Deuces Wild Video Poker Guide

Deuces Wild video poker remains the most commonly found variation of
so-called “wild” video poker games. You can play it, and understand how to play
it well, with just a basic grasp of both video poker and what wild cards bring
to the game. And the good news is that if you can locate the right machine or
the right version of the game on a top
legit gambling website, you can actually expect to make a profit off the

Video poker has grown from its basic roots as what was essentially a
simulation of the five-card draw poker games that are often played informally by
people at home. The initial video poker game was Jacks or Better, which was
known for its steady play. Yet Jacks or Better gameplay can become stale, and
there aren’t a lot of opportunities for big payoffs.

Two types of games came along to change that scenario. Bonus games solved the
problems of big payouts by rearranging the pay tables to reward certain hands in
significant fashion so that jackpot-style payments were in reach. And wild card
games were the answer to stale play since the opportunity to turn certain cards
into anything in the deck meant that huge hands could easily be achieved.

Deuces Wild video poker stands out among the wild card games for the
familiarity of its concept and the simplicity of the gameplay. If you’ve played
poker recreationally, you know that deuces, or twos, are often made wild because
they are normally the least desirable card to receive. Tacking that notion onto
video poker didn’t take much of a stretch for game makers.

With four wild cards in a deck of 52, Deuces Wild video poker puts hands that
would be huge long shots in other video poker games right within the grasp of
gamblers. It even creates a hand that couldn’t be achieved without the wild
cards: five of a kind. Getting one or more wild cards on the deal or the draw
goes a long way to ensuring a solid payoff.

Yet those who play Deuces Wild video poker have to realize that they aren’t
simply going to coast to easy winnings due to the presence of wild cards. Pay
tables for these games are adjusted so that common winning hands hardly pay out,
if at all. Still, the payback for certain Deuces Wild video poker stands among
the best in all of video poker.

In the following article, we’ll take a look at video poker play and how
Deuces Wild video poker compares to that with the use of the wild cards. We’ll
look at the pay tables you might find when encountering this game and how those
tables affect payback percentages. Finally, we’ll examine strategy for the game
and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of this type of video poker.

Learning Basic Video Poker

Video poker
is a game that is loved by the people who play it frequently. They rave about
how it, in many ways, can be favorably compared to both table games and slot
machines. It takes the best aspects of that entertainment and improves upon

When you play a game like Deuces Wild video poker in a casino, you can do so
without any pressure from other gamblers or casino employees. It’s like a slot
machine in that respect. But the strategic elements of the game put winning and
losing in your control, much more so than with slot machines.

On top of that, probabilities are major factors in video poker. You go into
the game knowing that there are only 52 cards in the deck, and that total
dictates the chances of your receiving specific winning hands. When playing slot
, you have no idea what the probabilities of getting a winning spin
might be.

Video poker allows you to know how much each machine will return to you on
average, so there isn’t any guesswork in that respect. Those payback percentages
are very competitive compared to other games. In many video poker games, like
Deuces Wild video poker, the edge for the house is minimal or nonexistent.

So, how do you play? Let’s walk through how it all works:

  • Inserting Your Money: Putting money in a video
    poker machine will provide you with a bankroll. Most machines give you the
    chance to choose your denomination. Your bankroll will be determined by the
    amount that you put in divided by the denomination. (Example: $10 in the
    machine at a 25-cent machine would equal 40 coins or credits.)
  • Making Your Bet: Games like Deuces Wild video
    poker offer you the chance to bet between one and five coins per hand. You
    don’t have to make a uniform bet, meaning that you have the ability to
    change the bet from hand to hand. But, as we’ll explain later, it’s a wise
    idea to bet the maximum five coins for every hand you play if you can swing
  • Seeing the Deal: Your goal when playing video
    poker is to make one of the winning hands that pay off, as determined by the
    pay table that you’ll be able to see on the machine. You will receive five
    cards on the deal. In some cases, you’ll have enough on the deal to be a
    winner, but more than likely you’ll need some help from the draw round.
  • Making Your Decision: This is the point where video poker strategy comes into play during gameplay. From your original
    deal, you can keep all of your cards. Alternatively, you can discard any
    number of those cards, which will be then replaced by other cards from the
    original simulated deck. That means that you can’t get two of the same cards
    in your final hand and you can’t get one of the cards you discarded.
  • Scoring Your Hand: Scoring the hand is actually
    done by the computer. If you’ve managed to put together some combination of
    cards that will pay off, your credits will be rewarded. Otherwise, since
    your bet had already been deducted at the start of the game, a losing hand
    will mean that nothing gets added.
  • Continuing the Action: You can play as many
    hands as you like as long as you still have credits left in the machine. If
    you run out of money, you’ll have to insert more to keep playing. Or, if you
    have credits left and want to quit, you can cash out and receive a ticket
    from the machine with your remaining money.

Explaining Wild Cards

The concept of wild cards brings a fascinating aspect to video poker play. In
most video poker games, what you get is what you get, and you just have to hope
that your luck and strategy work in your favor. Wild cards give you an extra
added boost as they allow you to change the cards designated as wild into
whatever card you need the most to make a winning hand.

In the case of Deuces Wild video poker, as the name makes clear, the four
twos in the deck are designated as the wild cards. When you play normal video
poker, getting a two in your hand isn’t the most exciting thing. When you see
one or more appear in your hand in this game, however, you’ll likely get a
serious boost of adrenaline.

Let’s look at a sample hand to explain how the wild card works. Imagine that
you end up with the following cards:

Two of Hearts, Two of Clubs, Six of Diamonds, Eight of Diamonds, Nine  of Diamonds

In most video poker machines, this is a losing hand. But in Deuces Wild video
poker, you can take the twos and turn them into whatever makes the hand the most
lucrative to you. In this case, you can transform this hand into a straight
flush, which is five consecutive cards of the same suit.

How? One of the twos can become the five of diamonds, and the other can
become the seven of diamonds. That gives you a five through nine of diamonds.

Keep in mind that the machine will do the transforming of the wild cards for
you after the draw round. In other words, it won’t be on you to decide what the
cards will become. Your machine will automatically change them into whatever you
need to make the best hand.

You will have to strategize a bit when you get one or more twos on the deal.
It’s important that you can look ahead to all the possibilities with wild cards
in play. We’ll talk more about that in the strategy section below.

Checking the Pay Tables for Deuces Wild Video Poker

Video poker machines, as well as online versions of the game, include pay
tables. These pay tables are crucial pieces of information. They’ll tell you
what to expect from the game in terms of payback, and they’ll also help dictate
what kind of strategy you should use in terms of holds and discards.

In terms of Deuces Wild video poker, you really have to be on your guard with
respect to pay tables because there are a lot of them out there. You might walk
into a casino and see two or more different versions of the game carrying
different pay tables. It can make for a mighty confusing prospect.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at one of the versions that is relatively
common so we can see how it affects gameplay.

Coins/Hands 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4000
Four deuces 200 400 600 800 1000
Wild royal flush 25 50 75 100 125
Five of a kind 15 30 45 60 75
Straight flush 9 18 27 36 45
Four of a kind 5 10 15 20 25
Full house 3 6 9 12 15
Flush 2 4 6 8 10
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
Three of a kind 1 2 3 4 5

Let’s first talk about how to read the pay table. Imagine that you made a
four of a kind hand and bet five coins. Simply follow the “4 of a kind” row over
to where it meets the “5 coins” column, and you’ll see the number 25.

That means that you’ve won 25 coins for that hand. Keep in mind that the
number does include the amount bet, so your profit would be 20 coins (25 minus
5.) To figure out how much money you made, multiply the number of coins won by
the denomination.

Now let’s take a look at some of the interesting aspects of a Deuces Wild
video poker pay table. You might be aware of Jacks or Better pay tables and, if
so, you’re probably aware of some differences right off the bat.

On the one hand, the Deuces Wild video poker pay table includes a return for
five of a kind. That hand can only come into play with wild cards since there
are only four of each rank in a standard deck.

You’ll also notice that there are a few hands that pay off in Jacks or Better
that don’t pay in Deuces Wild video poker. These include a pair of jacks or
better and two pair. Quite simply, these hands are too easy to achieve with wild
cards in play and would cause the machine to lose significant money over time if
they paid back to players.

Finally, there is a distinction made between a wild royal flush and a royal
flush. The difference is that a royal flush is achieved in the natural way (ten
through ace of the same suit), while a wild royal flush occurs when a wild card
helps the hand. Examples:

Royal Flush:

Royal Flush: Ten of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, Queen of Clubs, King of  Clubs, Ace of Club

Wild Royal Flush:

Wild Royal Flush: Two of Spades, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Two  of Diamonds, Two of Clubs

In the example above, the wild royal flush is made by converting the three
twos into the ten, jack and ace of hearts. As you might be able to guess, a
natural flush is much harder to achieve. That’s why it pays off so much more.

Payback Percentages for Deuces Wild Video Poker Variations

A payback percentage is a number that gives video poker players an idea of
what they can expect from the machine that they are playing. Any casino game
that contains set probabilities and payoff amounts will have a payback
percentage that can be calculated. Video poker payback percentages come from
taking the probabilities of receiving winning hands and combining that
information with the pay tables.

You can do all that on your own, or you can take the information from
internet sources that have already done the work for you. In the case of Deuces
Wild video poker, what makes this a little difficult is the sheer amount of
variations that can be found. There are in the neighborhood of 25 pay tables
that can be found if you look hard enough in casinos and online casino sites.

Your best bet to find out what you’re dealing with in terms of the pay tables
is to do a quick internet search to see what the percentage might be when you
see a specific one. What you’ll see is that certain hands are the ones that are
adjusted most on pay tables, with the five of a kind and straight flush being
the most common targets.

What we can tell you is that the payback percentage for the pay table above
is 100.76%. That means that you can reasonably expect to walk away from this
version of Deuces Wild video poker with a profit during an average session.


Let’s say you put $10,000 into a machine with that pay
table. On average, you could expect to walk away from that machine with $10,076
on your ticket. That would be a $76 profit.

But you have to remember that this is only an average amount based on the
probabilities and pay tables. Your experience might be different depending on
your luck and skill level.

Still, anytime that a machine weighs in at above 100%, you should really
stick to it. There aren’t too many games that eliminate the house edge. Most
other versions of the game will come in at under 100%, so you need to research
their pay tables to see what your expectations can be.

Building Strategy for Deuces Wild Video Poker

When we talk about payback percentages, we are talking about totals that can
only be achieved with “perfect play.” That means that you’re making the right
decision every single hand that you play.

Five-card poker
and pay tables contribute to what the right play might be for
a given hand. Let’s take a look at a sample hand of Deuces Wild video poker to
see what all this means. Imagine that you receive the following cards on the

Two of Clubs, Seven of Clubs, Seven of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, Nine  of Hearts

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the wild card, which is a great start for
the hand. There are two other seeds forming as well. You’ll need to choose
between them.

On the one hand, the two sevens and the wild card give you at least a three
of a kind, with the chance to improve that on the draw if you dump the eight and
the nine. But you also have four cards to a straight flush, with four possible
outs in the deck that will make that lucrative hand for you.

As it turns out, going for the straight flush is the slightly better play in
terms of the probabilities and potential payouts. Keep in mind, however, that
making the right choice will not always result in a winning hand. And you could
make the wrong choice and come out a winner.

Imagine, with that hand, that the top two cards from the simulated deck on
the draw are another seven and another wild card. That would give you five of a
kind if you had kept the sevens. Meanwhile, a seven on the draw, if you went for
the straight, would only give you a three of a kind for an even-money payout.

The bottom line is that if you played this hand an infinite number of times,
going for the straight flush would return you more money than if you kept the
three of a kind. Knowing that information will help you approach perfect play.

How do you learn that? Here are three ways:

  • Free Play: Most online casinos will let you play
    games for free if you have an account. You can play Deuces Wild video poker
    and get the hang of the wild card aspects of play.
  • Video Poker Training: Even better than free
    play, video poker training software will teach you what the right discards
    and holds are as you play. Simply set it up so that you’re playing a Deuces
    Wild pay table. When you make a mistake, the game will let you know.
  • Strategy Charts: A strategy chart for Deuces
    Wild video poker will lay out all of the possibilities in terms of hands you
    might receive on the deal. You can consult the chart and compare your hand
    to it. When you see where your hand lies on the list, you’ll know which
    cards in your hand are inessential and can be discarded.

Benefits of Deuces Wild Video Poker

  • Easy to understand gameplay
  • Excitement of the wild cards
  • Competitive pay tables

Drawbacks of Deuces Wild Video Poker

  • Low or no payoff for common hands
  • Lots of different pay tables to sift through
  • Absolute beginners might struggle with wild card concept

Strategy Tips for Beginning Deuces Wild Video Poker Players

  • Play the Max. A max bet is the only way that you
    can get the best payout for the natural royal flush hand. If you find it too
    expensive to play the max bet each hand, you should consider dropping down
    to a lower denomination.
  • Start It Over. Don’t be afraid to discard your
    whole hand if a wild card doesn’t appear. You might occasionally come up
    with a deal that doesn’t include a wild card and yet has the seeds of
    something good. But the more chances you have to draw a wild card, the
  • Goodbye, Two Pair. Believe it or not, a two pair
    hand on the deal, with no wild card involved, won’t do you a lot of good. It
    won’t pay off on its own, and the only hand to which it can be improved on
    the draw, the full house, isn’t that lucrative. You’re better off holding
    just a single pair and looking for wild cards on the draw.


Deuces Wild video poker continues to be one of the most popular of the wild
card versions of video poker. Seeing those deuces on the deal or draw will have
your eyes lighting up with the possibilities. Just make sure to choose your pay
table wisely before proceeding.