Using NSU Deuces Wild Strategy for pNSU Deuces

Using NSU Deuces Wild Strategy for pNSU Deuces

NSU is the 16-10-4-4-3 pay schedule of Deuces Wild that returns 99.728% when played well. “pNSU” (for pseudo NSU) is the name Liam W. Daily and I used to describe the 15-9-4-4-3 Deuces Wild pay schedule that returns 98.913%. Our name is still seen out there sometimes, but the name Airport Deuces, among others, is a far more common nickname for this game. Some people prefer to call these games “NSU (or pNSU) Deuces” or “NSU (or pNSU) Deuces Wild” but I’ve always preferred just NSU and pNSU.

I know NSU really well. I’ve played it probably 5,000 hours over the years. Taught it several dozen times, including the Advanced Strategy with all the penalty cards perhaps ten times. I co-wrote the Winner’s Guide for the game. And I still review the fine points periodically.

I haven’t played at a casino where pNSU was a viable game to play for a long time. I once knew the major differences (and many of the minor ones) between these games but that’s not the case anymore. I have an accurate strategy for pNSU in the Dancer/Daily Winners Guide to NSU Deuces Wild, and it would take me a half-hour or so to get up to decent speed on this game. It would take much longer to play the game really well because there are many penalty card situations in this game.

I’d happily do this if there was a place to play this game. That’s probably not the right way to say this. There are dozens of such places in Vegas, and hundreds of such places across the country. What I mean is places where this game, with the slot club and promotions, leads to a profitable game. I’m not interested in playing where the house has the edge.

Tuscany Casino, in Las Vegas, had such a game for some time, up to a maximum bet of $45 per play of dollar Spin Poker, but as of January 1 of this year their slot club and promotions were butchered. I previously avoided this game at that casino for a variety of reasons, and now it’s too late. 

I recently received an out-of-town offer from a casino a couple of hundred miles away for $350 in free slot play, and according to, dollar pNSU was one of the better games offered. There was a time I would have jumped at that offer. These days, driving that far for that little isn’t how I want to spend my time and energy. 

Still, extenuating circumstances sometimes crop up. This time, there was a Moth storytelling event where I wished to compete taking place about 30 miles from this casino. Plus, I have a new car I’d been looking forward to taking on the road. All of a sudden, the decision wasn’t about driving that far for so little, but rather, I get to do a couple of things I want to do and get paid a few bucks in the process. Let’s go!

So, is it worth learning pNSU well? I played with WinPoker and Excel and figured out that if I played pNSU using NSU strategy, that turns the 98.913% game into a 98.903% game. I eyeballed these numbers, moved the decimal point two spaces to the right in my mind, and realized if I played almost $10,000, I’d be giving up $1 in equity. (Even those of you who are not math-savvy can do this one. Moving the decimal point two spots to the right means you’re comparing $9,891 with $9,890. Those are numbers I’m calling “almost $10,000.”) That means I’d be giving up about a dime for every $1,000 coin-in and 3.5¢ in equity for this particular promotion.

This made it a no-brainer. I spent no time at all learning pNSU strategy before my trip. I just went with what I knew. Had I been a player at Tuscany who played $40,000 per month on this game for as long as it lasted, you can bet I would have taken the time to gain more knowledge about it. 

There are some who would argue that playing pNSU at a 99.9% accuracy level (which is what we’re talking about when I’m using perfect NSU strategy to play this game) is already playing at the professional level. Perhaps. But I’ve always considered professional strategy to be higher than merely 99.9%.

I can easily imagine that learning this game well will be necessary sooner or later to take advantage of an opportunity, but that time isn’t here yet. And I have other things I prefer to do with my time than merely spend time memorizing a game that I’m not going to play in the near future.