Anything's Wild Video Poker

Anything's Wild Video Poker

Video poker has several popular wildcard variations, including Bonus Deuces Wild, Deuces Wild, and Joker Poker. Players enjoy these games because wildcards make for more potential payouts.

But these video poker variants have one limitation in common: only one card rank can be wild.

This is where Anything's Wild is unique because any card can be wild. What's more is that you get to decide what's wild before every hand.

This is an exciting prospect for video poker players who love wildcards.

If you'd like to learn more about this game, keep reading as we cover how to play Anything's Wild, its paytable, strategy, and where to find this variant.

How to Play Anything's Wild Video Poker

Picking Wildcards

Before every hand, you have the option to choose what the wildcard will be. Here's an example using an online Anything's Wild version we played:

  • You click the Select Wild Card button onscreen.
  • This brings up the 13 available card ranks from 2 to A.
  • You choose what wildcard you want, then select Return to Game.
  • Once you return to the game, your selection becomes the wildcard.

The important thing to remember is that you must choose the card before clicking Deal. Once you choose Deal, your initial 5 card hand is dealt and changing wildcards is no longer an option.

As we'll cover later, the optimal strategy is to make deuces wild every time. But superstitious players may select a wildcard that matches their lucky number.

Betting Process

Anything's Wild has standard video poker betting options, including the Bet One and Bet Max buttons.

Bet One allows you to increase the number of coins you bet from 1 to 5. Bet Max automatically wagers all 5 coins.

If you're familiar with video poker strategy, betting all 5 coins is optimal because this gives you a chance to earn the largest royal flush payout.

The online GarboBet version we played also offers an option to change the coin denomination from $0.05 to $1.00.

But this isn't the case in land based casinos, where denominations are fixed between $0.25 and $1.00.

Playing Hands

Here are the steps to playing hands in Anything's Wild:

  • You have the option to change the wildcard; you can also ignore this step too.
  • Choose your bet size by selecting Bet One, Bet Max, and coin denomination (if available).
  • Choose "Deal" to receive your initial 5 card hand.
  • Hold any card you want by clicking "Hold", or selecting cards directly with your finger / mouse pointer (online).
  • Choose Deal / Draw to finalize your hand and replace discards with new cards.
  • Choose Deal to start a new hand.
Onscreen Display

For the most part, this game features a typical video poker display. Cards and the paytable are displayed onscreen, while the betting and Hold options are on the lower portion of the machine / screen.

The one unique aspect you'll see is a Select Wild Card display. This allows you to change the current wildcard.

When you pick this button, you'll see another onscreen display that features the 13 card ranks.

Variations

Unlike some video poker games that we review, Anything's Wild isn't available with a bunch of different paytables. This game is a variation of Deuces Wild, where all 2s are wild.

But as we've mentioned before, you can change the wildcard to anything you'd like. If you feel that 3s are going to be lucky, then you can choose this as the wildcard before the next round begins.

In some ways, Anything's Wild gives you lots of freedom because the wildcard is entirely your decision. But in other ways, this game is restrictive because it's only built for Deuces Wild paytables.

Anything's Wild Paytable

If you've played Deuces Wild before, then you should be well aware of the pay table in Anything's Wild.

Due to the wildcard, the lowest qualifying payout is a 3 of a kind. You also won't find any big payouts beyond a natural royal flush and 4 deuces because the wildcards make it easier to form wins.

Below, you can see a standard Anything's Wild pay table:

Hand 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
4 Deuces 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
5 of a Kind 16 32 48 64 80
Straight Flush 13 26 39 52 65
4 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 3 6 9 12 15
Flush 2 4 6 8 10
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5

Again, this is the typical pay table for Anything's Wild. And it's the same one used for a lower paying version of Deuces Wild.

The 5 of a kind and straight flush pay more than most versions of Deuces Wild at 16 and 13 coins, respectively. But the 4 of a kind (4), full house (3), and flush (2) all pay lower.

Of course, if you can find a better paytable, your chances of winning also increase.

The best pay table you'll find at most land based casinos is a Deuces Wild version called "Ugly Ducks," which pays back 98.91%. Here's a look at this game:

Hand 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
4 Deuces 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
5 of a Kind 15 30 45 60 75
Straight Flush 9 18 27 36 45
4 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5

While Ugly Ducks pays less for a 5 of a kind (15) and straight flush (9), it offers more than Anything's Wild for the more frequent lower payouts.

Considering the differences in payback that Anything's Wild can offer, it's important to study the pay table differences.

One more version worth discussing is "Not So Ugly Ducks." Here's the pay table for this game:

Hand 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
4 Deuces 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild Royal Flush 25 50 75 100 125
5 of a Kind 16 32 48 64 80
Straight Flush 10 20 30 40 50
4 of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full House 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
3 of a Kind 1 2 3 4 5

The main differences between Not So Ugly Ducks and Ugly Ducks is that the former pays one more coin for a 5 of a kind and straight flush.This is enough to increase the payback from 98.91% to 99.73%.

But again, the first pay table we covered is what's typically offered for Anything's Wild.

Unfortunately, the payback isn't very good with this game. But some players enjoy Anything's Wild due to the novelty effect of selecting wildcards.

Odds on Different Wild Cards

As mentioned before, Anything's Wild payback can differ based on what wildcard you choose. Michael Shackelford (a.k.a. WizardofOdds) ran calculations on this, which you can see below:

  • 2s = 96.76%
  • 3s = 95.98%
  • 4s = 95.16%
  • 5s = 94.31%
  • 6s = 94.17%
  • 7s = 94.07%
  • 8s = 94.03%
  • 9s = 93.68%
  • 10s = 92.68%
  • Jacks = 93.56%
  • Queens = 94.44%
  • Kings = 95.30%
  • Aces = 95.04%

These payback percentages are based on the first paytable we discussed. And you can see that payback goes all the way down to 92.68% if you select 10 as the wildcard.

You'd think that every wildcard would have the same effect because each card rank appears four times in a deck. But the position of each card in the deck has an impact on the payback.

In any case, you should select 2s as the wildcard to maximize your odds of winning.

What's Unique About Anything's Wild Video Poker?

Anything's Wild is basically Deuces Wild. But the unique aspect is that this game gives you control over the wildcard.

We've never seen a video poker game where 5s are wild. But if this is your lucky number and you want it to be wild, Anything's Wild gives you this ability.

Of course, selecting 2s as the wildcard gives you the best chance to win. But superstitious players who aren't obsessed with long term payback will appreciate the control.

The other unique aspect to Anything's Wild is the screen display.

No other video poker game has an area dedicated to selecting a wildcard.

If you enjoy trying new video poker variations, then Anything's Wild is worth a few hands just so you can use the card selecting option.

Anything's Wild Video Poker Strategy

When playing Anything's Wild, you want to keep three main strategy rules in mind:

  • Make deuces wild - Out of all 13 card ranks, deuces will give you the highest return.
  • Bet all 5 coins on every hand - The royal flush payout jumps from 1,000 coins on a 4 coin bet to 4,000 coins on a 5 coin bet. This disproportionate increase means you gain more value by betting 5 coins.
  • Always hold wildcards during the draw round - Never get rid of a wildcard. These can help you form any type of payout.

Beyond these rules, Anything's Wild employs the same strategy as Deuces Wild.

When playing Deuces Wild, note that there's both a simple and advanced strategy chart.

The simple chart is good for beginners because there are less things to remember. But the advanced strategy will get you to optimal payback.

Each version is based on how many wildcards you have in your hand. The fewer wildcards you hold, the more decisions you have to make with regard to improving your situation.

You can see both simple and advanced Anything's Wild strategy below:

Sample Strategy Chart

4 Wildcards

  • 1. 4 wildcards

3 Wildcards

  • 1. Pat royal flush
  • 2. 3 wildcards

2 Wildcards

  • 1. Pat 4 of a kind (or better)
  • 2. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 3. 4 cards to a straight flush
  • 4. 2 wildcards

1 Wildcard

  • 1. Pat royal flush, pat 4 of a kind
  • 2. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 3. Full house
  • 4. 3 of a kind, straight, flush
  • 5. 4 cards to a straight flush
  • 6. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 7. 3 cards to a straight flush
  • 8. 1 wildcard

0 Wildcards

  • 1. 4 to 5 cards to a royal flush
  • 2. Straight flush, 4 of a kind, 3 of a kind
  • 3. 4 cards to a straight flush
  • 4. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 5. Pair
  • 6. 4 cards to a flush
  • 7. 4 cards to an outside straight
  • 8. 3 cards to a straight flush
  • 9. 4 cards to an inside straight (unless you don't have a wildcard)
  • 10. 2 cards to a royal flush
  • 11. Q high
  • 12. J high
  • 13. Discard everything
Advanced Strategy Chart

4 Wildcards

  • 1. 4 wildcards

3 Wildcards

  • 1. Wild royal flush
  • 2. 3 wildcards only - discard any non pair
  • 3. 3 wildcards only - discard any pair of 9s or less
  • 4. 5 of a kind
  • 5. 3 wildcards only - discard any pair of 10s or less
  • 6. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 7. Straight flush or less

2 Wildcards

  • 1. Wild royal flush
  • 2. 5 of a kind
  • 3. Straight flush
  • 4. 4 of a kind
  • 5. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 6. 2 consecutive suited cards
  • 7. 2 wildcards only
  • 8. 2 consecutive suited cards
  • 9. Full house or less

1 Wildcard

  • 1. Wild royal flush
  • 2. 5 of a kind
  • 3. Straight flush
  • 4. 4 of a kind
  • 5. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 6. Full house
  • 7. 3 consecutive suited cards
  • 8. 3 of a kind
  • 9. Straight
  • 10. Flush
  • 11. 4 cards to a straight flush
  • 12. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 13. 2 consecutive suited cards
  • 14. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 15. Wildcard only
  • 16. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 17. 2 consecutive suited cards
  • 18. 4 cards to an outside straight

0 Wildcards

  • 1. Natural royal flush
  • 2. 4 cards to a royal flush
  • 3. Straight flush
  • 4. 4 of a kind
  • 5. Full house
  • 6. 3 of a kind
  • 7. Straight, flush
  • 8. 4 cards to an outside straight flush
  • 9. Suited T J Q
  • 10. 4 cards to inside straight flush
  • 11. 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 12. Pair
  • 13. Two pair
  • 14. 4 cards to a flush
  • 15. 4 cards to an outside straight
  • 16. 3 cards to a straight flush
  • 17. 2 cards to a royal flush
  • 18. 4 cards to an inside straight (except when you have no deuces)
  • 19. 2 cards to a royal flush
  • 20. Discard everything else

Practice Anything's Wild with a Video Poker Trainer

If you want to practice making the correct moves with Anything's Wild before betting real money, then we suggest using a video poker trainer.

These programs allow you to practice making the correct moves, and they alert you to any mistakes.

You can find free video poker trainers on the internet. The only catch is that Anything's Wild (low paying Deuces Wild) is an obscure variation, meaning it's not covered by free trainers.

Instead, you'll need to buy a video poker trainer that lets you input the low paying Deuces Wild pay table.

Given that the standard Anything's Wild pay table only offers 96.76% payback, most players won't see this as being worth the effort. But if you really want to practice Anything's Wild, here are a few trainers you can consider:

  • WinPoker - Starting at $34.74 on Amazon.com
  • Optimum Video Poker - Starting at $54.95 on Amazon
  • Video Poker for Winners! - $49.95 on BobDancer.com

Where can You Find Anything's Wild Video Poker?

Anything's Wild isn't like Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better, where it can be found at virtually any casino. Instead, you have to look harder for this game.

We played a free version at a casino site called GarboBet.

This game had a slightly different pay table than you'll normally find because the royal flush payouts are 800 coins (1 coin bet), 1,600 coins (2), 3,200 coins (3), 4,000 coins (4), and 5,000 coins (5).This means that you gain the same value when betting 1 coin as you would with 5 coins.

All of the other spots we found to play Anything's Wild are online casinos or membership sites.

Regarding the latter, VideoPoker.com has Anything's Wild. But you need to sign up for a membership before you can play this and other games.

We found online casinos that offer Anything's Wild just by putting the game name in parenthesis.

Conclusion

No video poker variation gives you the freedom that Anything's Wild does. The ability to select your own wildcard creates excitement for players who want some control in video poker.

But the downside - and it's a big one - is that the regular Anything's Wild variant pays poorly. Even if you select deuces as your wildcard and follow optimal strategy, the best long term payback you can hope for is 96.76%.

The second best payback is 95.98%, which comes when 3 is the wildcard. Other wildcards like 9 (93.68%) and 10 (92.68%) are flat out sucker bets.

If your main goal in video poker is to win the most money possible, then we don't suggest that you play Anything's Wild with a standard pay table. After all, this is just like low paying Deuces Wild - except you can change the wildcards.

The two times that we do suggest you play Anything's Wild include:

  • 1You're really superstitious and want to make a certain number wild.
  • 2You find a better pay table than the first one we covered.

The pay table at GarboBet is a decent one because it offers 5,000 coins for a 5 coin royal flush win. But if you're dealing with a standard pay table, then the best you can hope for is 96.76%.

At this rate, it's worth exploring higher paying video poker games like 9 / 6 Jacks or Better (99.54% payback).
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