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Video Poker – Wizard of Odds – Wizard of Odds in strategy

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strategy begin Video poker made its entry to the casino in the seventies; and is today one of the most popular forms of gambling. For the player who likes a game of skill, a low house edge, the possibility of large wins, and the anonymity of playing alone there is nothing else that can compare to video poker.

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Video poker made its entry to the casino in the seventies; and is today one of the most popular forms of gambling. For the player who likes a game of skill, a low house edge, the possibility of large wins, and the anonymity of playing alone there is nothing else that can compare to video poker. The rules of video poker are simple; you play 1 to 5 coins, the machine give you five cards, you choose which to hold and which to discard, the machine replaces your discards and pays you off according to the value of your hand.
You may have heard the adage that the ‘house always has the advantage.’ Video poker is an exception to that rule. If you look for the most liberal pay tables, and play them properly, you can have a thin advantage. Some pay tables, which are slightly in the machine’s favor, can return over 100%, if you factor in incentives such as cash back, free play, mailers, and other comps.
All about Video Poker with casino gambling expert Michael ‘Wizard of Odds’ Shackleford
Analysis and advice for experienced players who have mastered basic strategy, and are looking to add an extra edge to their game.
Let me determine the correct basic strategy for you, under just about any set of rules, using my strategy calculator.
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Dancer milked video poker for all it was worth and this is the story of how he did it, from a bankroll of a few thousand to over a million. Video poker today is not as lucrative as it was in the nineties but it is still informative and an enjoyable read.

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Deuces Wild video poker strategy – Wizard of Odds Subject of strategy

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strategy related It is common in video poker, especially deuces wild, for two plays to have the exact same expected value. For example in this game with two pair the player should only keep one of them, which one makes no difference.

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Deuces Wild video poker strategy

The following strategy is based on the ‘full pay’ deuces wild paytable below.
Following is I believe the optimal strategy for the payoff table above. To determine the best play look under the list given the number of deuces hold (you never discard a deuce). Then look for the highest playable hand on the list. For example if you have both a pair and four to a flush you would keep the pair because it is higher on the list. The numbers on the right represent the expected return, which can vary depending on the discards.
The player should evaluate straight flush draws carefully. Usually the number of ranks the straight flush spans determines the spread. However if the straight flush is on the low end this can reduce the number of ways to complete it. For example suited 3-4-5
Note: 8: There are some rare exceptions to this rule that cut both ways. Sometimes with two a royal with no penalty cards it is better to hold the deuce only, and sometimes with a penalty card you should go for the royal. See my deuces wild appendix 2 for a list of these exceptions.
Outside straight : An open ended straight that can be completed at either end, such as (7,8,9,10). A wild card shall not be used to complete an outside straight. For example 2,5,7,8 is not 4 to an outside straight because of the missing 6. However 2,5,6,7 is 4 to an outside straight. Inside straight : A straight with a missing inside card, such as (6,7,9,10). Penalty card : A penalty card is a potentially useful discarded card. For example if the player had 3 to a royal and 4 to a flush the correct play is to keep three to the royal, discarding the fourth suited card. The discarded suited card would be called a flush penalty card because it could have been used to complete a flush. By discarding it the players odds of forming a flush are ‘penalized.’Sometimes penalty cards can affect borderline plays. For example if the player had a suited 10 and king, with no other cards of that suit, nor a 9, jack, queen, or ace, then the player should keep the two to a royal flush. However this is only marginally better than discarding everything.If the player had just one suited card, or any card that could be used to complete a straight, then the odds of forming a flush or straight would be depressed, lowering the overall expected return below that of discarding everything. So in that situation the player should be mindful of the effect of penalty cards.

It is common in video poker, especially deuces wild, for two plays to have the exact same expected value. For example in this game with two pair the player should only keep one of them, which one makes no difference. However it is rare for two plays to have the same expected value but a different distribution of possible hands on the draw. Full pay deuces wild is one of the few games that has such a hand. Three to a straight flush, with two gaps, and one straight penalty card has an expected value of 0.340425532 whether going for the straight flush or the straight. The following table shows the number of possible outcomes of both plays.
As the above table shows the expected values are the same. However the standard deviation of playing four to the straight is 0.751639223, while playing three to the straight flush is 1.182169177. This hand, and all similar, happen 8,712 times out of 2,598,960. The return table listed in my return tables is based on playing four to the straight. By always playing three to the straight flush in this situation the standard deviation of the entire game goes up from 5.181690 to 5.181960, an increase of 0.000269.
For more information please see the Winner’s guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild by Bob Dancer.
To determine the above strategy I created a program can determine the expected return of the best play of any hand.The way it works is to consider all 32 ways to play a hand.For every play the program systematically scores the held cards with every possible set of discards and averages the results. The play that yields the greatest average is determined to be the best play and the specific statistics for that play are displayed. The program can also show the statistics for non-optimal plays. Using this program it was then a time consuming task to try numerous borderline hands and rank them in order of expected return. I used Bob Dancer’s Deuces Wild Video Poker report to verify my strategy. There I found some obscure exceptions that I did not notice, which I used to correct my strategy. So I would like to thank Bob Dancer for his help. You may order his software and strategy cards here .

Copyright © 1998-2016 Wizard of Odds Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Probability of Ruin for single-play video poker
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Probability distribution for each hand by number of cards held in Full-Pay Deuces Wild
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Effect of Strategy Mismatches in Video Poker

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Simple Strategy (return of 99.46%)
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Full-Pay Deuces Wild:

Simple Strategy (return of 100.71%)
Optimal Strategy (return of 100.76%)
3 to a wild royal (ace-high) vs. Deuce only
2 to a royal (king-high) with a straight penalty
2 to a royal (king-high) with no penalty

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