You may be wondering what Mississippi Stud Poker is. After all, it’s a relatively recent addition to the casino world. Like its cousins, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker, it’s house-banked. House-banked games involve the house taking all the bets while the players compete against the dealer — rather than each other. Our Mississippi Stud Poker Guide discusses what Mississippi Stud Poker is, the rules, how to play the game, and strategies to help you minimize the house advantage and make more money when you play.
Mississippi Stud Poker Guide: Learn What Mississippi Stud Poker Is
Mississippi Stud Poker is a hybrid version of the traditional 5-Card Stud Poker played against a dealer instead of other players. The game is quite simple and our Mississippi Stud Poker Guide will show you why. Players make an ante bet (mandatory) to start the hand, and they’ll receive two random cards. The objective is to choose between folding or making a 3rd Street bet, followed by 4th Street and 5th Street bets to fill their 5-card poker hand.
Mississippi Stud Poker is similar to Let It Ride, another paytable game — perhaps these are the only two successful paytable games. There’s only one major difference between the two casino games. Instead of getting the option to place extra wagers, these are now mandatory. You’ll either place them or fold your hand.
The History of Mississippi Stud Poker
Mississippi Stud Poker was originally conceptualized around 2005 by ShuffleMaster CEO Mark Yoseloff. He’s a revered personality in the casino gambling world. In the last two decades, Yoseloff contributed great insights and innovations to the industry. In the 1990s, he designed the slot machine for Bally Technologies. He later became Shuffle Master Chairman and CEO from 2000 to 2009. The hybrid Mississippi Stud Poker table game is one of Yoseloff’s most popular online casino game innovations.
The game got its first trademark application in 2009 by Shuffle Master. Ever since Mississippi Stud Poker has thrived throughout casinos around the globe, and it features simple gameplay, an escalating payable, and multiple decision points. In addition, players take advantage of the house by maximizing wagers when having good cards. That’s why several casino gambling pros consider Mississippi Stud Poker one of the most vulnerable in terms of skill-based play.
Mississippi Stud Poker had only one or two tables in the whole country for almost five years before it started to spread widely. It’s hard for a game with a few tables to live up to five years.
Mississippi Stud Guide | Rules
Mississippi Stud is among the popular table games with simple gameplay. Like several hybrid table games, up to five players sit together at a table as the dealer controls the game from the other end of the table. The game involves a deck of 52 playing cards, and these cards have standard poker values. Hence, Aces are high, and the lowest cards are 2s.
Poker Hand Rankings
As a 5-card stud variant, Mississippi Stud Poker uses the regular poker hand hierarchy to judge the completed 5-card hands. If you have no idea what a flush or a straight is, take a look at the complete list of hand ranks below:
- High Card: rank of hand is the highest card (, 3, 4, A, K)
- One Pair: a pair of similar cards (Q, Q, 3, 4)
- Two Pair: two pairs of similar cards (A, A, Q, Q, )
- 3-of-a-Kind: three similar cards (Q, Q, Q, A, )
- Straight: (, 3, 4, 5, 6) Five consecutive cards
- Flush: (Ah, Kh, 6h, 2h, 9h) Five cards of the same suit
- House: (A, A, Q, Q, Q) One pair + three similar cards
- 4-of-a-Kind: (A, Q, Q, Q, Q) Four similar cards
- Straight Flush: (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) Five consecutive cards
- Royal Flush: (J, Q, K, A, 10) Broadway straight of the same suit
Playing Against Yourself
The game objective is straightforward: try to make the best possible 5-card poker hand. Mississippi Stud Poker game doesn’t require you to square off against the dealer’s hand. Instead, you’ll combine three community cards with your two personal cards (“hole” cards) to form a 5-card poker hand. The payout on each bet depends on how strong the final hand is, so you can’t lose to or beat anyone, as only your cards are used.
How to Play Mississippi Stud
Betting and Dealing
Each player begins a hand by placing a compulsory ante wager that must exceed or equal the table minimum. In the remaining parts of this section, we will use a running hand example to illustrate major gameplay concepts from a player’s perspective.
We’ll begin with a typical $10 ante bet wager. While this bet may look small, you’ll soon discover that wagers in Mississippi Stud Poker can quickly rise to larger amounts. After the ante bet by every player, the dealer will distribute three cards (facing down) on a felt and two cards (facing down) to each member.
The initial three cards will be the community cards — every player (with their live hand) can form their final 5-card poker hand with these cards. While you can examine your whole cards, sharing your information with other players is strictly prohibited. Back to our running hand example, let’s assume we get the Qh and Ah to start the hand.
Third Street Bet or Fold
After checking your hole cards, it’s time to make the first player decision. Place a Third Street bet or Fold.
- Fold: this action involves a player giving up on their hand right on the spot and forfeiting their hole cards along with their initial ante bet.
- Bet: if a player doesn’t fold, they must continue with their hand by placing another wager. This wager can come in three sizes: 3x, 2x, or 1x the amount of their initial ante bet.
Making a Third Street bet enables a player to view the first of the community cards. There’s a spot in front of the player labeled “Third Street.” Hence, you need to slide your chip into the required space to place the bet. In our running hand example, we have two hearts (high cards). Hence, we can continue with this hand by placing a Third Street bet.
We’ll discuss more about choosing the bet sizing later. Here is the part of the game where your skill shines through. However, trust us as we make the Third Street bet with an extra $10, or 1x our initial ante bet.
Revealing the First Community Cards
As soon as all players have continued with the Third Street bet or folded, the dealer reveals the first of the three community cards. The information provided in this card will determine your second decision. In the running hand example, the dealer will turn over a Qc (first community card), which forms Qc, Qc, and Ah for a pair of queens.
Fourth Street Bet or Fold
Once again, players can either continue by placing the Fourth Street bet or fold. The sizing parameters for a Fourth Street bet remain the same. You can choose to bet 3x, 2x, or 1x the first ante bet. In the running hand example, pairing the Queen is an improvement as a good pair gives you a win in Mississippi Stud Poker. So we’ll choose a maximum wager on this Fourth Street bet, which means putting an extra $30 to continue playing.
Revealing the Second Community Card and Final Betting Round
After placing your Fourth Street bet, the dealer turns over another (the second) card from the community cards. Then, the bet or fold process continues for the third time. On the running hand example, the dealer will reveal the subsequent community card (4d), which doesn’t improve our hand in any way. At this point, your Fifth Street bet sizing should utilize the optimal best strategy for Mississippi Stud. And since going for the gusto is always fun, we’ll place an additional maximum wager worth 3x the ante (or $30 more).
Just like we mentioned earlier, the bets can quickly move from a single $10 chip up to $90 more. You can wager up to 10 units (or use the increment on your initial bet) on any hand.
Revealing the Final Card to Create the Strongest Five-card Hand
After every player has folded out or placed a Fifth Street bet, the dealer turns over the final (third) community card, which completes your 5-card poker hand. Checking our running hand example, the dealer will reveal the last card (Ac), which improves our hand (two pairs of queens and aces).
Receive Your Payout
As soon as the players complete their hands, the dealer compares the hands to the paytable and awards payouts accordingly to each player. Using our running hand example, the combination of 4d, Qc, Qh, Ac, Ah results in two pairs. This hand implies a payout ( to1) on our wagering total, which equals $80 ($10 Ante + $10 Third Street bet + $30 Forth Street bet + $30 Fifth Street bet = $80). At :1, we would get an $80 payout on our running hand example.
Mississippi Stud Pay Table
- A Pair (6 to 10) – Push
- A Pair (Jack’s or Greater) – 1:1
- Two Pair – :1
- 3-of-a-Kind – 3:1
- Straight – 4:1
- Flush – 6:1
- House – 10:1
- 4-of-a-Kind – 40:1
- Straight Flush – 100:1
- Royal Flush – 500:1
- All others – Loss
As seen above, this game can make enormous hands, as the top holdings like a straight flush or royal flush can yield “jackpot” payouts of $1000 and $5,000 on your $10 ante alone. In addition, the payout rates also apply to the total amount of the ante (original) bet and the three Street bets. Hence if you get a top hand and place a maximum bet of $100 (using a $10 ante increment), you might hit 50,000 on a royal flush, $10,000 on a straight flush, $4,000 on 4-of-a-kind, etc.
Strategy Guidelines for Mississippi Stud Poker
Mississippi Stud Poker can provide an interactive and entertaining gameplay experience with multiple-player decision chances, bet sizing options, and poker-based hand rankings. This game depends on mathematical skill, “card sense,” and sheer luck (though luck plays a vital role like in every gambling game). Check here for the best strategy for Mississippi Stud.
Play Your Cards Correctly
If you’re looking to play your cards correctly, ensure to follow the Mississippi Stud Poker Guide. The strategy is categorized based on the number of cards a player currently holds and your current hand’s relative strength:
Card Value Key
- Low cards are 5s through 2s, and they have a 0 points value.
- High cards are As and Js and they have a “points” value in this system.
- Middle cards are 10s and 6s, and they have a 1-point value.
When Having Two Cards
- When having a pair, you should place a Third Street bet
- When having precisely 5 and 6 from the same suit, you should put a Third Street bet of 1x
- When having any cards worth a minimum of two points (two middle cards or any high card), you should place a Third Street bet of 1x
- Fold every other hand.
When Having Three Cards
- When having a royal flush draw, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 3x.
- When you have a straight flush draw containing at least a high card and a gap, ensure to put a Fourth Street bet of 3x.
- When you have a made hand (a pair of 6s or greater), ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 3x.
- When having a straight flush draw containing a minimum of two high cards and two gaps, ensure to make a Fourth Street bet of 3x.
- When you have a straight flush draw with a rank of 5, 6, 7, or greater and without any gap, ensure to make a Fourth Street bet of 3x.
- When having any other suited cards, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 1x.
- When having any cards worth a minimum of three points, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 1x.
- When having any low pair, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 1x.
- When holding a straight draw containing two middle cards and one gap, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 1x.
- When holding a straight draw with 4, 5, 6, or greater rank with no gaps, ensure to place a Fourth Street bet of 1x.
- Ensure to fold every other hand.
When Having Four Cards
- When you have any four cards on an outside straight ranked eight high or greater, to place a Fifth Street bet of 3x.
- If you have a for-card flush, ensure to make a 3x Fifth Street bet of 3x.
- When you have a made hand (a pair of 6s or greater), make a Fifth Street bet of 3x.
- If you have any straight draw apart from the ones mentioned earlier, make a Fifth Street bet of 1x.
- For three middle cards after putting up at least a bet of 3x, make a Fifth Street bet of 1x.
- If you have cards worth a minimum of four points, make a Fifth Street bet of 1x.
- But, if you have any low pair, make a Fifth Street bet of 1x.
- Ensure to fold every other hand.
Here are a few general observations about the strategy:
- 10, 9, 8, 7, or 6 are mid-ranked cards.
- You’ll only make one of three decisions: fold, raise the ante, or raise 3x your ante. You are allowed to raise 2x, though it’s not the Optimal Strategy.
- An outside straight draw occurs when any of the eight cards can complete the straight. An example is 5, 6, 7, and 8. A 9 or 4 will complete the straight.
- An inside straight draw occurs when only four cards can complete the straight. An example of an inside straight draw is 5, 6, 8, and 9 because you’ll require a 7 to complete the hand. (7 is the “gap.” )
- The points are a heuristic representation used to work out the correct decision. The other players and the dealer won’t know what it means.
By sticking to this casino guide (which becomes easier to understand after playing a few hands), the house advantage in Mississippi Stud Poker stands at 4.91%.
Playing Mississippi Stud Poker Online for Real Money
Mississippi Stud Poker is available at several online casinos for those looking to test their skills online. But it’s advisable to research beforehand as this variant isn’t as easily found as others. Since ShuffleMaster created the game, it is trademarked. Although you can’t trademark or copyright specific game rules, you can trademark or copyright the name of a new game. For this reason, Mississippi Stud Poker isn’t available in most online casinos.
Casinos that have the game changed their name. However, you can play Mississippi Stud as free online poker. When playing the game for free, you can’t win or lose money, which might not be a fair trade-off.
It might be different from the game you play in land-based casinos, as you’re faced with a digital dealer and a screen, as opposed to live dealers and players. The other players on your table are represented using icons, and you can communicate with the players through a chat room.
Mississippi Stud Poker House Edge
Experienced casino game gamblers can tell that the house advantage of Mississippi Stud Poker is relatively high, despite its popularity. However, as shown in the analysis, the house advantage isn’t the parameter to use when examining the playability of Mississippi Stud Poker — which features three extra betting rounds.
Shackleford mentions that players can bet 3.59 unit increments of their original ante bet or 3.59 per hand. He divides the 4.91 house advantage rate by the 3.59 average unit bet, which results in a 1.37% “element of risk” rate. Compared with other games, consider that using optimal strategy to play basic blackjack gives a 0.38% element of risk. Similar table games like Caribbean Stud Poker and Let It Ride offers .56% and .85%, respectively. Mississippi Stud Poker is among the few better table games from this vantage point.
Precaution While Playing
Here’s a fair warning: those hands might not come frequently. Using five cards to form the best five-card combination isn’t as easy as you imagine. Usually, in every stud-based game, you will get seven cards that allow you to find a winning five-card combination. However, Mississippi Stud Poker offers you only five cards to achieve this.
Sound strategy implies having enough bankroll to bear the frequent betting and large bet sizes in Mississippi Stud Poker. Keep in mind that even when you start with just $10 on your ante bet, it won’t take long before you wager $100 when a hand ends. Hence, proper money management will help you to cope with the inevitable volatility.
Although Mississippi Stud Poker is only about a decade old, it’s competing against well-established, century-old table games. Hence, it has so much growth potential. You can find the best casino to play it at, by looking for different online casino reviews on the web. Several gamblers are still yet to realize the stimulating strategy, interesting poker transition, and big payouts that the game offers. Although it has a higher house edge than blackjack, it makes for a nice pace change if you’ve got some bucks to spare.
Regardless of your skill level, ensure always to approach Mississippi Stud Poker safely and responsibly. That way, you’ll have fun while playing the game. We recommend visiting Vegas Aces to start enjoying great bonuses and smooth gameplay. Remember, if you want to know more about Vegas Aces, check our social media and be aware of every casino news.
Mississippi Stud Poker Guide FAQs
How to Play Mississippi Stud Poker?
The rules of Mississippi Stud Poker are easy to learn. You must first make a mandatory ante bet before you can receive any cards. Then, the dealer deals out two cards (facing down) to each player and three community cards (facing down). Check the article above to understand how to place bets as each of these community cards is revealed.
Can I Play the Game for Free?
You'll find online options for this game that you can play for free. It allows new players to build and improve their skills for free before playing for real money. Several websites offering this game for real money may also give you the chance to play it for free.
Is Mississippi Stud Poker Easy to Learn?
Mississippi Stud Poker is quite easy to learn. In fact, it's among the easiest poker-based variants to learn. The game structure is similar to Texas Hold'em. You'll enjoy smooth sailing after mastering a working strategy. You'll find numerous videos and tutorials online to help you understand the game as fast as possible.
How Can One Play the Game for Real Money?
Although Mississippi Stud Poker isn't the most common land-based or online casino table game, you'll find it available for play with real money. If you're looking to play online and have found the game on a casino site, begin by signing up on the site, selecting your preferred payment method, and funding your player account. You can also withdraw your winnings with the banking method.
Is Cheating Possible in Mississippi Stud Poker?
Online Casino sites take strict security measures to prevent any cheating acts by installing safeguards. However, this may not stop cheating totally on the site. There have been times when gamblers were caught cheating during poker-related games, and the operator has noticed and taken appropriate banning measures against them.