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A Simple NSU Deuces Wild Distinction

I frequently write about NSU Deuces Wild, the game with the 16-10-4-4-3 pay schedule that returns 99.728% when played well. When coupled with to a good slot club and promotion, this can beBob DancerBob Dancer is one of the world's foremost video poker experts.  He is a regular columnist for Casino Player, Strictly Slots, and the Las Vegas Review-Journa land has written an autobiography and a novel about gambling.   He provides advice for tens of thousands of casino enthusiasts looking to play video poker.  Bob's website is  a very good game.
The distinction I wish to write about today compares two separate hands: 4'567'K and '456'7K, where the quote marks refer to suited cards. In both cases, the choice is between an open-ended 4-card straight and an open-ended 3-card straight flush. Although the hands look very similar, the correct play is to go for the straight flush in the first hand and the straight in the second. What's the difference?
At the outset, let me add that today's hands are easier than average for this column. It isn't that I've run out of tougher hands. It's just that different readers are at different places on the video-poker-learning-curve, so pitching columns at various levels seems appropriate to me. And even if the readers are experienced at games like Jacks or Better or Double Double Bonus, wild card games have their own idiosyncrasies that must be mastered.
In both hands the 4-card straight 4567 is worth exactly the same amount. Assuming you're playing for dollars, 5-coins at a time, you end up with a $10 straight if you draw any 3, any 8, or any deuce. This is worth $2.55.
The 3-card straight flushes, however, are not worth the same. From '567' there are THREE possible straight flushes, namely '98765', '87654', and '76543', where the cards we draw may either be natural cards or wild cards (i.e. deuces). The value of this 3-card straight flush is $2.85, so naturally that's the preferred play over the $2.55 4-card straight.
In the second hand, '456' isn't worth so much. '456' may turn into an '87654' or '76543' straight flush. Holding '456' in this hand is worth $2.44, so this time you prefer the $2.55 4-card straight. As is always the case, we compare the values of each of the competing combination and choose the one that's worth the most.
The reason we don't include '65432' on the list of hands that may be attained by drawing to '456' is that deuce is wild. Letting a "W" stand for a wild card, we already included the W'6543' hand when we said '76543', because we said either the 7 or the 3, or both, may be replaced by wild cards.
In ALL Deuces Wild variations, you need to pay attention to how close a particular combination is to the deuce. Good strategy cards include '456' in the group of 3-card straight flushes with one-inside, because '456' and '457' have EXACTLY the same values.
In my classes, I teach the shorthand that if a straight or straight flush is close enough to the deuce that a "2" can be included in a 5-card straight with the existing cards, that you must add an inside to account for this. Since '456' qualifies under this rule, then '456' is a 3-card straight flush with one inside. The combination '567' does NOT qualify under this rule, so '567' is a 3-card straight flush with no insides.
The only combination where this rule of thumb fails is on the specific combination '345', where this combination is actually intermediate in value between a 3-card straight flush with one inside and a 3-card straight flush with two insides. In most Deuces Wild variations, however, including '345' with the 3-card straight flushes with one inside does not cause any hands to be misplayed.
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