How to Play Mississippi Stud Poker

To newcomers, poker games could be a little intimidating. Poker is often portrayed in movies with pro gamblers who play for high stakes in smokey casinos or private basements. Thus, this traditional casino game comes with plenty of mystique and tension. It involves various winning combinations and a few simple rules, but in order to win big money, players need to explore strategies and tactics. However, if you want a poker variant that’s much simpler than the traditional version, you could try some stud games.

Stud poker games are special types of poker that include some quick and easy rules. The action is slightly faster than the standard version, for example. Plus, they are suitable for beginners and intermediate players alike. Some types of stud poker games are 5-card, 7-card, Carribean, as well as Mississippi Stud.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to play Mississippi Stud poker, which is a true classic from the South. We’ll elaborate a bit on what the game is really like, and hopefully, you will gain a good understanding of it before placing a real-money wager in land-based casinos or online gaming sites.

Mississippi Stud: A Southern Classic

Mississippi Stud is a fairly recent table game that has its roots in poker. Of course, it first became popular in the Magnolia State, and it was a favorite in casinos such as Biloxi.

It takes only a few moments to learn the basic rules, and compared to other casino games, Mississippi Stud comes with a lower edge. The lower house edge, aka, the advantage of the house, plus the simple rules, make this game an excellent choice for beginners looking to win. However, it comes with some subtleties — it will take some practice and time to learn proper strategy.

The unique thing about this poker variant is that players will face the dealer when they join the table. However, the dealer will not be their opponent — at the end of the game, players have to compare their card hand against a paytable.

This paytable will show the hand combinations and the payouts for each of them. The great thing is that players simply need to match a winning combination, rather than having to get the highest one in order to defeat the other stud players. Sounds familiar? Well, because of the paytable, the game bears some resemblance to video poker.

Stud Rules

To begin the game, players need to sit at the table and first make an ante bet. This is a buy-in wager that everyone must pay. After that, three cards are dealt. Two of these are placed face down (hole cards), and each player will get them. Then, the dealer will add three community cards to the table. All players share these community cards, just like in Texas Hold ‘em. However, compared to other card games, in Mississippi Stud, they will be placed face-down. Then, the betting will commence, and players get to forfeit by folding. But if their hole cards are good and they choose to continue, they will need to raise their wager. In this game, the wager can be raised from one to three times of the ante size. The name of this round is “3rd street.”


After betting, the dealer will reveal one of the community cards. Then, the players can surrender or make another wager. This round is called “4th street.” Additionally, the dealer will expose another community card. The rules in the following round, the “5th street,” are the same, with the third community card being exposed at the end.

Stud Paytable

Any player with a hand containing one pair of sixes will not lose according to the paytable. Furthermore, two cards ranging between 6–10 (but not pairs) result in a push, and you can keep all your bets. All other higher combinations will have a better payout. Additionally, the hand rankings are the same as in any other poker game, and the same goes for suits. Here is the list of payouts that most casinos will offer in this stud poker game:

  • Royal Flush — 500:1
  • Straight Flush — 100:1
  • 4-of-a-Kind — 40:1
  • Full House — 10:1
  • Flush — 6:1
  • Straight — 4:1
  • 3-of-a-Kind — 3:1
  • Two Pairs — 2:1
  • Jack pair or better — 1:1

Strategy Tricks: Raise by One

You can make three choices in this game. First, you can choose to fold or raise. Now, we’ll outline some hands in which it’s smarter to raise the bet by only one time of the ante. You should raise by one if you’re holding an:

  • Ace or a face card.
  • Push hand.
  • 3-suited high cards (when the first community card gets revealed. Also applies to the combinations below).
  • 3 cards from 6 to 10.
  • 2 cards (jack and higher).
  • Three successive cards (in which the third can form a Flush).

Strategy Tricks: Raise by Three

  • A pair of 6s and higher (after the first community card gets exposed).
  • Any straight flush.
  • Any paying hand.
  • Any push hand.
  • Any four-straight or four-flush (with consecutive cards — wager after you see the second community card).

Additionally, you should fold on all other combinations or only bet once. It’s smart to continue with small pairs, four straight cards, or two aces or face cards. It’s also smart to raise on any hand if you have already placed five wagers and believe you can score a push or higher.

Mississippi Stud Poker: Summary

Well, there you have it! Mississippi Stud combines some elements of various poker and table games into one.

The smartest thing to do in this game is to play the initial two cards correctly. If you get it wrong at the beginning, the mistakes will only get worse if you continue to raise on hands that don’t have potential. Luckily, it’s easy to get the hang of the rules and strategies, and any novice or pro will learn them quickly. It’s also easy to first practice the game online, where you’ll be able to find free Mississippi Stud offers and test the game before risking money.

Now, it’s time to find an online casino or a land-based establishment and try Mississippi Stud card poker. Good luck!

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