Mississippi Stud has become one of the most popular poker derivatives going. The game combines elements of strategy with a huge risk vs. reward factor.
Mississippi Stud is easy to learn, and with the proper approach, the game can be extremely friendly to the player. Here are the top tips for winning at Mississippi Stud.
Understanding Mississippi Stud
I find it best to approach Mississippi Stud like a condensed variant of Texas Hold’em. The players place an ante bet and are dealt two cards face down.
The players then fold or place an additional bet on “3rd Street.” This wager may be up to 3x the initial bet.
Once all players have made their decision, the dealer places the first community card face up on the table.
The players are then faced with another round of folding or betting. Again, players can bet up to 3x their ante on “4th Street.”
This is followed by the dealer placing another community card face up on the table.
The players then face a final round of folding or betting before the dealer exposes the final community card.
Mississippi Stud is a game where your sole objective is building the best possible hand. You’re not trying to beat your fellow players. You don’t even need to have the best hand at the table to win.
You only need to have a pair of sixes or better to push the hand and keep your wagers. In fact, anything from a pair of sixes to a pair of 10s will get their wagers back.
You see, Mississippi Stud pays out on a scale much like video poker. I’ve included the standard payout schedule below.
- Jacks or better – 1:1
- Two pairs – 2:1
- Three of a kind – 3:1
- Straight – 4:1
- Flush – 6:1
- Full House – 10:1
- Four of a kind – 40:1
- Straight Flush – 100:1
- Royal Flush – 500:1
The strategy involved with building a hand is among many players’ favorite aspects of Mississippi Stud. Fortunately, there’s a basic strategy to diminish the learning curve dramatically.
The Best Approach to Mississippi Stud
Any casino game in the world that gives the player a decision about playing their hand has a best strategy. Thankfully, there have been blackjack players formulating the best practices using computers to simulate millions of hands.
The basic strategy in blackjack uses the information from these hands to calculate the most advantageous way for a player to proceed with any given hand against the dealer’s up card.
This basic strategy took decades to establish, reducing the house advantage by as much as half. Mississippi Stud hasn’t been around as long as blackjack, nor does it share the same popularity.
Still, players’ ability to make choices on a game that uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards lends itself to the best strategy that remains universal.
Any hand you could possess has a clearly defined probability of being a winning hand. That’s not to say that basic strategy isn’t going to lose hands. It does, however, guarantee a positive result for said hand over a period of time.
Unless they’re counting cards or hole carding, you won’t find a savvy blackjack player that doesn’t use the basic strategy on every hand played.
Once you unlock the same key principles in Mississippi Stud, you’re going to begin winning more than you ever have before.
Implementing Basic Strategy Into Your Play
Due to the structured pay scale for Mississippi Stud, you’ll find that the strategy involved is vastly different from blackjack.
One main reason for this is the ability to progress your hand by varying amounts of 1x to 3x or fold. You’ll face such decisions on each hand at least once.
The strategy can take time to learn, as with most worthwhile endeavors. However, if you dedicate the appropriate time, you’ll be rewarded.
The fundamental key to using basic strategy in Mississippi Stud is understanding the values of ranges of cards. I suggest you download a strategy chart and play with it until the values and best plays become second nature.
It is vitally important that you practice the best possible play on every hand. If you start to operate on hunches or “luck,” you’ll be doomed from the start.
I encourage you to become comfortable with the basic strategy’s methodology before you ever sit down to a Mississippi Stud game in a casino.
The Biggest Benefits of Using Basic Strategy
Mississippi Stud’s basic strategy is a conservative approach, at least to get things going. In fact, you’re going to fold away more hands than you’ll like.
However, you’re never going to realize your full potential by playing the game with one foot in and one foot out. It’s not uncommon for players to grow bored or impatient when implementing basic strategy.
The players that can stave off the nagging urge to get a glimpse of 3rd Street or up their wager to 3x the ante are going to enjoy much more success.
For starters, getting out of bad hands early will dramatically increase how far you’ll be able to stretch your gambling bankroll. If you’re constantly placing a second bet to see a community card, you’re going to be burning through your bankroll twice as fast.
Stick to a tight game plan, and you’ll be able to maximize wins down the road.
When you execute the basic strategy on every hand played, the house edge is dropped considerably to about 4.9%. This is only slightly better than slot machines, not a good method for making a profit in the casino.
Most of the pundits agree that this is largely a product of the multiple betting rounds during a single hand. The game’s element of risk remains much lower at under 1.5%.
It’s the second number that makes Mississippi Stud worth your time when you visit the casino.
Hold out for the Big Hands
Most of the Mississippi Stud experts agree that you should fold nearly one-third of your hands before you ever get to 3rd Street.
This type of slow playing the table can be downright painful for many gamblers. Players that crave constant action and yearn to see the results on every hand are not going to perform well in Mississippi Stud.
Unless they learn to hold out for big hands and use the basic strategy to their advantage, they’ll grow frustrated and write the game off as a terrible waste.
The players that can exercise patience and discipline will settle in and wait for those big hands before cashing in big on the casino game.
That’s the beauty of a game like this; you can vary your bet size based on your hand. Of course, if you have a solid pair, you should be betting max all the way home.
Sometimes, the biggest hands develop slowly, but you should still be as aggressive as you can once you’re already a winner.
In games like Texas Hold’em, you have to be somewhat guarded when you get a good hand because competing hands may very well knock you out. Because of the way the game is structured, there’s no fear of that in Mississippi Stud.
It takes some getting used to, but when you learn to play solid hands aggressively immediately, the rewards come.
There’s another Mississippi Stud strategy that will be familiar to many blackjack players. Hole carding can be extremely lucrative for the crafty blackjack player.
The basic premise behind hole carding is that a player gains an advantage by catching a glimpse of the cards being dealt face down. This offers a tremendous advantage to basic strategy players in blackjack.
For Mississippi Stud players, hole carding can be extremely profitable. Imagine knowing the results of every hand before they come.
You won’t win every hand because the cards aren’t going to be manipulated in any way. This is important because if you’re not manipulating the outcome, you’re not cheating.
The advantage comes in that you’ll never have to lose more than the ante bet, and when it’s favorable, you can bet 3x on each turn to really cash in.
Unfortunately, hole carding in any casino game is extremely rare these days. Dealers are highly-skilled professionals that do a fantastic job protecting the casino’s investment.
Still, it’s possible, and with a little luck, you may find yourself in a unique position to fleece the casino.
Practice at Home for Free
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for winning at Mississippi Stud is by playing at home. There’s no better way to learn than in the comfort of your own home for free.
I see many casino gamblers sit down at a game and do their best to learn on the fly. The casino floor is not the place to start your casino gambling education.
You’ll be able to find hundreds of online and mobile resources with a user-friendly and authentic version of any poker game you can imagine.
I have a Mississippi Stud game that I downloaded from the app store and take with me anywhere I go. I can practice for a few minutes or spend hours on the game without my bankroll moving one penny.
Practice Mississippi Stud at home for free, and you’ll have an easier time when you get to the real thing.
The top tips for winning at Mississippi Stud will get you out of the dull gaming habits many gamblers fall into and through the gates of winning at one of the most exciting games on the casino floor.
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. …