CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Full-pay Deuces Wild

25 October 2015

QUESTION: I have friends who live in Las Vegas, so when I go, I usually stay with them instead of at a hotel, and we do a lot of non-casino things. When they play, they don’t like to go to the Strip. They do like video poker a lot, and they take me to off-Strip casinos where the locals like to play.

One thing they showed me was a Deuces Wild game that they said was better than the games I like. They said it was better than a 100% game if you knew what you were doing. Four of a kind paid 5-for-1 instead of the 4-for-1 I’m used to, but full houses paid only 3-for-1 and flushes only 2-for-1, while I’m used to 4-for-1 on full houses and 3-for-1 on flushes. Other than that, the payoffs were the same.

I don’t see how the game they like could be the higher-paying game. On the one I usually play, I’m getting more money on two hands, and their game gets more money on only one, and four of a kind is the rarer hand. It doesn’t make sense to me.

ANSWER: The game your friends showed you is full-play Deuces, and they’re right. With expert play, it pays 100.7%, compared to 98.9% on the other Deuces version you describe. In my early years writing about gaming, I often wrote about full-pay Deuces Wild strategy, but the game is virtually extinct outside Las Vegas locals casinos, so it’s very low on my list of topics nowadays.

Your mistake is in thinking of four of a kind as a rarer hand. That’s true in non-wild card games, but in Deuces Wild, you get four of a kind more often than full houses and flushes combined. With expert strategy in full-pay Deuces Wild, you get four of a kind once per 15.4 hands, while full houses come only once per 47.1 hands and flushes once per 60.5. Strategy adaptations change that in the version you’re used to, but quads (1 in 16.3 hands) still show up more than full houses (1 in 38.2) and flushes (1 in 48.9) combined.

Think about the effect deuces have in forming fours of a kind and full houses. If you have two pairs, and one pair happens to be 2s, you have four of a kind. Three of kind plus a 2 is four of a kind. Three 2s and anything brings at least four of a kind.

However, the only way for a deuce to help form a full house is for two pairs to be accompanied by a single 2. And in some cases, 2s reduce full houses. A natural full house consisting of three 2s and a pair or two 2s and three of something else becomes five of a kind in Deuces Wild.

The bottom line is that four of a kind is the most important hand in Deuces Wild, and the enhanced payback on quads is what makes full-pay Deuces one of the best games around in the rare places you can find it.


QUESTION: Maybe I’m just late to the party here, but in Three Card Poker, why do straights beat flushes?

ANSWER: The probabilities are different in three-card hands than in five-card hands. In Three Card Poker, you’re dealt flushes an average of once per 22.1 hands, and straights once per 30.7 hands.

That makes straights the rarer hands, so they outrank flushes.

In five-card stud poker games, straights are nearly twice as common as flushes, 1 in 256 hands vs. 1 in 509, so flushes outrank straights.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski