If you’re a fan of favorable odds, you’re probably pretty familiar with a few of the most popular variations of video poker. When played with the correct strategy, these five-card draw poker games provide an opportunity to cash in on some of the best odds you’ll find in the casino. These odds definitely vary based on the machine and type of game you choose to play. A selection of full pay variations – including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and Double Bonus – have won the affection of gamers around the world who insist that each one is the best. Today, let’s take a look at Deuces Wild.

This video poker game follows the basic hand strengths of the poker you know and love with twos serving as wild cards that can be substituted for any other card to make your hand a bit stronger. When played with a perfect strategy, these machines can often be found with a theoretical win return as high as 100.8 percent. In other words, a savvy player could hold an edge over the house! The casino allows this disparity as a result of the skill needed to take advantage of the slim margin. With a single incorrect play, your edge can quickly disappear, shifting the odds back into the casino’s favor.

Now, the best way to get started with developing a Deuces Wild strategy is to study the pay tables. In most cases, these will follow a similar hand strength order to your favorite poker games. However, small shifts to the payouts of these wins can dramatically alter the correct plays to maximize your odds. As evidence, let’s study a slightly less common video poker variation: Not So Ugly Deuces Wild.

In this game, high pairs are less friendly than they are in, say, Jacks or Better. Instead, flushes pay 3-for-1, a strong improvement over the 2-for-1 odds on offer in straight Deuces Wild. While these changes may seem minor, they can seriously alter the most effective play strategy. For example, let’s assume that you’re dealt a hand featuring the queen of clubs, nine of diamonds, eight of diamonds, four of spades and three of hearts. In more traditional video poker variants, the correct play would most likely be to discard all five cards and hope for a miracle on the redeal. However, small changes to the pay schedule can have major results.

In Not So Ugly Deuces Wild, the high payout for flushes completely alters the correct strategy. In this case, the best play is to hold your suited eight and nine in order to maximize your chances of a flush, straight or straight-flush. So, how can you determine these minor changes? The best way to improve your play is practice. Software is available for your computer in order to fine tune your strategy. These programs will allow you to input your specific game and receive immediate feedback regarding the actual odds of each and every hand.

Are you ready to cash in on the small differences present in different video poker variations? If so, there’s no better place to start than by getting some practice and fine tuning your game plan. With a little luck, it’ll be all you need to boost your bankroll.


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.