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Best of Elliot Frome

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Nothing Ugly about Deuces

21 July 2004

One of the most profitable Video Poker games out there is Deuces Wild. The original full-pay version paid more than 100%. When the casinos tried to 'cool' the paytables off with Double Pay and Triple pay, they had little success. Even the relatively popular 'Not so ugly Deuces' pays 99.7%. This latest version got its nickname because after years of warning players not to play Deuces Wild games that paid only '4' for Quads, they came up with a playable version that did just that.

To Play Deuces Wild, you almost have to erase everything you've ever learned about Video Poker. Okay, maybe not everything. It plays so radically different from Jacks or Better, that besides learning a brand new Strategy Table, you also have to change your expectations of what a session will feel like.

The good news is that the strategy table for Full-Pay Deuces Wild is relatively simple, and is one of the shortest ones out there. We break it down by the number of Deuces in the pre-draw hand. The most important thing to learn is which hands to hold only the Deuces and for which ones to hold onto more. Let's take a quick look at how this works.

If you're dealt 4 Deuces, well congratulations, you have no more decisions to make other than how to spend your winnings. If you're dealt 3 Deuces, then, unless you're dealt a Royal or Five of a Kind, you hold only the 3 Deuces.

In the case you're only dealt 2 Deuces, and you have anything less than a 4-Card Royal, you hold only the Pair of Deuces. This means that if you have a flush or a straight as a result of the Deuces, you THROW it away in favor of the Pair of Deuces. The expected value (EV) of the Pair of wild cards is greater than 3, while the straight/flush, obviously has an EV of only 2.

If you're unlucky enough to be dealt only 1 Deuce, then you have to have at least a 3-card Straight Flush (>6 Hi) in order to keep something other than the lone Deuce. If you're dealt no Deuces, unless you have a 4-Card Inside Straight, 4-Card Flush or 3-Card Double Inside Straight Flush or better, you're throwing all 5 cards.

Obviously, this is quite a bit different from Jacks or Better, but so far, the strategy itself doesn't really tell you how different the game plays. The first thing to know is that while a Razgu (throw 5) occurs between 3-4% of the time in Jacks or Better, it will occur nearly 20% of the time in Deuces Wild!

Sitting there playing for a while and feeling you're not getting your fair share of Deuces? Almost 66% of the time, you won't get one. 30% of the time, you'll get one. 4% of the time you'll get 2 Deuces. The remaining fraction of the time, you'll get three or four.

What are the most common playable hands? 31% of the time, you'll play a Pair. 19% of the time, you'll play a Razgu. 13% of the time, you'll play a single Deuce, and 10% of the time, you'll play a Three of a Kind. This makes up nearly 75% of all hands!

Like all versions of Video Poker, it is imperative to learn the Strategy Table before playing for real money. Deuces Wild, perhaps more than any other version, requires playing with a totally different mentality in terms of what to expect of the hands you are dealt. By knowing what to expect, you can stay focussed on playing the right strategy, which in the case of Deuces can be very worthwhile.

Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome
Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome