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# Wild card bonuses

26 September 2019

QUESTION: I was playing Deuces Wild, and I was dealt a wild royal flush, but three of the cards were deuces. I kept the wild royal for 125 coins. Later I wondered if keeping the three deuces and going for the fourth deuce would have been reasonable.

There were several other ways to repeat the wild royal, with two out of three more cards in the suit I was dealt, and any two out of five cards in each of the other three suits. There also were several possible straight flushes or five of a kinds and a minimum payoff of four of a kind.

ANSWER: Holding the wild royal was the best play, and it's not close.

To illustrate, I'll use the pay table nicknamed “Illinois Deuces,” paying 98.9% with expert play. Per five coins wagered, it pays 4,000 on a natural royal, 1,000 on four 2s, 125 for a wild royal, 75 for five of a kind, 45 for a straight flush, 20 for either four of a kind or a full house, 15 for a flush, 10 for a straight and 5 for three of a kind.

If you hold the wild royal, your payback is 125 coins.

If you hold the 2s and toss the other two card, your most frequent result is four of a kind, though you could draw the fourth 2, a different wild royal, five of a kind or a straight flush.

Your average return is about 71 coins. Precise numbers depend on the exact cards you're discarding 71.04 for A-K, for example, or 70.97 for jack-10. Regardless, your average return is more than 50 coins less than for holding the wild royal.

Numbers differ a little on other pay tables, but the message is the same. Holding the wild royal is by far the better play.

When I relayed that information to the reader who e-mailed, he followed up with an additional question. Was holding a wild royal still the best play in Loose Deuces, where four 2s bring 2,500 coins for five wagered, or Double Deuces, with 2,000-coin pays for four 2s?

The super-sized payoffs on four 2s change the picture considerably. In Loose Deuces, I ran numbers for a 12-8 pay table, where five of a kind pays 12-for-1 and straight flushes 8-for-1. With expert play, it returns 99.19%.

Dealt 2-2-2 plus suited 10-jack, you can settle for a 125-coin payoff, or you could hold the three 2s, discard the 10-jack and get an average return of 133 coins. The most frequent outcome will be four of a kind and a 20-coin pay per five coins wagered, but the risk-takers will improve the hand often enough for a larger average return.

In Double Deuces, the pay table I used has these returns on possible finishing hands when starting with 2-2-2: four 2s, 400-for-1; wild royal 25-for-1; five of a kind, 16-for-1; straight flush 10-for-1; four of a kind, 4-for-1. With expert play, it returns 99.17%.
With 2-2-2-10-J, the average return for holding 2-2-2 is 114.37 coins. The better play is to take the 125 on the wild royal.

QUESTION: I have a real quick back-to-back jackpot story for you. I was playing Double Double Bonus Poker, held three aces, and drew an ace and a 3 for \$2,000. Yay! After I signed the tax form and they unlocked the machine, I got J-K-A-10-Q of clubs ON THE DEAL! \$4,000! I’d never seen anything like it.

ANSWER: Congratulations! Such close encounters of the winning kind are rare treats, but they are possible, as you can attest.
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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.

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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.