Winning at Deuces 9/5 Video Poker
Let’s take a look at one of the more popular VP versions--Deuces Wild.
Full-pay Deuces Wild pay schedules are 9/5 (9 coins for a straight flush and 5 for 4-of-a-kind as listed under the one coin payout schedule). Partial-pay is 9/4 where only 20 coins are paid for 4-of-a-kind with max. coins in. Every 5000 hands of cycled play, on average, will produce four Deuces-–a secondary jackpot to the Royal Flush. Warning: this is a game where less than perfect strategy can be very costly; however, the average overall return when played correctly is 100.76%.
Some players are reluctant to throw away all five cards, but this is a most important strategy in that you want to make room for additional cards that could be a deuce(s).
Holding that ace or king is not going to help you if the next hand is destined to be four or five sevens. Here’s the reason for the reluctancy, die hard Jacks+ players will throw away a complete hand (5 cards) only 3% of the time, while Deuces Wild players almost 20% of the time, nearly every fifth hand.
I have simplified the strategies below in that hold cards are determined by the number of deuces dealt for each hand, as follows:
4DW hold all five cards.
3DW hold wild royal flush, any high 5/kind (10’s through aces). When you discard the lower cards (less than 10 value), there are more high cards in the deck, therefore improving your chances of a wild royal or 4 Deuces for a better payout.
2DW hold 4/kind or better, any 4-card royal, or any suited open-ended straight flush (6 or higher). You would not hold a possible straight flush lower than 6, to form A-2-3-4-5 straight flush because you would lose the value of the deuce.
1DW hold pat hands, except draw to a 4-card royal, any 4-card straight flush including inside draws (remember, this is a wild card game--different strategy here), 3-card royal.
Hold ace high only if one or more of the other cards is of the same suit, e.g., if ace of spades and jack of spades, then hold with deuce. Do not hold ace and jack if not same suit–that strategy will bring in a possible straight–no big money there. Any two parts of a straight flush 6-7 or higher.
0DW hold any pat hand, except always draw to a 4-card royal flush, 4-card straight flush (including inside draw), 3-card royal flush (see above for exceptions), one pair (discard second pair--you do not have to keep the highest pair every time as any 3-of-a-kind pays), any 4-card flush or open 4-card straight, any 3-card straight flush and the following 2-card possible inside draws for a royal flush, (for example, J-10, Q-J, Q-10, K-Q, K-J, K-10 suited).
Notice that you do not hold an Ace with K, Q, J or 10 suited without a deuce.
NONE OF THE ABOVE all five cards must be discarded.
Never hold one card except a deuce.
Never hold two cards unless pair, or 2-card royal draw without the ace.
Never hold three cards unless 3/kind, straight flush or royal draw possibilities.
Never hold just one other card with one, two or three deuces.
7-J has the best straight and straight flush potentials.
Until next we meet, may all your VP choices turn out to be ‘royalty’.
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