Mississippi Stud Poker Odds and Strategy Advice

Mississippi Stud Poker is an online casino game based on poker that’s similar to Let It Ride Poker played in reverse. Instead of decreasing the size of your wager as the game goes on, in Mississippi Stud Poker, you get the option of increasing the size of your wager as the game continues.

Mississippi Stud Poker odds are measured using the house edge, which is a metric commonly used when discussing casino table games. It’s just the average amount the casino expects you to lose in the long run when you hit the theoretically perfect sets of hands over time.

Measuring Your Odds…

In Mississippi Stud Poker, you can measure this in two ways – the overall edge for the house is 4.91%, but that doesn’t account for the amount of money that’s in action on average (It assumes that you never place a raise).

When and if you place raises, the house edge on the total amount of money you have in action drops to 1.37%. This, of course, assumes that you’re placing additional bets when it’s mathematically correct to do so. This post explains how to play Mississippi Stud Poker and offers strategy advice so you can get the best odds. 

How to Play Mississippi Stud Poker

Learning how to play Mississippi Stud Poker takes almost no time at all. Here’s a quick overview before I get into the Mississippi Stud Poker strategy section:

  • To start, you place an ante bet. Then you get two cards face down. The game also has three community cards, which are also face down at this point in the game.
  • When you look at your cards, you can then fold or place a bet 1X, 2X, or 3X the size of the ante.
  • After that, the dealer flips over the first community card.
    • If you’re still in the game, you can now also place a bet of 1X, 2X, or 3X the ante.
    • You also have the option of folding.
  • You can probably guess what happens next. The dealer flips over another card, and you have the same betting options as before (as well as the option to fold).

Final Community Card

When the final community card is revealed, if you haven’t folded yet, you get paid off based on the pay table. A common pay table for Mississippi Stud Poker looks like this:

  • 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.
  • Pair of jacks or higher – even money.
  • Pair of 6s through 10s – push.

Anything below a pair of 6s is a loss for the player

If you’ve read about how to play Let It Ride Poker, much of this probably looks familiar. The big difference is that you get to add to the size of your bet instead of reduce the size of your bet as the game goes on. This seems to have a subtle psychological effect on most players, by the way.

When I played in a casino where the Mississippi Stud table was next to the Let It Ride table, people stayed at the Mississippi Stud table longer. They got frustrated and left the Let It Ride table much faster. The problem is that the strategy for Mississippi Stud Poker is a little more complicated than the strategy for Let It Ride Poker.

Mississippi Stud Odds and the House Edge

You measure the odds of a casino table game with a statistical metric called the house edge. It’s the mathematically projected amount of each bet that you expect to lose over the long run. For example, if you’re playing a game with a $100 bet and a 1% house edge, you can expect to lose an average of $1 for every $100 you bet – if you play an infinite number of hands. The closer you get to infinity, the closer you’ll get to the expected results.

On the other hand, in the short run, your results will tend to veer away from the statistical expectation. They’re more likely to result in greater losses, but variance is the phenomenon that you’re experiencing. The longer you play, the more likely you are to lose – so your best bet if you get ahead early is to quit early, too.

The house edge for the game is 4.91% until you take into account the raises. If you make raises appropriately, the house edge actually drops to 1.37%. Since the house edge is a ratio, you look at the average loss versus the amount of money you have in action. If you’re raising enough at the right times, you have enough money in action to reduce the house edge to 1.37%.

Mississippi Stud Poker Strategy Tips

The first thing you need to understand about Mississippi Stud Poker strategy is that it’s never correct to bet 2X the ante. You’ll always do one of the following three things:

  1. Fold
  2. Raise 1X the ante
  3. Raise 3X the ante

This has the effect of simplifying the strategy

The next thing you need to understand is that high cards are much more important than low cards. Any face card is worth twice as much as any card ranked six through ten. A quick glance at the pay table should make it clear why this is the case.

Since you have three betting rounds, you need three separate strategies.

The easiest round to play is when you look at your hole cards

  • You’ll raise 3X the size of the ante if you have any pair, regardless of how high or low it is.
  • If you have any single face card, you’ll raise 1X the size of the ante. You’ll also raise 1X the size of the ante if you have two cards that are ranked 6 or higher.
  • If you have two low cards, you’ll fold.
  • Finally, if you have a five and a six of the same suit, you’ll raise 1X the ante.

When you get your third card, it gets a little more complicated, but it’s not TOO complicated. You’ll raise 3X the size of the ante with any hand that’s a guaranteed winner – any pair of 6s or higher, including three of a kind.

You’ll also raise 3X the size of the ante if you have any of the following drawing hands:

  1. A draw to a royal flush
  2. A draw to a straight flush with no gaps, but only if all the cards are higher than four.
  3. Or to a straight flush with a gap, but only if one of the cards is a face card
  4. A draw to a straight flush two games, but only if two of the cards are face cards.

You’ll raise 1X the size of the ante if you have any of the following hands:

  1. Any pair of 5s or lower. (You’re hoping to hit three of a kind.)
  2. A straight draw with no gaps, as long as all the cards are all higher than four.
  3. Any straight draw with two gaps, as long as at least two of the cards are higher than six.
  4. Hands with three cards that are ranked six or higher, or any hand with a face card and at least one other card ranked between six and ten.

And then you need a strategy for when you have four cards. It’s not too different from your strategy with three cards.

Raise 3X the size of the ante with any made hand, of course.

But also raise 3X the size of the ante with any of these hands:

  1. A flush draw
  2. An outside straight draw (see below)

The outside straight draw should have at least an 8 high, because you still want that shot at the possible pair. An outside straight draw can be filled with a high card or a low card. For example, 5678 is an outside straight draw, because you can fill it with a four or a nine.

You’ll raise 1X the size of the ante with the following hands:

  1. Any other straight draw than the one mentioned above.
  2. Low ranked pair.
  3. Any hand with two face cards, or a hand with one face card and two or more cards worth 6 to 10.
  4. Hands with three cards between 6 and 10 if you raised 3X on a previous round.

If you play with the correct strategy, Mississippi Stud Poker is some of the most fun you can have in the casino.