Deuces Wild Strategy – How to Increase Your Chance of Winning

Deuces Wild Strategy

11 minutes

Last Updated: February 6, 2024

Checked by: Zvonimir Potocki

Among the thousands of video poker machines worldwide, there are hundreds of different variations and types of the game, each coming with different rules and paytable.

Deuces Wild video poker is one of the most attractive games for the players. The full-pay version of this game offers a return of 100.8% to sharp players who play optimal strategy.

The game differs from the classic Jacks or Better video poker and other variations in one key aspect. Namely, all deuces serve as joker cards, substituting for any other card you may need.

In this guide, I will explain the perfect Deuces Wild strategy and teach you how to implement it, along with explaining other important things about the game, starting from the paytable and basic rules.

How to Play Deuces Wild Video Poker

If you have previously played Jacks or Better or some other variation of video poker, you probably know the very basic rules of Deuces Wild, too.

In Deuces Wild video poker, you are dealt five cards at the start of every hand. Once you have the cards, you can decide which ones you want to keep and which you want to discard and substitute for new cards out of the deck.

The game is played with a classic 52 card deck and no joker cards, and the hand rankings have their basics in the standard poker hand rankings.

However, there are a few differences with Deuces Wild, and these have to do with the fact that every deuce dealt counts as a wild card.

With deuces being wild, hands like one pair and two pairs become insignificant and thus have no value. On the other hand, five of a kind is now possible, and straight and royal flushes with a deuce also become possible.

Each hand is played with the deck fully shuffled, and the cards that were dealt on the previous hand have no impact on the new hand you are playing.

Deuces Wild video poker

Deuces Wild Video Poker Paytable

For the purpose of this guide, I will only talk about the full pay Deuces Wild poker machine. This one is not very easy to find, but it offers the best value.

If you want to play video poker, I highly advise you to do your research and find a full-pay deuces wild machine before you get into the action. Playing other video poker machines will give you lower results in the long run.

This also includes the majority of Deuces Wild machines, which offer sub-par payouts. This, in turn, makes the overall RTP lower than 100%.

The full-pay video poker machine has the following payout with a one-chip bet:

  • Natural Royal Flush: 800
  • Four Deuces: 200
  • Wild Royal Flush: 25
  • Five of a Kind: 15
  • Straight Flush: 9
  • Four of a Kind: 5
  • Full House: 3
  • Flush: 2
  • Straight: 2
  • Three of a Kind: 1

Notice that some major poker hands such as four of a kind are valued relatively low in Deuces Wild. That’s simply because they aren’t that hard to make in this game.

If you think about it, anytime you are dealt a pair of deuces, you have at least three of a kind already, if not better. With just a little luck, you can easily make four of a kind or a straight flush on many occasions.

So with this in mind, how do you play Deuces Wild? I am now going to go into the strategy for the game and explain what you should keep and what you should discard in different common scenarios.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy

Now that I have covered the basic rules and the paytable of the full pay Deuces Wild video poker, I am going to go into the optimal Deuces Wild poker strategy.

This strategy was made to beat the full pay game, and different paytables may have significant differences in optimal strategy.

However, if you can find a full pay machine to play on, this Deuces Wild strategy will give you the best possible results. It will result in you winning nearly 1% against the house in the long run.

Keep in mind that it will take many hands to realize all your equity in this game. Plus, even slight strategy mistakes will cost you a good portion of your winnings.

I will go over the possible combinations of hands, from best to worst, depending on how many deuces you are initially dealt.

When you play the game, look at the table and look up the highest possible combination that you currently have. This will tell you which hand to keep and which cards to let go of.

How to win at Deucues Wild poker

Holding 4 Deuces

  1. Keep 4 Deuces

Holding 3 Deuces

  1. Keep a Wild Royal Flush
  2. Keep 3 Deuces, Discard 2 Non-Paired Cards
  3. Keep 3 Deuces, Discard Pair of 9s or Lower
  4. Keep Five of a Kind
  5. Keep Four to a Royal Flush
  6. Keep a Straight flush or Lower

Holding 2 Deuces

  1. Keep a Wild Royal Flush
  2. Keep Five of a Kind
  3. Keep a Straight Flush
  4. Keep Four of a Kind
  5. Keep 2 Deuces + Consecutive Cards (6-7 or higher)
  6. Keep 2 Deuces

Holding 1 Deuce

  1. Keep a Wild Royal Flush
  2. Keep Five of a Kind
  3. Keep a Straight Flush
  4. Keep Four of a Kind
  5. Keep Four to a Royal Flush
  6. Keep a Full House
  7. Keep the Deuces + Three Cards to a Straight Flush (5-6-7 or higher)
  8. Keep Three of a Kind
  9. Keep a Straight
  10. Keep a Flush
  11. Keep Four to any Straight Flush
  12. Keep Three to a Royal Flush (highest card K)
  13. Keep the Deuce + Two Cards to a Straight Flush (6-7 or Higher)
  14. Keep Three to a Royal Flush (highest card A)
  15. Keep the Deuce

Holding No Deuces

  1. Keep a Natural Royal Flush
  2. Keep Four to a Royal Flush
  3. Keep a Straight Flush
  4. Keep Four of a Kind
  5. Keep a Full House
  6. Keep Three of a Kind
  7. Keep a Straight or a Flush
  8. Keep Four to an Open-ended Straight Flush
  9. Keep Suited Q-J-T
  10. Keep Four to an Inside Straight Flush
  11. Keep Three to a Royal Flush
  12. Keep One Pair
  13. Keep Four to a Flush
  14. Keep Four to an Open-ended Straight
  15. Keep Two to a Royal Flush (highest card J)
  16. Keep Four to an Inside Straight
  17. Keep Two to a Royal Flush (highest card Q)
  18. Keep Two to a Royal Flush (highest card K)
  19. Discard All Cards

That’s it! The list above holds all the secrets to actually beating the Deuces Wild video poker machine with full pays.

The thing to keep in mind is that this Deuces Wild strategy is highly volatile, albeit rewarding. That means it will take many hands to realize all your equity, overcome variance, and beat the casino. Yet, with every played hand, you also increase the amount of money you will win in the long run.

The basic Deuces Wild video poker strategy has a lot of rules to remember. So, I suggest printing them out and having them on hand as you play until you are 100% sure you know what to keep and what to discard each and every time.

Tips and Tricks to Beat the Deuces Wild Video Poker

You now know the Deuces Wild strategy in terms of mathematics and basic drawing rules, but that doesn’t mean you have the game completely solved.

After playing many thousands of hands of Deuces Wild video poker as well as other video poker machines, I can give you some tips that will help you make the best of this strategy guide.

So, here are the top 7 tips you should keep in mind while playing Deuces Wild:

1. Practice for Free

The amazing thing about the Deuces Wild video poker strategy is that you can practice it with absolutely no risk involved.

Online casinos offer free-to-play variations of all their games, including the Deuces Wild video poker machine.

This means you can simply visit an online casino and play the game, with registration being the only requirement (in some cases).

The more hands of free video poker you play, the more confident you will feel when you finally hit the real machine. Even if you can't find a full pay game, you can practice the optimal strategy as if the game was full pay and apply it to the actual machine later.

2. Think About Risk of Ruin

If you want to play Deuces Wild video poker in the real world and win money by exploiting this optimal strategy, you will need a sufficient bankroll to do so.

The necessary bankroll for Deuces Wild, to ensure you don't go bust before realizing your equity, is about 5,000 betting units.

Even with this number of betting units, you still risk losing your poker bankroll about 4% of the time. If this is not a risk you are willing to take, upping your bankroll to 10,000 units will decrease your risk further, putting it well under 1% and very close to 0%.

If you try playing my Deuces Wild video poker strategy with a smaller bankroll, remember that there is a very real risk of ruin. You will need to run well early on to survive and thrive with the strategy.

3. Never Deviate from the Strategy

This is a point I cannot stress enough! If you are going to fool around and take unnecessary risks, you may as well play slot machines, which are a lot more fun in most cases.

If, however, you want to make money at the casino, you should make sure to always play the optimal Deuces Wild strategy and not deviate from it.

Even the slightest of differences in your strategy will make a dent in your overall winnings. The more mistakes you make, the less money you will be making per hour.

Deuces Wild video poker strategy

4. Make Use of Comps and Promotions

The edge that a winning player can have in the Deuces Wild video poker game is less than 1%, which does add up over time but is not your only edge.

The fact you can beat the casino for a small amount of money means that you can also collect a significant amount of comps or loyalty points while actually winning money.

You can exchange these comp points for all sorts of rewards, and they are completely free to come by. If you can play thousands of hands, win a little money, and collect tons of comps, you are still a big winner in the grand scheme of things.

5. Keep the Chart on Hand

We all like to think we are smarter than we actually are, but the truth is that remembering the entire Deuces Wild video poker strategy is a feat that takes some time.

For that reason, I highly recommend printing out the entire strategy and keeping it on hand when you play until you are 100% confident that you are not making any mistakes.

Every mistake you make may take up to 0.05% off your overall win rate, and there is absolutely no reason to ever lower your odds of winning when you can always consult the chart.

6. Time Is Money

When playing video poker, the saying that time is money is absolutely true. The more hands you can play in one hour, the more money you will be making.

If you can play the optimal strategy without making mistakes, you should focus on how fast you are playing and increase your speed.

With every extra hand of Deuces Wild you play, you will be making extra money. Hence, make sure you are playing the fastest you can without making mistakes.

7. Do Not Gamble

Probably the biggest downfall of professional gamblers who have the Deuces Wild poker strategy down to a science is that they like to play other casino games as well.

When playing your favorite machine, you will be spending a lot of time surrounded by other gambling games, which are not nearly as profitable or smart bets.

It is critical that you avoid gambling unless you only want to play video poker for fun as well. The hard-earned Deuces Wild winnings can go back to the casino quickly if you start playing slot machines with RTPs in the low 90% range or you turn your attention to games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

Deuces Wild Strategy FAQs

Why is the game called Deuces Wild?

The main difference between Deuces Wild and other forms of video poker is the fact that every deuce in this game is a wild card. That means you always keep the deuce, no matter what, as the deuce can serve as a substitute for any other card in the deck you may need.

Can I beat the Deuces Wild video poker machine?

Yes! Full pay Deuces Wild is one of the few gambling games you will find in casinos that actually offer an RTP of more than 100%. This means you are a favorite against the house with every bet you make if you apply the proper Deuces Wild poker strategy.

What Deuces Wild strategy should I use?

You should make sure to always use the Deuces Wild video poker strategy I introduced in this guide. This is the optimal way to play Deuces Wild, and there is no reason to use any other strategy. This strategy will make you a winner against the house in the long run.

Are there times when I should change my strategy?

No! You should never make changes to this Deuces Wild strategy. No matter how the situation looks at first glance, you should always make the plays that I listed. This is because these plays have the best mathematical odds of making you money. Every deviation you make will cost you money.

Can I win a jackpot at Deuces Wild?

The top payout on a Deuces Wild video poker machine is the one you get for making a royal flush, which is 800 coins for a single coin bet or 4,000 coins for a five coins bet. Some local casinos and poker rooms may also offer a progressive jackpot payout to their players, which can be worth thousands of dollars.

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