Go Back
What is Deuce (Poker Term)

What is Deuce (Poker Term)

Understanding Deuce: The Basics

In poker, the term "Deuce" refers to a playing card with a rank of two. It can be of any suit: hearts, diamonds, clubs, or spades. Deuce is the lowest card in the deck, and as we'll see later in this article, it can play a significant role in various poker hands and strategies.

One of the things that make Deuce such an interesting card in poker is its versatility. Depending on the situation and the poker variant being played, a Deuce can be a powerful card, a weak card, or even a wild card. This versatility is one of the reasons why Deuce is such an essential term to understand for any poker player.

Knowing what Deuce means and how it functions in different poker situations can help you make more informed decisions during your poker games. It can also help you understand the strategies and thought processes of your opponents, which is crucial for outsmarting them and winning more hands.

Importance of Deuce in Poker Hands

In poker hands, the Deuce can play a vital role in determining the strength of your hand. Although it is the lowest card in the deck, it can still contribute to forming strong hands in various situations. Here are a few examples:

  1. Pair of Deuces: Although a pair of Deuces is the lowest pair possible, it can still beat high-card hands and sometimes even higher pairs if your opponent does not have a strong hand.
  2. Deuce as a kicker: In case of a tie, the Deuce can act as a kicker, determining the winner. For instance, if you have Ace-Deuce and your opponent has Ace-Three, your opponent would win the hand due to their higher kicker.
  3. Straight: A Deuce can be used to form the lowest possible straight (A-2-3-4-5), also known as the "wheel" or "bicycle." This can be a powerful hand in certain situations, especially in lowball games where the lowest hand wins.
  4. Flush: If you have a Deuce of the same suit as four other cards in your hand, you can form a flush. This can be a strong hand, especially if the Deuce is a crucial part of the flush.

Deuce in Different Poker Variants

The role of Deuce in poker can vary depending on the specific poker variant being played. Here are a few examples of how Deuce is used in different poker games:

  1. Texas Hold'em: In Texas Hold'em, Deuce is mostly used to form low straights, flushes, or pairs. It is generally considered a weak card, but it can be a strong card in certain situations, like when it is part of a flush or straight.
  2. Omaha: In Omaha, Deuce can be used to form low straights or flushes, just like in Texas Hold'em. However, it can also be used to create low hands in Omaha Hi/Lo, where the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands.
  3. Seven-Card Stud: In Seven-Card Stud, Deuce can be used to form straights, flushes, or pairs. It can also be a crucial card in Razz, a lowball variant of Seven-Card Stud, where the lowest hand wins the pot.
  4. Triple Draw Lowball: In Triple Draw Lowball, Deuce is the most powerful card since the objective is to form the lowest hand possible. A hand like 2-3-4-5-7 is considered the "nuts" or the best possible hand in this game.

Deuce in Poker Hand Rankings

When it comes to poker hand rankings, Deuce is generally considered a weak card due to its low rank. However, it can still contribute to forming strong hands, as we discussed earlier. Here's a quick overview of how Deuce ranks in standard poker hands:

  1. High Card: Deuce is the lowest high card, only beating other Deuces.
  2. Pair: A pair of Deuces is the lowest pair, but it can still beat high-card hands.
  3. Two Pair: Deuce can be part of the lower pair in a two-pair hand, but it would need a higher pair to accompany it.
  4. Three of a Kind: Three Deuces is the lowest three-of-a-kind hand, but it can still beat any two-pair or lower hand.
  5. Straight: Deuce can be part of the lowest straight (A-2-3-4-5) or any other straight that includes a Deuce.
  6. Flush: Deuce can be part of a flush, but it would need four other cards of the same suit to make the flush.
  7. Full House: Deuce can be part of a full house, either as the three-of-a-kind or the pair.
  8. Four of a Kind: Four Deuces is the lowest four-of-a-kind hand, but it can still beat any full house or lower hand.
  9. Straight Flush: Deuce can be part of the lowest straight flush (A-2-3-4-5 of the same suit).

Deuce Wild Poker: A Unique Twist

Deuce Wild Poker is a popular poker variant that adds a unique twist to the game by making all Deuces wild. This means that a Deuce can be used as any card of any suit and rank, giving it incredible versatility and power.

In Deuce Wild Poker, hands like five-of-a-kind and wild royal flushes become possible, and the overall hand rankings change due to the presence of wild cards. This variant is known for its fast-paced action and high-scoring hands, making it a favorite among many poker players.

Deuce Wild Poker can be played in various formats, including draw poker, stud poker, and video poker. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and hand rankings of the game you are playing, as they can differ slightly from standard poker games.

Strategies for Playing with Deuces

When playing poker with Deuces, it is crucial to adapt your strategy accordingly. Here are some tips for playing with Deuces:

  1. Value your Deuces: In games where Deuces are wild or have a higher value, such as Deuce Wild Poker or Triple Draw Lowball, it is essential to value your Deuces and use them wisely.
  2. Be cautious with low pairs: In games like Texas Hold'em, a low pair like a pair of Deuces can be vulnerable to higher pairs or better hands. Be cautious when playing with low pairs and avoid putting too much money into the pot unless you have a strong read on your opponents.
  3. Use Deuces to bluff: In certain situations, having a Deuce in your hand can be a great opportunity to bluff. For example, if the board shows a possible straight or flush, and you have a Deuce of the same suit or a Deuce that fills the gap for the straight, you can represent a strong hand and potentially force your opponents to fold.

Famous Deuce Hands in Poker History

Throughout poker history, there have been some famous hands involving Deuces that have left a lasting impression. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. Doyle Brunson's back-to-back WSOP wins: Poker legend Doyle Brunson won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 1976 and 1977 with the same hand: a 10-2 offsuit. In both instances, he made a full house with his 10-2, earning him the nickname "Texas Dolly" and forever associating the 10-2 hand with his name.
  2. Chris Moneymaker's WSOP bluff: In the 2003 WSOP Main Event, amateur player Chris Moneymaker pulled off one of the most famous bluffs in poker history against experienced pro Sam Farha. Moneymaker held a King-Deuce offsuit, and the board read 9-2-6 with two spades. Farha held a Queen-Nine for top pair, but Moneymaker pushed all-in with his bottom pair, representing a flush. Farha eventually folded, and Moneymaker went on to win the Main Event, sparking the "poker boom" of the mid-2000s.

Deuce-Related Poker Terminology

Here are some Deuce-related poker terms that you might come across while playing:

  1. Deuce-to-Seven: Also known as Kansas City Lowball, Deuce-to-Seven is a lowball draw poker variant where the best hand is 2-3-4-5-7 of different suits. Straights and flushes count against the hand, and Aces are considered high.
  2. Wheel: A slang term for the lowest possible straight in poker, consisting of A-2-3-4-5.
  3. Doyle Brunson: A nickname for the 10-2 hand, in honor of poker legend Doyle Brunson, who won the WSOP Main Event twice with this hand.
  4. Ducks: A slang term for a pair of Deuces.


Understanding the term "Deuce" and its significance in poker is essential for any poker player looking to improve their game. From its role in different poker hands and variants to its use in various strategies, the Deuce is a versatile and fascinating card that can make or break your poker game.

By mastering the intricacies of Deuce and its various applications, you can become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable poker player. So, the next time you find yourself with a Deuce in your hand, remember the insights shared in this article and use them to your advantage.