Deuces Wild might look like a standard video poker variant, but a few minutes of play is enough to reveal several entertaining quirks. Though the game isn't too difficult and can be enjoyed by cunning novices and seasoned poker players alike, a little research and a slick strategy really helps to make Deuces Wild pay.
The video poker game plays out just like a typical poker game except for the “wild” value given to the "deuce" or the two. Players holding a two have the option to choose which value the card holds, creating an unbelievable advantage for those missing just one card in a desired hand.
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Deuces Wild consoles look and function much like other five-card draw poker games. The game is set against a simple cartoon backdrop that does the job and doesn't draw the eye away from gameplay.
Players join a game, select a stake and hit “deal” to receive five cards. After thinking over their options, players select which cards to hold or return, then hit “deal” once more to trigger the draw. When the final five cards have been dealt, the console assesses if the hand is a winner and decides whether it will pay out. Familiar territory so far.
Where Deuces Wild differs from other games, however, is that the two isn’t just a two. Instead, deuces are “wilds” that can represent any other card in a given hand. So, if a player has a pair of Aces and a two, the deuce would automatically become an Ace to make three of a kind. The game will always determine “wild” transformations based on the option most favorable to the player – very neat.
Substituting a deuce for a wild significantly changes the odds of the game. Unlike other games that pay out for pairs of Jacks or better, Deuces Wild starts its payout at three of a kind. Having three of the same card in your hand pays at 1/1 (evens).
Deuces Wild's top payout is still a “natural” Royal Flush (without the “wild” two in the hand), but a couple of additional payouts have been added to reflect the game's unusual features. The second highest payout is four deuces, followed by a “wild” Royal Flush and “five of a kind.” Deuces Wild's most generous expected player return figure is a considerable 100.76%
While a high potential return and the addition of wild twos might make Deuces Wild sound like a cash cow, the game's volatility means that approaching the keyboard with a plan is crucial to success.
Since Deuces Wild does not pay out on pairs and double pairs, players won't be able to accumulate the kind of small, regular wins that they rely on in Jacks or Better games. First-time players should take note of this difference and wager smaller stakes until they've worked out how to maximize their chances of winning.
Although there are a variety of ways to make the game deliver, Deuces Wild's unusual payout format means that those who consistently hunt the Royal Flush could do well. Players will find themselves throwing away cards that they would normally keep, and in fact, a considerable chunk of Deuces Wild gameplay is spent discarding hands that have nothing to offer.
"A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade."