In the previous sections, we’ve talked primarily about ‘full pay’ Deuces Wild video poker and how to play using the proper strategy. In the next few sections, we’ll talk about some of the more common variants on Deuces Wild. We’ll explain some background, the differences in pay tables and/or gameplay and proper strategy adjustment.

Two of the most common variations of Deuces Wild are named after states where they were first used and/or most commonly found. In this section, we’ll talk about ‘Colorado‘ Deuces Wild and in the next section, we’ll cover Illinois‘ Deuces Wild. Both games have different pay tables, return percentages and require strategy adjustments to maximize your potential winnings.

Full pay Deuces Wild is most commonly found in the highly competitive casino markets in Nevada, particularly in Las Vegas and to a lesser extent Reno. For the most part, you can forget about finding ‘full pay‘ machines in any of the glitzy casinos on The Strip (there are exceptions). The best video poker odds are usually found off –in the many ‘locals casinos‘ that dot the Las Vegas Valley. On balance, you’ll also find better-paying machines at some of the downtown Las Vegas properties as well as places like Sam’s Town and Boulder Station out on Boulder Highway.

The point of this—even in Nevada you’ll frequently find Deuces Wild games that are less than ‘full pay‘. So even though these games might be called ‘Colorado‘ or ‘Illinois‘ Deuces Wild you’ll find them in other locations. If you have the option, you should go somewhere with better-paying machines. If you don’t have the option you’ll find the information for expert play below.


There has been limited casino gambling in Colorado since 1991 in three old gold mining towns—Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City. Limited‘ gambling meant just that—the maximum bet was $5 until 2008 and only slot machines (and only certain types) were legal. In 2008 Coloradans passed new legislation that allowed $100 bets and more table games like craps and blackjack. This brought in new investment and the long-dormant casino industry ‘blew up‘. There are now 6 casinos in Central City, 17 casinos in Black Hawk, and 11 casinos in Cripple Creek. There are also two native American casinos in the state. More competition has brought a greater variety of games and to some extent better payouts.

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The ‘Colorado‘ Deuces Wild is the third most popular variation found in United States casinos. Here’s the bad news—with expert play ‘Colorado‘ DW returns only 96.7%.

The payout for 5 of a Kind and a Straight Flush are higher than on full payout the payout for Four of a Kind has been reduced from 25 with max bet to 20 with max bet.


The primary adjustment is to chase the straight flush as much as possible. For example, say you’ve been dealt this hand:

2W 7S 8S KD 3C

So you’ve got three to the straight flush with the 7 and 8 of spades. In full pay deuces wild the correct play would be to hold the deuce and discard the rest. In Colorado deuces, your only hope is to milk the straight flush so you’d hold the 2W 7S 8S.

The lower payback on 4 of a Kind is brutal to the point that you should even break up a ‘pat‘ quads deal to chase the straight flush. For example:


You’ve been dealt four queens but guess what? We’re breaking up that hand to keep the four to the royal flush so you’ll discard the QS.


Best case scenario—if you find yourself in front of a ‘Colorado‘ Deuces Wild machine you should get up and go someplace else. If that isn’t an option, these strategy adjustments will at least give you a fighting chance.