Mississippi Stud

A guide on how and where to play Mississippi Stud

Mississippi Stud is a single-deck casino poker variant that has become popular at online casinos. Unlike traditional poker in which participants play against each other, Mississippi Stud is a “house-banked” game which means that players face off against the house. Instead of trying to win a common pot, winnings are paid out according to a payout table.

The payout depends entirely on the strength of the player’s hand. Mississippi Stud is a lot like video poker in many ways. The game itself was created by Shuffle Master which is owned by Scientific Gaming

Mississippi Stud has been referred to as a new generation game that’s attractive to younger players because it’s easy to learn and it has a relatively low house edge.

Mississippi Stud requires a bit of strategy, but that strategy mainly pertains to betting. You can’t control the cards, but you can control your betting. That’s the key. 

Paraphrasing Kenny Rodgers, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. We’ll get deeper into the gameplay and the finer points of Mississippi Stud further below.

Where to Play Mississippi Stud Online

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BetMGM Casino
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 Borgata Casino
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Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), or 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI).

Mississippi Stud Payout Table

To understand the basic concepts of Mississippi Stud, you need to understand how the paytable works.

Payout Table 
Royal Flush500 to 1
Straight Flush100 to 1
Four of a Kind40 to 1
Full House10 to 1
Flush6 to 1
Straight4 to 1
Three of a Kind3 to 1
Two Pair2 to 1
Pair of Jacks or Better1 to 1
Pair of 6s through 10sPush
All Other HandsLoss

So, looking at the payout table, you can see that you need at least a pair of sixes to receive a payout. Anything weaker than that loses. However, a pair of 6s, 7s, 8s, 9, or 10s merely results in a push. It’s not until you get a pair of Jack or better that you make a profit. As previously mentioned, Mississippi Stud is quite similar to video poker.

How to Play: An Example of a Mississippi Stud Hand

You’ve got yourself a seat at the $5 Mississippi Stud table and you’re ready to play. 

Getting Started

The first thing you do is place your $5 ante bet. The dealer gives you your two-hole cards and then deals three community cards face down. You look at your two cards and see you have 10 of Hearts and Jack of Clubs. Not too bad. You decide to bet 1X the ante, or $5. You have now invested a total of $10 into the hand.

Progressing Through the Hand

The dealer turns over Third Street revealing the Ace of Diamonds. You haven’t made a winning hand yet, but you’ve got some nice cards to work with. You stay in the hand by once again betting 1X the ante, or $5. Now you’ve invested $15 in total. 

The dealer proceeds to flip over the Fourth Street card. It’s the King of Clubs.

No qualifying hand yet, but it still has some promise. You need Fifth Street to be a 10, Jack, Ace, or King to make a qualifying pair, or a Queen to pull out a straight. You make your last 1X bet which puts your total investment at $20. 

The dealer turns over Fifth Street revealing the Jack of Spades. Bingo! You have a pair of Jacks which earns you a 1-to-1 payout. You get your $20 back plus another $20 for a grand total of $40.

Now, let’s say that Fifth Street was a Ten of Spades giving you a pair of Tens. According to the payout table, the hand would be a push and you’d only get your $20 back. If Fifth Street was a Queen, you would have made a straight which would have paid out $80 plus your original $20 stake. Of course, if Fifth Street was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, you would have ended up with an Ace high resulting in a loss.


The outcome and total winnings depend significantly on the Fifth Street reveal, demonstrating the game's blend of strategy and chance.

House Edge and Risk Odds

Theoretically, Mississippi Stud poker has a house edge of 4.91%. However, you must also consider the element of risk. They are two very different things but they work together. You see, players can wager three times after they place their ante. On average, players wager 3.59 times the ante each hand.

The element of risk is calculated by dividing the house edge of 4.91 by the average betting unit which is 3.59. This gives you an element of risk of 1.37%. So, even though the 4.91% house edge appears to be a tad on the high side, the element of risk reveals your chances of winning are better than that. 

However, all of this assumes you are employing an optimal betting strategy which we will discuss in a bit.

Mississippi Stud Strategy

If you have experience playing Blackjack, you know that there are certain basic strategies. You improve your chances of winning if you stick to them and you’ll lose more if you abandon them. Mississippi Stud is similar in that respect. You stand a better chance of winning if you adhere to a few basic strategies.

One of the most effective strategies in Mississippi Stud has you thinking of cards in terms of points. Kind of like counting cards in Blackjack. Basically, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s have zero value. 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s have a value of one, while aces and faces have a value of two. 

The idea is to have the point value of your hole cards and any face-up community cards equal or exceed the number of revealed cards including your hole cards. 

For example, your hole cards are a five and a Jack. That gives your hand a value of two points with two cards showing. Now, let’s say that Third Street is a King. You now have a point value of four after three cards making it worthwhile to continue the hand. If Fourth Street is a two, you now have four points after four cards. You should probably complete the hand at this point.

Philosophies vary when it comes to playing or folding starting hands. Generally speaking, unless they are paired, you should fold pre-Third Street if your hole cards are both zero-value cards. 

In fact, many will argue that you should also fold a starting hand with a value of one. In other words, unless they are paired, you should fold right away if your starting hand value is anything less than two points. Of course, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule such as medium-suited connectors and small pairs.

Another Practice Hand to Illustrate

You place your ante and you get your hole cards. You have a 5-3 off-suit. Zero value. Fold ‘em up. The next hand you get is a 2-4 suited. Yes, the possibility of a flush or straight exists, but you should fold this hand too. You then get a ten–jack off-suit. Hey, three points after two cards! You’re going to play that hand. You make your bet and the dealer turns a three on Third Street.

That’s not what you were looking for, but your hand value remains at three after three cards. Keep going. After your next bet, the dealer flips up a five on Fourth Street. Ouch! Now you have the same point value of three, but there are now four cards showing. As hard as it may seem, it’s time to fold. The point value of your hand is lower than the number of cards showing.

Betting Strategy for Mississippi Stud

The way you bet will determine whether you win or lose money playing Mississippi Stud. Folding aside, you have three options each betting round. You can bet 1X the ante, 2X the ante, or 3X the ante. Let’s narrow the options down further by forgetting about the 2X bet option. You will only use it on very rare occasions, if ever.

A strong betting strategy will have you making a 1X bet or a 3X bet. Let’s start with an obvious 3X bet scenario. Let’s say your hole cards are both aces. That’s a winning hand right out of the shute. No matter what the community cards end up being, you will win no less than 1 to 1. So, you will make a 3X bet each round to maximize your guaranteed profits.

Let’s look at another hand in which your hole cards are a pair of 6s, 7s, 8s, 9, or 10s. Again, you will do no worse than a push which means you place 3X bets every round and just hope the hand improves. But even if it doesn’t, you can’t end up with anything less than a push.

Here’s another scenario. Your hole cards are the 10 and Jack of Hearts. That’s a pretty good starting hand and definitely playable, but it is by no means a winner so you proceed with a 1X bet. 

Third Street comes up as the 6 of Hearts. You’re flushing, but you should show restraint and simply proceed with the 1X bet. The 6 of Diamonds comes up on Fourth Street. Your flush is shot, but that pair of sixes you now have guaranteed no less than a push. Now is the time to make a 3X bet.

To summarize, make a 1X bet when your hand is still playable, and make a 3X bet when it’s a guaranteed winner. Yes, you may end up with a winning hand on Fifth Street and regret not betting the maximum all along. However, that’s far better than betting 3X all the way and ending up with bupkis. As for that 2X bet? 

Some players like to use it out of the gate when they have a strong starting hand such as a suited AK, suited QK, or suited JQ. Still, beginners should really avoid the 2X bet and stick with 1X and 3X bets.

General Betting Stratey Advice:

✅ Maximize Gains and Minimize Losses: Elevate your bet to 3X for guaranteed wins and stick with 1X bets for hands that are still developing.

✅ Avoid Regrets but Protect Your Bankroll: It’s better to err on the side of caution with 1X bets than to overcommit with 3X bets on uncertain hands.

✅ Handling the 2X Bet: Typically favored by experienced players for strong starting hands (e.g., suited AK), beginners are advised to stick with the simpler strategy of 1X and 3X bets to better manage their stakes and understand game dynamics.

Mississippi Stud Strategy - Summary

You’ve seen some examples of Mississippi Stud hands and how to bet them. We will now summarize the basic Mississippi Stud strategies while adding in a few more important details.

Playing Your Hole Cards Before Third Street

  • Bet 3X if you have a pair.
  • Bet 1X if the hand is valued at two or more points.
  • Bet 1X if you have a 5 – 6 suited.
  • Fold anything else.

With Three Cards Showing

  • Bet 3X when:
    • You have a payable hand. 6s or better.
    • You have a Royal Flush draw.
    • You have three consecutive cards in a straight flush draw of 5-6-7 or better.
    • You have a flush draw or a gut-shot straight draw and at least one card with a value of two.
    • You have a double gut-shot draw with two cards valued at two points.
  • Bet 1X when:
    • Your three cards are suited.
    • You have a low pair.
    • The value of the cards is at least three points.
    • Any three consecutive cards ranked at least 4-5-6
    • Any gut-shot draw straight draw or flush draw with at least two middle cards.
  • Fold anything else.

With Four Cards Showing

  • Bet 3X when:
    • You have a payable hand. (6s or better)
    • You have a flush draw.
    • You have an open-ended straight draw with at least 8-high
  • Bet 1X when:
    • You have any other straight draw.
    • You have a low pair.
    • The cards have a combined total point value of at least four.
    • You have three middle cards and you made a 3X bet previously in the round.
  • Fold anything else.

You are free to make your own decisions, but you will be much better off in the long run if you abide by these rules. According to one leading Mississippi Stud strategist, you should find yourself folding on Third Street about 31% of the time. That percentage drops to around 7.67% on Fourth Street and 4.85% on Fifth Street. In other words, you’ll see about 56.5% of hands through to the end.

The Three Card Bonus Bet

To avoid confusion, we have not yet discussed the Three Card Bonus Bet. This is an optional bet that applies to the three community cards. If you choose to play it, you place the Three Card Bonus Bet when you place your ante. When all of the community cards have been revealed, the three cards are assessed and paid out according to the following payout table.

Bonus Bet Payout Table 
Royal Flush50 to 1
Straight Flush40 to 1
Three of a Kind30 to 1
Full House10 to 1
Straight6 to 1
Flush3 to 1
Three of a Kind3 to 1
Any Pair1 to 1

Play Mississippi Stud Online Free

Even if you are able to absorb all of this information, it’s a good idea to get some hands-on experience. The game moves quickly and you should easily be able to play a couple of hundred hands in an hour. You could start playing for real money right away, but you should probably make use of one of the many free Mississippi Stud games that are out there. You can find a variety of them through a simple Google search.

Whether you want to use the strategies provided here, or try out a strategy of your own, the play money Mississippi Stud tables are a great place to start because you won’t be risking any real money. You should be able to get the hang of it in no time. Then you can go to your favorite online casino that features Scientific Gaming titles and confidently play Mississippi Stud for real money.

Final Thoughts on Mississippi Stud

There are quite a few popular poker-based casino games and Mississippi Stud is certainly one of them. One of the best things about the game is that it’s easy to learn. It’s even easier if you have a bit of experience playing traditional poker. Someone who has never played the game should be able to grasp it after playing only a few hands.

It also appeals to players who enjoy a fast pace. While the game requires a basic level of strategy, there really isn’t a lot to remember and it should quickly make sense. It’s true that, like any other casino game, Mississippi Stud has a house edge, but it can be drastically minimized by using a solid strategy. Following some of the pointers, you’ve read here will get you off to a strong start.


Is Mississippi Stud fair?

The house may have a small edge, but Mississippi Stud is fair. Scientific Games have all of their games thoroughly tested and certified to ensure they are always fair and can’t be manipulated by players or online casino operators. 

If you are going to play Mississippi Stud online for real money, make sure the online casino you play at is licensed and regulated in your state. 

Does every online casino have Mississippi Stud?

No. Because the game is a product of Scientific Gaming, Mississippi Stud is only offered at online casinos that feature Scientific Gaming’s games. Fortunately, there are plenty of great online casinos that have partnered with Scientific Gaming.

Are there any Mississippi Stud games with progressive jackpots?

Yes. Some online casinos that offer Mississippi Stud have an optional progressive Bonus Bet. Typically, it takes a Royal Flush to win the progressive jackpot although lesser hands may claim a portion of it.

Is Mississippi Stud only playable online?

No. While it isn’t a standard offering at land-based casinos like Blackjack and Baccarat several brick-and-mortar casinos throughout the world offer Mississippi Stud. 

However, you are more likely to come across it at American online casinos than anywhere else.