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The Deuces Wild family21 July 2016
Even within each game, there are extensive pay table variations. I’ve counted more than 20 variations in the game just labeled “Deuces Wild,” without even beginning to look at other games with “Deuces” in the title.
All have nice-sized jackpots on four 2s. In Deuces Wild, a five-coin bet will bring back 1,000 coins for four 2s, while Double Deuces will pay 2,000 and Loose Deuces 2,500.
That variation brought a question from a reader who wondered how that could be possible. Were different games dealing 2s with different frequencies?
“I have long wondered how the deuces are controlled in video poker games where the payoffs are greater for four deuces. If deuce distribution wasn’t controlled, why then would there be different payoffs for the same hand?”
It told him that the games don’t deal cards differently, and that if he charted the appearance of deuces very long time – hundreds of thousands of plays – he would see that they come up with the same frequency on all games. Every card has an equal chance of being dealt on every hand.
The key to Loose Deuces or Double Deuces offering larger four-2 jackpots than Deuces Wild lies in the rest of the pay table.
It's the same situation players are used to in other games, such as Double Bonus Poker vs. Bonus Poker. Four aces on Double Bonus pays 800 coins for a five-coin bet, but on Bonus Poker four aces pay only 400 coins.
The game doesn't deal fewer aces on Double Bonus to make up the difference. The bigger payoff is offset by changes in the remainder of the pay table, mainly by two pairs paying 2-for-1 on Bonus, but only 1-for-1 on Double Bonus.
It’s the same deal on Deuces games. The 2s don't come up less frequently on the games with the bigger jackpots. The jackpots are just offset by lower pays on hands that occur more often.
Let’s look at an example with similar payback percentages.
One common version of Deuces Wild pays 98.9% with expert play. Like other DW games, it has a 200-for-1 payoff on four 2s, or 1,000 for a five-coin bet.
The game is recognized it its 25-15-9-4-4-3 pay table, paying 25-for-1 on a royal with wild cards, 15 on five of a kind, 9 on a straight flush, 4 on either four-of-a-kind or a full house, and 3 on a flush.
There’s also a version of Loose Deuces that pays 99.2% with expert play – these two games are only three-tenths of a percent apart. Loose Deuces, like Deuces Wild, has the 4,000-coin jackpot on a natural royal and pays 25-for-1 on a wild royal, 2-for-1 on a straight and 1-for-1 on three of a kind.
But on Loose Deuces, four 2s bring back 500-for-1, or 2,500 for a five-coin wager.
How can it pay so much if the frequency of deuces isn’t controlled? By paying less on hands that occur a lot more often. This version of LD reduces five of a kind to 12-for-1, straight flushes to 8-for-1, full houses to 3-for-1 and flushes to 2-for-1.
The principle is the same in all video poker games. When more is given on jackpot hands, that’s balanced by reductions lower in the pay table.
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