Mississippi Stud reminds me of Ultimate Texas Hold’em. It’s not a game found at most online casinos, but you can find it at some of the best online casinos available.
This doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to play Mississippi Stud online.
You certainly can.
You’ll probably just need to visit a brick and mortar casino to be able to play for real.
This post explains how to play this casino poker game that’s remarkably similar to Let It Ride.
The Rules for Playing Mississippi Stud in a Casino
You start a round of Mississippi Stud by making an ante wager. When you do, you get two hole cards. The dealer also places three cards in the middle of the table to be shared by all the players at the table. The board cards are dealt face down, but you can look at your hole cards.
At this point, you’re on 3rd street. You can bet between 1x and 3x the ante at this point, or you can fold.
Once you’ve made that decision, the first board card gets flipped over. Now, you’re on 4th street. You can again bet 1x to 3x the ante, or you can fold.
Then, the dealer flips over the next board card, and you’re on 5th street. The same kind of betting action happens again. You can bet 1x to 3x the ante, or you can fold.
When the dealer flips over the last board card, you get paid off based on the hand value of your final poker hand.
Mississippi Stud Pay Tables
You’ll notice that at no point did I mention that the dealer gets cards. The dealer doesn’t get cards in Mississippi Stud, which is one of the things that distinguishes it from Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
Perceptive gamblers who are also familiar with poker will also notice that this isn’t exactly a stud game, either. Stud poker games don’t have board cards. All the cards are in the players’ hands. Nonetheless, the rules of Mississippi Stud are the rules of Mississippi Stud.
Finally, if you’re familiar with real money video poker or other casino table games based on poker, you’ll be familiar with the concept of a pay table. It’s just a list of payouts for a poker hand based on the strength of the hand.
In some games, like Ultimate Texas Hold’em, you have the additional hurdle of needing to beat the dealer before getting paid off.
But in Mississippi Stud, if you’re still in the hand by the end of the game, you get paid off the following amounts for the following hands:
Royal flush – 500 to 1
Straight flush – 100 to 1
Four of a kind – 40 to 1
Full house – 10 to 1
Flush – 6 to 1
Straight – 4 to 1
Three of a kind – 3 to 1
Two pairs – 2 to 1
A pair of jacks or higher – even money
A pair of 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, or 10s – push
Every other hand loses
A push is a tie result. You don’t get any winnings, but you do get to keep your bet.
Mississippi Stud Poker Strategy
The strategy for Mississippi Stud revolves around knowing when to fold and when to raise. It also involves knowing how much to raise. You can find detailed, optimal strategies for Mississippi Stud on other sites, and I won’t repeat their detailed work here.
I will point out that if you follow the perfect basic strategy for Mississippi Stud, you’ll face a house edge of 1.37%. This makes Mississippi Stud a reasonably good game, but only IF you know how to play with some semblance of the appropriate strategy.
As with most casino games with a skill element, if you don’t know the appropriate strategy and just wing it, you’ll probably give the casino another 2% to 4% on top of that.
Another aspect of Mississippi Stud to keep in mind is the need to add to the size of your bet as you play. A $5 hand of blackjack costs you $5 to play. If you split or double down, you might put $10 into action on a single hand.
But in Mississippi Stud, you could wind up putting a lot more money into action because of all the raising you need to do to stay in action.
Here are some strategy tips:
You’ll raise the max with any pair when you’re betting on your hole cards. Otherwise, you’ll only make the minimum raise only if you have a realistic starting hand. When considering how realistic your starting hand is, consider how high the cards are.
Since pairs of jacks or higher automatically pay off, jacks, queens, kings, and aces are better to have than any other cards.
On the other end of the spectrum you have small cards that are basically worthless. Any card five or lower isn’t worth anything unless they’re part of suited connectors.
Middle cards are worthwhile, too. You’ll play any hand and make the minimum raise any time you have two cards middle-ranked or higher. If you have a jack or higher with a low card, you’ll also make the minimum bet.
You should fold everything else.
On 3rd street, you get to really start thinking about what your hand potential is. If you have a draw to a royal flush or a straight flush, you’ll usually make the max raise. You’ll do this even if you have a gap if the cards are high ranked (jacks or higher).
If you have a pat hand, one that is going to pay off no matter what, you’ll make the max raise again.
You’ll also raise the minimum if you have a flush draw or a small pair.
You’ll also play straight draws and hands with multiple big cards because of the potential for a big payout and the ease of getting a big pair. You’ll only raise the minimum though.
On 4th street, you’ll engage in the same kind of thinking. You’ll raise the max with a pat hand. You’ll also raise if you have a draw to any flush or to an outside straight draw (if at least one of the cards is high).
Other playable hands warrant a minimum raise. These include small straight draws and low pairs. It also includes hands with a couple of big cards. Otherwise, it’s time to fold, unless you have a previous big raise and several middle-ranked cards.
The strategy for Mississippi Stud is complicated, but you could sum it up with some old-school poker wisdom:
Get the cards.
Bet the cards.
If you play poker on any kind of regular basis, you’ll have no trouble figuring out what to do during a game of Mississippi Stud.
Also, just because the game sounds complicated, it doesn’t mean that it’s slow-paced. I played Mississippi Stud at the Winstar in Oklahoma, and the game flew by.
Can You Play Mississippi Stud Online?
The game belongs to a category of games I like to call “proprietary games.” These are games that are trademarked by a specific company, usually a company that specializes in creating new casino games.
Inventing new casino games is a lot harder than you probably think. For one thing, a new casino game has to be interesting enough to keep a player at the table.
For another thing, it has to be easy enough to explain to a new player in a matter of moments. Games that are hard to explain don’t see much action, which means that they don’t make the casino any money.
The thing about proprietary games is that casinos have to pay a licensing fee before offering such games. Most real money online casinos don’t like to spend money on that sort of thing. They’d rather just offer the classics like blackjack, craps, and roulette. Many of them have their own slate of slot machines, too.
But a handful of online casinos do offer Mississippi Stud.
As the game grows in popularity, I expect more casinos to offer the game.
Who Should Play Mississippi Stud?
Mississippi Stud is ideal for poker players looking for a casino game to while away some time at. It’s also a great game for blackjack players who want a change of pace. It helps to have a reasonably big bankroll if you’re going to play Mississippi Stud, too.
Mississippi Stud is a lousy game for low rollers. It’s also a lousy game for anyone who doesn’t want to think about what they’re playing. If you love roulette and slot machine games, you’ll probably hate Mississippi Stud.
Can you learn to play Mississippi Stud online?
The basics of it are easy enough. You can probably absorb the rules, gameplay, and strategy from the information in this post.
It won’t take you long at a real table to get the hang of the game.
Just be sure you’re not on a budget. If you don’t have a little bit of money to play with, Mississippi Stud will be hard to play well.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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