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Deuces Wild Bonus Poker

Deuces Wild Bonus Poker is also sometimes called Bonus Deuces Wild. Like many video poker variations, it can be thought of as a bit of a hybrid. Bonus Poker is normally considered a variation of Jacks or Better with bonus payouts for various 4 of a kind hands. Bonus Deuces Wild is the same thing, only instead of having Jacks or Better as its base game, it has Deuces Wild as its base game.

This page offers a detailed breakdown of how to play Bonus Deuces Wild. We’ve also included an analysis of the pay tables and the house edge for the various versions of the game that are available. Finally, we include strategy charts and notes about where to play online for free or for real money.

How to Play Deuces Wild Bonus Poker

The gameplay in Deuces Wild Bonus Poker is no different than it is in any other video poker game. You start by deciding how many coins you want to bet. As with most VP games, you can choose to play for anywhere between 1 and 5 coins.

But you should always bet 5 coins, no matter what.

  • Here’s why:

The best paying hand in the game is the royal flush, and it pays off at 800 to 1—but only if you’ve made the max coin bet. If you bet 4 coins or fewer, the royal flush only pays off at 250 to 1. A royal flush only shows up once every 40,000 hands or so, but the payout for the hand is so high that it makes a noticeable difference in your overall payback percentage.

Once you’ve placed your bet, you’re dealt a hand of 5 cards. Keep in mind that Deuces Wild Bonus Poker is a gambling machine. When we way that you’re dealt a hand of 5 cards, we’re talking about animation on a computer monitor. But one of the big differences between video poker and slot machines is the use of a deck of cards.

  • Here’s why that’s important:

On a slot machine, you get paid off based on what combination of symbols appear on the screen. But you have no way to know what the odds of getting a particular symbol are. You also have no decisions to make which can affect your odds.

A slot machine is a completely opaque game where you insert money and sometimes get money back. You have no way of knowing what the inner workings of the game are.

But a video poker machine, on the other hand, bases its symbols on playing cards. And they base the probability of getting any of those symbols on a deck of playing cards, too. Any particular card has a probability of 1/52 of showing up.

The implications of this are astounding.

The major one is that, since the payoffs for the game are based on poker hand rankings, we can calculate the payback percentage for the machine. We’ll talk about that more in the section on probability and pay tables below, but for now, the main thing to know is that we have the information we need to calculate the house edge for Bonus Deuces Wild.

Once you get your 5 cards, you get to decide if you want to keep all of them or some of them. The cards you decide to get rid of are replaced by the computer, and your final hand ranking determines how much you get paid in winnings.

This is an important distinction, too. Not only do we know the math behind the game, but we have decisions to make. These decisions can affect our return on the machine.

Don’t believe us?

Here’s a simple, absurd example of how incorrect play could cost you a lot of money on a video poker machine.


Let’s say you’re dealt a natural royal flush. You still have the option of discarding any or all of those cards. If you do so, you give up an 800 to 1 payoff. No matter what happens, you’re going to come out way behind where you would have come out if you had just held onto your natural royal flush.

Every hand has 32 possible ways to play it, based on which cards and how many you keep and/or discard. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not too hard to break it down:

You can keep all 5 cards. That’s one choice.

You can discard all 5 cards. That another choice, for a total of 2.

You can discard 4 cards and keep 1 card. There are 5 different ways to do that, based on which cards you keep and which one you throw away.

And so on, all the way down to keeping a single card and discarding the other 4.

Of all 32 of these choices, on any given hand, only one choice will have the highest expected value. The expected value is the probability of winding up with a given payoff averaged across all the possibilities and factoring in the likelihood of each.

In other words, you can improve your odds of winning by playing smart.

Here’s the other distinguishing characteristic of this game, and you probably already figured it out.

The 2s count as wild cards. They can stand in for a card that you need in order to complete a hand. This makes the play of this game considerably different from what you’d expect playing something like Jacks or Better. The wild cards make it more likely that you’ll have a stronger hand.

Once you get your final hand, you get paid off based on the pay table. It lists all the possible final hands along with how much they pay off. We cover the details of Deuces Wild Bonus Poker pay tables in the next section

Deuces Wild Bonus Poker Pay Tables and House Edge

The pay table for Deuces Wild Bonus Poker will be familiar to anyone who’s played Deuces Wild and also to anyone who’s played Bonus Poker. Here’s an example of one of the best versions of this game:

Best Pay Table for Deuces Wild Bonus Poker

One of the things that Bonus Poker players will notice is that the bonus payoffs are similar but not identical to what they would be in a normal Bonus Poker game. In that version of video poker, you get bonus payoffs based on various 4 of a kind hands.

But in Deuces Wild Bonus Poker, the bonus payoffs are for 5 of a kind hands. And that makes sense, since there are so many wild cards. The 4 of a kind comes up at least 6% of the time, or about once every 16 or 17 hands, so it wouldn’t make the casino much sense to provide a bonus payout for that.

The pay table listed above has a payback percentage of 99.86% when played with optimal strategy. That means the house edge is a tiny 0.14%, making this one of the best games in the casino. The payback percentage is a mathematical estimate of how much the casino expects to pay back in winnings to the player over the long run. Any time it’s under 100% (which is almost all the time), the casino will eventually win in the end.

Other pay tables are less generous and have lower payback percentages. Here’s an example of a pay table with a 98.8% payback percentage:

98.8% Payback Deuces Wild Bonus Poker Pay Table

You’ll notice only 2 changes to this pay table, actually. The payout for a straight flush is increased to 13 to 1, which seems really generous. But the payout for a full house is reduced from 4 to 1 to 3 to 1. That’s enough to compensate for the bigger straight flush payoff AND increase the overall house edge.

You’ll find other pay tables, too—some are less generous than this one, even. As with other Deuces Wild games, the payoffs that change vary from game to game. It’s not like Jacks or Better, where you can almost instantly ascertain the payback percentage by looking at the payoffs for the full house and flush.

Deuces Wild Bonus Poker Strategy Charts

Here’s the basic strategy to follow when playing this game. It’s a hierarchy of hands from best to worst. You’ll start at the top and work your way down until you find a hand on the payoff table that matches the hand you’ve been dealt. Those are the cards you’ll keep.

On a Deuces Wild game, you start by looking at whether or not your hand contains any deuces. You’ll notice that under no circumstances will you ever discard a deuce.

Four deuces

  • 4 deuces with an ace
  • 4 deuces – discard the 5th card and hope for an ace

Three deuces

  • Any 5 of a kind or a wild royal flush
  • 4 of a kind
  • 3 deuces – discard the other 2 cards and hope to improve

Two deuces

  • Any straight flush, 5 of a kind, or 4 of a Kind
  • 4 to a wild royal flush
  • 3 of a kind
  • 2 deuces – discard the other 3 cards and hope to improve

One deuce

  • Any full house, straight flush, 5 of a kind, or 4 of a kind
  • 4 to a wild royal flush
  • Any flush
  • Any 3 of a Kind
  • Any 4 to a straight flush
  • Any 3 to a wild royal flush
  • Straight
  • Any 4 to a flush
  • Any 3 to a straight flush
  • A deuce – discard the other 4 cards and hope to improve

No deuces

  • Any full house or royal flush
  • Any 4 to a natural royal flush
  • Any 4 of a kind
  • Any flush or straight flush
  • Any 3 of a kind
  • Any 4 to a straight flush
  • Any 3 to a natural royal flush
  • Straight
  • Any 4 to a flush
  • Any 2 pair
  • Any pair
  • Any 3 to a straight flush
  • Any 2 to a natural royal flush
  • Any 3 to a straight flush
  • Any 2 to a natural royal flush
  • Discard everything and start over

If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that under no circumstances will you ever discard a deuce. You’ll also probably notice that this strategy isn’t at all hard to learn.

Where to Play Online for Real Money or for Free

Deuces Wild Bonus isn’t one of the most common video poker variations to be found online. Most of our top-ranked casinos have an excellent selection of video poker games, however, and some of them do have this variation.

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Deuces Wild Bonus Poker is an interesting variation that combines Deuces Wild with Bonus Poker. If you like chasing 5 of a kinds, this is the game for you, because those are the hands with the big bonus payouts.

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