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 Mark Pilarski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

The grim relationship between the Wild Deuces and the royal flush

8 June 2012

Dear Mark: My wife and I play a lot of video poker, playing all the different games. Are Deuces Wild games preprogrammed to give you more wild 2s, or is it the same deck and a random number generator? Also, is a natural royal flush harder to get on that format than on Jacks or Better? John S.

All video poker machines, John, are nothing more than a computerized version of your five-card, kitchen table, draw poker game. The exception is that you are not playing against your friends, but playing solo with the sole objective of obtaining the minimum poker hand required in order to be paid. The differences between video poker machines are the payouts and the wild-card designations. Deuces Wild, John, is just what it states: deuces are wild.

As with any standard deck of 52 cards, there are four deuces. These four 2s are wild and can be substituted for any other card, suit or rank. With a draw, your objective is to have a hand with at least a three-of-a-kind or better. The better your hand, the more money you will win on your wager.

Unquestionably, who wouldn’t want more deuces, but casinos are profit, not charity, driven. There is no presto change-o switch that allows extra cards, especially wild ones, to be programmed into the mix. It is a completely random shuffle.

As for a natural Royal Flush on a Deuces Wild machine, the odds would be the same as if you were playing Jacks or Better. Because machines operate with a 52-card deck, there are 2,598,960 attainable hands, with only four of them having the possibility of a naturally dealt royal. Thus, the odds of a royal flush without the need of a draw are 1 in 649,740.

With draws, the odds of hitting a royal flush in video poker are approximately 40,000-1, but that varies from game to game, along with how you play the initial cards dealt to you. If you were playing Jacks or Better, or Bonus Poker, it is as mentioned above. With Deuces Wild, because you are keeping deuces that you would otherwise discard on a Jacks or Better machine, it is 45,000 to one.

As for identifying a decent Deuces Wild machine, John, you want to find a 9/5 Deuces Wild machine that returns five coins for four-of-a-kind. With maximum coin play and perfect strategy, a five-coin return for four-of-a-kind hand gives you a slight edge against the house—a theoretical return of 100.76 percent versus 94.34 percent if the machine returns just four coins.

Dear Mark: Do you know if one casino can track your playing time at another casino? John M.

Like Macy’s never telling Gimbel’s what they are up to, casinos do not swap trade secrets. Given the competitive nature of the gambling business, casinos protect their customer list as if it were a nuclear launch code. If, however, using Harrah’s Total Rewards program as an example, your card tracks all your play in their 40 resorts and casinos, it does not matter which of the 55,000 slots or video poker machines you play on. Each machine gives you the ability to earn and redeem your points. Competition across the street would love your action, but they have no access to what, or where, you are playing.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "He couldn't track an elephant through four feet of snow" -- Amarillo Slim, characterizing an opponent
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.