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Last Updated: July 2, 2017

Learn Mississippi Stud with Michael Shackleford

Michael Shackleford: Hi, I'm Mike Shackleford with the Wizard of Odds website, and I'm here with my student, Angela Wyman, and Lamone, who is a real dealer here in Las Vegas. And you are going to learn about how to play Mississippi Stud in the casinos.

Mississippi Stud is another one of the popular new poker variants in the casinos. This one, unlike some other games, there is no dealer hand, the player is paid strictly by the poker value of his own hand, and there's three opportunities to raise your bet as the cards are revealed to the player.

Usually the player loses in this game, but when a player wins, he can win really big, so it's an exciting, thrilling game. Let's just jump right in and learn by doing. Okay, Angela?

Angela: All right, let's do it.

Michael: Okay. Now, a word of explanation. We are teaching this at the offices of Galaxy Gaming here in Las Vegas who are kind enough to let us use their studio. However, they don't have a Mississippi Stud table, so please forgive me that we're playing Mississippi Stud on a Black Jack table. Let's try a hand.

Angela: All right, let's try a hand with this.

Michael: Okay, we each get two hole cards, and the dealer will get-- deal three community cards. Let's see what you got.

You have two medium cards, the odds favor making a small raise in that situation. I have, wow, a pair. Anytime you get a pair on two cards, you make the big raise.

Okay, Angela. You have three middle cards so take it on faith for now that you should make a small raise equal to your ante bet. I already have a paying hand, so I'm going to bet as much as possible, three times my ante bet again. The dealer will then deal the second community card over.

Okay, Angela, you have three medium cards and a small card. The odds favor folding.

Angela: It’s all right, next time.

Michael: Okay. I already have a paying hand, so I'm going to make the big raise. The dealer will deal, turn over the final community card, and adjudicate the hand.

I have a high pair for the pay table of the game. All my bets pay even money. The pay table in this game, if you have at least a medium pair, a medium pair defined as sixes through tens is a push, a high pair defined as Jacks through Aces pays even money.

A two pair pays two to one, three of a kind pays three to one. A straight pays four to one. A flush pays six to one. Four of a kind pays 40 to one. Straight flush pays 100 to one and a royal flush pays 500 to one.

And again, all that matters is your own cards. The dealer doesn't even get any. So let's try another hand, shall we?

Angela: All right, let's try another hand.

Michael: Okay. Let's see what you got. You have one high card and one medium card; that is worthy of making a small raise.

I had two high cards, that's also worthy of making the small raise. You have a paying hand already so you should bet as much as possible, three times your ante bet. As well as me. I've also got a pair of kings, so I'm going to make that big bet.

Again, make the big bet because you've already got a winning hand. As shall I. And the dealer will turn over the final community card and then adjudicate the bets. So I have a high pair so everything's going to pay even money. As do you.

Let's see what you got. You have one medium card and one small card. That's not good enough to stay in the game so you should fold.

I have a pair, any pair even though this is a low pair worthy of making the big raise. So the dealer shall turn over the first community card. I'm still looking at a low pair and one high card. At this step of the game, the odds favor making a small raise.

Wow, now I've got a two pair. That's a paying hand, so I'm going to make the big raise for sure.

Two pairs, so the dealer's going to pay me two to one in everything. Okay, make your bet Angela.

Angela: All right, I'm ready.

Michael: Let's see what you got. Okay, you have a small card and a large card. Now let's take a moment at this point in the lesson to talk about the strategy for the first decision point.

In this game, we define a high card as a Jack through Ace, much like in video poker. A medium card is a six though a ten, and a small card is a two through a five. So you have one high card and one low card.

The strategy at the first decision point is you make the big raise of three times your ante bet with any pair. And only any pair. The strategy for when you should make the small raise is with at least one high card, doesn't matter what the other card is, or two medium cards.

So you have that high card, therefore you should make the small raise. Let's see what I got.

I have two medium cards. Again, a medium card is a six through a ten. I've got two of them so that is worthy of a small raise.

Community card. A pair of aces, so you've already got a winning hand because a high pair pays even money. So you're going to be making the big three x raise the rest of the game.

I have one high card and two medium cards. Just take it on faith that the strategy says to make the small raise. The dealer will lend the other next community card. Another big card. You obviously make the big raise because you're already a winner.

I see two high cards and two medium cards, the strategy dictates to make the small raise in that situation.

The dealer will turn over the final card. Nice, Angela. You have a three of a kind. And I have a pair. A high pair. So the dealer is going to pay me even money on all my wagers for that pair of aces. You have a three of a kind so you're going to win three to one.

Can you understand it so far, Angela?

Question 1 - [08:05]

[00:08:05] Angela: Well, I understand the strategy for the first bet but what is the strategy for the second and third points of betting?

Michael: That's a good question. Unfortunately for the purpose of this video, the strategy for the second and third decision points is a little bit too long to explain in a short video.

However, like with all the games that I discuss, the strategy is on my website. This is what the Mississippi Stud strategy looks like. It can easily fit on one piece of paper. There's 13 different points to when to raise after three cards and 10 different situations with raising with four cards so I'm not going to bore you with going over all 14 situations but again, the strategy is all on my website, wizardofodds.com.

Any questions, Angela?

Question 2 - [08:55]

Angela: What's the house advantage on this game?

Michael: The house advantage on this game is 4.91% which may sound kind of high but remember, the house advantage is defined as how much you can expect to lose to just your original wager.

So for example if you were to bet $100 on the ante, you can expect to lose $4.91. However, I think that in comparing one game to another, it's better to use the element of risk which is the ratio of how much you can expect to lose divided by everything that you bet.

In this game, the player, after all the raising on average will raise 3.37 times his ante bet, so if you divide at 4.91% by 3.37, I mean 3.59, I was mistaken. You get 1.37%, so the element of risk is 1.37% which is not bad for a novelty game. You could do better with the traditional games like Crafts and Blackjack, but for a new game, that's not bad.

Question 3 - [09:58]

Angela: Well, I know you have a rule about this, but this could be the exception. How do you feel about side bets on this game?

Michael: No exceptions to the rule. Side bets are always sucker bets. Lots of times this game doesn’t have a side bet. Sometimes I’ve seen the progressive one on it. It doesn’t make any difference. Always say no to side bets.

Angela: All right. Just say no.

Michael: Just say no.

Question 4- 10:20]

Angela: So, you talked a lot about making the small bet within that three times bet. But, can I make a bet that would be in the middle?

Michael: You’re allowed to, but you never should. If you have a great hand, put out the full three times your ante bet. If you don’t have a great hand but it’s still worthy to stay in the game just make the small raise. The strategy says to never, ever make a medium raise.

Angela: Okay.

Michael: So, in conclusion, you can find more information about Mississippi Stud or hundreds of other table games on my website, wizardofodds.com. The element of risk in this game is a pretty low 1.37%. And just remember to say no to side bets in every game.