Mississippi Stud Poker is a card game that you might not have come across before. How can you play this game and what are the key rules to be aware of? This is a relatively new addition to casinos that first appeared in the 21st century, but that has quickly won many fans. Scientific Games first introduced this poker version to the world, and it’s been praised for being one of the new generations of card games that appeal to virtually all types of players.
This guide will show that you can get started on the game without any fuss. Thanks to the simple rules and slick gameplay, you can start placing your bets as soon as you want to. Whether you’re already an experienced poker player or not, you can get started with this look at the Mississippi Stud rules and everything else you need to know about this game to start enjoying it.
What is Mississippi Stud Poker?
The first point we need to cover here is that you play this type of poker game against the dealer, rather than against other players. This makes it feel similar to games like blackjack, where the same approach of trying to get a winning hand applies. However, with Mississippi Stud, you don’t need to beat the dealer’s hand, as you simply need to get a winning hand.
In some ways, this is like a version of video poker, with each winning combination of cards having a fixed payout. However, the presentation varies and can include live dealers, as this way of playing has become popular in land casinos as well as online.
What this means is that it appeals to a wide variety of players. Someone who loves playing poker and wants fast, enjoyable action to fit a busy lifestyle will find what they’re looking for in this game. On the other hand, a newcomer to poker who wants to start off slowly will also find gameplay that suits them here.
You’ll also see that the Mississippi Stud payouts are bigger than you would normally expect in other types of poker, or even in the likes of blackjack and baccarat. It’s closer to video poker in this respect, with the potential for large wins for the best types of poker hand like a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush. The cards are dealt from a standard 52-card deck and the gameplay is very similar to Cajun Stud Poker, although that game has additional side bets included in it.
The Rules: How to Play Mississippi Stud Poker
The rules for playing this game are straightforward. In fact, the game guides you through the action by prompting you to do something whenever you need to make a decision. You could start playing it right away without reading anything, but you’ll feel better prepared to place some wagers once you understand the following basic rules.
- The first step is to make your opening bet, which is called the ante. This is done before any cards have been dealt, so you only need to consider the size of wager that suits your budget and style before going ahead. The amount you choose for this wager is crucial, as your following bets are going to be multipliers of this figure.
- You then get your first couple of cards dealt. These are the hole cards that you want to build a winning hand around. Three community cards are also dealt with at this stage, although they sit face-down for the moment.
- If other players are sitting at the table, they’ll also get the chance to place their ante bet and receive their first two cards at this stage. Remember that their wagers don’t affect you in any way.
- Next is the 3rd street bet round. This is where you can wager 1x, 2x, or 3x the amount your ante bet. You can also choose to fold if you don’t like the look of your initial cards. The first of the community cards are turned over after you’ve made your decision, letting you get a better idea of whether you’re on track for a strong hand or not.
- The 4th street bet is the next step in this game. Again, your options are 1x, 2x, 3x bets, or to fold. The second community card is turned over once you’ve made your decision, so you’ll be able to see four of the five cards that will make up your final hand.
- The 5th street bet is the final point where you can make a decision about the amount of your wager. You then see the final card gets turned over and the amount of any win you get is paid out automatically.
The only thing that matters at the end of the game is whether you have cards in your hand that match any of the paying combinations in the paytable. There is no dealer hand for you to beat and it doesn’t matter what cards any other players at the table have.
In terms of Mississippi Stud odds and the house edge, you will see that it varies between games. Some versions have a return to player (RTP) of over 99% which makes the return similar to blackjack and baccarat, while others are lower than this. The way you play also makes a difference, as using the perfect strategy will increase your chances of winning more on your best hands and losing less on weaker hands.
Mississippi Stud Strategy
The simplicity of this game’s rules might make it seem like a game of chance where you have no control over the outcome. Yet, the presence of the different betting rounds means that you can influence what happens and try to maximize your wins as well as minimize any losses.
You have different options on each betting round. This is because you can fold or else raise your ante bet by 1x, 2x, or 3x. The decision you take in each case needs to be based on the cards that you can see, so what does that mean in some real-life examples?
A common approach used in this game sees points assigned to each card. In this case, you work on the following basis.
- The highest-value cards are faces and aces, which all get awarded two points each.
- One point is awarded to middle-ranking cards between 6 and 10.
- The rest of the cards are classed as low-value and don’t get any points.
The Third Street Bet
You can only see your two-hole cards at this stage, which means that a tight, conservative Mississippi Stud strategy is commonly used.
- If you see a pair of any value, you can bet the 3x max, as you know that the worst that could happen is a push where you get your money back.
- If you have a hand that has a total value of two points or more, based on the points system we just looked at, you could place a 1x bet.
- Another situation to bet 1x is where you have a 5 and a 6 of the same suit.
Under this Mississippi Stud Poker strategy, there is no situation in which you would place the middle bet of 2x. If you don’t have a hand that meets any of the conditions above, you fold and try again.
The Fourth Street Bet
Once you have another card visible, your chances of winning should become clearer. This means that the strategy we’re looking at here would see you carrying out the following step.
- Bet the maximum of 3x if you see a hand that is shown on the paytable, which would be a pair of 6s or better.
- Bet 3x if you have cards that could form a Royal Flush.
- Bet 3x if the cards point towards a Straight Flush. However, there are certain conditions that apply in this case. For instance, if the hand is ranked from 5 and upwards, you won’t want to see any gaps. You should feel comfortable with a single gap if there’s a high-value card in there. If there are two high-value cards or more, you can go ahead with the 3x bet even if there are two gaps.
- Having three suited cards is a situation where a 1x bet makes sense.
- A low pair of 5 or fewer merits a 1x bet.
- If you have a hand that scores three points or more, based on the numbers we looked at earlier, this is worth a 1x bet.
- With a potential Straight you don’t want to see any gaps when it’s ranked 4-5-6 or greater. Alternatively, it can have one gap if the two cards are middle-ranked. In both cases, bet 1x in this round.
As with the previous betting round, there is no 2x bet, so anything that isn’t covered above leads to you folding the hand.
The Fifth Street Bet
You can now see four cards, so the best possible outcome for the hand should now be a lot clearer. The following actions are recommended using the Mississippi Stud Poker strategy.
- If the hand already has a payable combination of cards, bet 3x.
- Also bet 3x if you can see any four-card Flush.
- When the cards show a four-card, open-ended Straight you can bet 3x, provided that it’s ranked 8-high or above.
- Any Straight other than those mentioned above should get a 1x bet.
- A low pair at this stage gets a 1x wager.
- If the cards add up to four points using the system we’ve looked at, this deserves a 1x bet.
- Another situation for a 1x bet is where you have three middle-ranking cards and have previously placed a 3x wager in another betting round.
- Any other type of hand and you will want to fold.
Mississippi Stud Payouts
The paytable showing all of the different Mississippi Stud payouts will look familiar to anyone who has played video poker before. Below are the standard payouts that you can expect to receive if you have a winning hand when the betting comes to an end, although you may see slightly different values in some cases.
- Royal Flush pays 500 to 1
- Straight Flush pays 100 to 1
- Four of a Kind pays 40 to 1
- Full House pays 10 to 1
- Flush pays 6 to 1
- Straight pays 4 to 1
- Three of a Kind pays 3 to 1
- Two Pairs 2 to 1
- Pair of Jacks or Better pays 1 to 1
- Pair of 6s through to 10s is a Push, which means the hand is a tie and you get your money back with no winnings.
Any combination of cards other than those listed here will see you lose the game and your stakes. If you win, you’ll see how much you won on each of the different rounds, based on the betting multiplier you chose at each stage.