you'll inevitably make will eat away into your expected return. Of course, a few mistakes here and there are to be expected, especially given the complexity added by the inclusion of wild cards and bonus pays. But the objective for every video poker expert is to minimize those mistakes while playing every hand as perfectly as possible.

Fortunately, those same mathematical wizards who helped us crack the expected return rates for each hand have worked their magic once again. By comparing the probabilities and expected returns for every possible five card starting hand, the game's best and brightest minds have calculated the most profitable play for each.

In other words, no matter what five cards the game deals out to begin a hand, you'll always have one play that stands above the others as being mathematically optimal. In many cases, that perfect play will jump right out at even the most novice of players, as there just won't be any other valid choices on the screen. We're thinking about pat hands here, obviously, but even many drawing scenarios are quite easy to discern with just basic card sense alone.

On the other hand, many five card deals will leave players with several options to choose from, and knowing which one is the best play is the secret to winning consistently at Bonus Deuces Wild.

Let's say you've been dealt something like 9h 9s 9c 10h Jh, for example, which gives you two main hands to choose from: three nines or a three card straight flush. Some players will swear by keeping the made hand and its guaranteed payout of one coin, while others will go for the gusto and draw to the higher paying hand.

But a decision like this isn't a matter of preference when math is introduced to the equation, because each choice holds an inherent expected return. And your job is to choose the best expected return rate at all times, because that will add up to boost your bottom line over the long run.

In the example hand above, holding the made three of a kind is actually a much better choice than going for the straight flush, and we know that by using the following system of hand / draw rankings. To use these rankings, you'll simply scan the screen to determine the made hands and draws you currently hold. Then, you'll choose the highest ranked hand according to the list below, while ditching the others.

Without further ado, let's see the optimal strategy for Bonus Deuces Wild, which is broken down based on how many deuces you've been dealt to begin the hand:

When You're Dealt No Deuces

Key: T = 10, J = Jack, Q = Queen, K = King, A = Ace

  • Royal Flush

      This one's obvious, so if you look up to see a natural royal flush onscreen, take your time and slowly press hold on all five cards before collecting your jackpot hand pay.

  • Four to a Royal flush

      The first draw on our list is the most powerful, and in fact, when you hold any four cards to a royal flush, you should always go for the fifth rather than holding a lower paying made hand. And yes, drawing at a 40,000 to 1 shot is tough sledding, but remember, you can still win by hitting any of your suit for a regular flush, a 10 or face card for a Broadway straight, or even a deuce for a Wild Royal Flush.

  • Straight Flush

      Another no brainer, as a made straight flush should always be held.

  • Four of a kind

      Same goes for the four of a kind, so when you see a foursome hit the screen, hold them all and hope to hit a deuce.

  • Full House

      The pat hand rule applies here, so hold them all when you make a boat.

  • Flush

      Another pat hand which should always be held - unless you happen to have a four card royal draw AND a five card flush (something like 10h Jh Qh Kh 2h). In this case, you should use the hand ranking ladder to determine that the four card royal draw actually holds a higher expected return.

  • Three of a kind

      With this pat hand in play, hold the trio and try to land some deuces or a full house.

  • Four to a Straight Flush

      We've now entered the drawing phase, so when you see four cards to a straight flush on board, recognize that this draw offers more equity than the low paying pat hands below it on the list.

  • Three to a Royal Flush

      Ditto for the three card royal draw, which is actually a better play than holding a straight.

  • Straight

      With this made hand in play, and no stronger draws, it's best to take the sure payout and move on.

  • Four to a Flush

      Four flush cards is a strong hand in Bonus Deuces Wild because you'll actually have 13 "outs" instead of the normal nine (9 suited cards + 4 deuces).

  • Two pair

      Technically a pat hand, two pair doesn't pay anything on its own, so you'll be searching for a deuce or a matched card to make a full house here.

  • One pair

      Same dynamic in place for one pair hands, as you'll need to improve to at least three of a kind in order to collect a payout.

  • Three to a Straight Flush (except Ace low)

      We're down to the ragged draws here, so three cards to a straight flush that isn't of the A 2 3 4 5 variety is your best bet.

  • Two to a Royal Flush (J T, Q T, Q J)

      It's tough to call two cards to a royal flush a legitimate draw, but without anything stronger to work with, hold your suited Broadway cards and hope for a miracle.

  • Three to a Straight Flush (Ace low)

      When your three card straight flush draw is limited to the A 2 3 4 5 "steel wheel," you'll just have to hold 'em and hope.

  • Two to a Royal Flush (K T, K J, K Q)

      These two card royal flush draws are ranked lower than the other ones because they aren't connected - and thus can't form straights as easily.

  • Discard everything

      Finally, if your first five cards don't link up to create any of the 17 hands or draws shown above, ditch the lot and take a new five card hand.

When You're Dealt One Deuce

Key: T = 10, J = Jack, Q = Queen, K = King, A = Ace

  • Full House or better

      Hold any made hand ranked full house or higher

  • Four to a Wild Royal Flush

      Four cards to a royal with a deuce in hand ranks higher than any hand below it on the list.

  • Flush

      A made flush should always be held unless it contains a four card royal draw.

  • Three of a kind

      (3s / 4s / 5s, Qs / Ks / As) - For all hands below this, look for the highest ranked hand on the list and hold those cards, while discarding the rest.

  • Four to a Straight Flush

      (Deuce + A 3 4 / A 3 5 / A 4 5, 3 4 5, 5 6 7, 6 7 8, 7 8 9, 8 9 T, 9 T J)

  • Three of a kind

      (6s / 7s / 8s / 9s / Ts / Js)

  • Four to a Straight Flush

      (Deuce + 3 4 6 / 3 5 6, 4 5 6, 4 5 7 / 4 6 7, 5 6 8 / 5 7 8, 6 7 9 / 6 8 9, 7 8 T / 7 9 T, 8 9 J / 8 T J, 9 T Q / 9 J Q)

  • Four to a Straight Flush

      (Deuce + 3 4 7 / 3 5 7 / 3 6 7, 4 5 8 / 4 6 8 / 4 7 8, 5 6 9 / 5 7 9 / 5 8 9, 6 7 T / 6 8 T / 6 9 T, 7 8 J / 7 9 J / 7 T J, 8 9 Q / 8 T Q / 8 J Q, 9 T K / 9 J K / 9 Q K)

  • Three to a Wild Royal Flush

      (Deuce + T J)

  • Three to a Wild Royal Flush:

      (Deuce + T Q / J Q)

  • Three to a Wild Royal Flush:

      (Deuce + T K / J K / Q K)

  • Three to a Wild Royal Flush:

      (Deuce + T A / J A / Q A / K A)

  • Straight Four to a Flush Three to a Straight Flush

      (Deuce + 6 7, 7 8, 8 9, 9 T)

  • Deuce only
When You're Dealt Two Deuces

  • Four of a kind or better

      When holding two wild deuces, always hold your pat hands of four of a kind and higher.

  • Four to a Wild Royal Flush

      Two deuces that combine to form a four card royal flush draw should be held above all other lower paying hands and draws.

  • Deuces + Ace

      A pair of deuces plus an ace should be held above any other two deuce combinations.

  • Deuces only

      Two deuces with three unconnected cards should be held, with the other three discarded.

When You're Dealt Three Deuces

  • 5 of a kind or better
  • Deuces + Ace
  • Deuces only
When You're Dealt Four Deuces

  • Deuces + Ace
  • Deuces only

As you can tell, the strategy gets much easier as your count of deuces in hand increases. The most difficult decisions a Bonus Deuces Wild player will face come when the deck dispenses a single deuce to speak of, as this wild card element creates a whole host of additional drawing possibilities.

As the tables for two , three , and four deuce holdings are relatively straightforward and intuitive, take your time to study the optimal strategy charts for zero and one deuce hands. There's a lot to sort through in the middle section of each chart, what with so many three card draws to think about, but with a little practice on your favorite video poker simulator - making these tough choices correctly will become second nature.

Bonus Poker Variants

You'll find detailed breakdowns for all other video poker variants on our page, but take a look below to find a few games based on Bonus Deuces Wild:

  • Double Bonus Deuces Wild

      This fusion of Double Bonus Poker and Bonus Deuces Wild attaches bonus payouts to various five of a kind combinations. You'll earn 160 coins per coin wagered when you make five aces, 50 coins for five 3s, 4s, or 5s, and 20 coins for any other five of a kind. That marks a big jump from the 80 / 40 / 20 scheme used on traditional Bonus Deuces Wild.

  • Super Bonus Deuces Wild

      This game adds a new jackpot payout of 160 coins per coin wagered whenever you land any five of a kind. Obviously, those hands must include a deuce, but instead of the tiered payouts for five aces, then five 3s, 4s, or 5s - Super Bonus Deuces Wild makes it 160 coins for any five pack.

Where to Find Bonus Poker Games (Online or Off)

For fans of the exciting Bonus Deuces Wild variant visiting Las Vegas, you'll need to do some hunting to locate the 10 / 4 / 4 full pay machines.

Fortunately, the fine folks at VPFree2.com have compiled a handy database covering all video poker machines in Sin City.

By inputting your desired game and pay table - Bonus Deuces Wild and 10 / 4 / 4 full pay in this case - you'll discover that the vast majority of these machines are found on so called "Off Strip" casinos. Look for venues like the Stations Casino family, anything in the Downtown District and Fremont Street, or venues like Red Rock Casino and South Point Casino that are located a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip.

In terms of online play, the Microgaming software platform and its hundreds of client casinos are your best bet. The version of Bonus Deuces Wild spread on Microgaming sites uses a slightly modified pay table - moving the payout for straight flushes down from 10 coins to 8, while downgrading the five of a kind (6s through Ks) from 20 coins to 18.

This creates an expected return of 99.14 percent, which is a decent chunk lower than the full pay game, but still well within the 99 percent or higher comfort zone. And indeed, Microgaming offers the best expected return rate for Bonus Deuces Wild you'll find online.

Conclusion

Bonus Deuces Wild takes the best of both worlds from two of the most popular video poker variants: Bonus Poker and Deuces Wild. And in doing so, the game's creators managed to improve on the predecessors, combining the added strategic elements of tiered bonus payouts with the excitement of hunting for wild cards.

If you're proficient at either base game, and would like to spice up your next video poker session, finding a full pay 10 / 4 / 4 machine is a great way to start. And as always, be sure to bring your A game to the proceedings, as Bonus Deuces Wild challenges talented players to expand their horizons while considering a whole host of new hand versus draw scenarios.

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