The Ultimate Mississippi Stud Strategy Guide

Stefan Brulea

Casino expert

The Ultimate Mississippi Stud Strategy Guide

Welcome to our expert Mississippi Stud guide, where we’ll teach you all the tips you need to get the most out of this popular casino table game. On this page, you’ll not only learn how to play, but we’ll share the optimal Mississippi Stud strategy that will give you the best chance to come out ahead when playing the game online.

Table of Contents

Why It’s Good to Play Casino Games With a Strategy

woman thinking with mobile phone

While there are some casino games that can be played without thinking, many games require a strategy to get the best possible results. Playing with a strategy means making decisions with a predetermined plan, one that is proven to get you the best results possible in the long run.

Playing with a strategy will get you better returns than other options, such as relying on:

  • “Gut instinct” – Betting because you feel as though certain cards are due or that you’re about to win or lose.
  • Decisions based on “favourite” numbers or cards – Betting because you see a card you like, regardless of what it means for your chances of winning.
  • Decisions made at random – Making bets without thinking about what they mean at all.

Having a strategy is far preferable to any of these options. A mathematically proven strategy will make sure you always make the right decisions and get the most money out of any casino game you play.

What is Mississippi Stud?

Mississippi Stud is a poker-based table game that was created by Scientific Games. While there are many table games that rely on poker concepts, Mississippi Stud is known for its speed of play and simplicity. Rather than play against the dealer, you’ll win or lose completely based on the value of your own hand, allowing you to always know your chances each time you play.

This simplicity means that Mississippi Stud strategy is easy to understand and remember. Rather than having to memorize how your hands stack up to an opponent, you’ll simply have to remember how to react to your own hand as it develops throughout the game. As an added bonus, Mississippi Stud poker has a relatively low house edge, meaning your chances of coming out ahead are quite good if you use a solid strategy.

Mississippi Stud House Edge

The house edge is a measure of the advantage that the casino has over players on each bet they make in a specific game. This can also be expressed as RTP (return to player), which tells you what percentage of each bet you make you can expect to get back in the long run.

Mississippi Stud is usually listed as having a standard house edge of 4.91%. However, this is somewhat misleading, as that’s the amount the casino expects to win compared to your initial bet. Since you will often make multiple bets per hand, a more accurate figure is 1.37%. This is the percentage of all bets that the casino expects to win, and is also known as the element of risk.

In order to get the edge that low, however, you’ll need to play with a strategy. With proper strategy, you can reduce the house edge and increase your RTP, just like in blackjack and other popular games.

House edge and RTP in common casino games

Game Name Standard House Edge RTP

Big Six Wheel



American Roulette



Caribbean Stud Poker



Mississippi Stud Poker



When you play with a strategy, the house edge in Mississippi Stud Poker drops from 4.91% to 1.37%.

How to Play Mississippi Stud

a poker player looks at their hand

Mississippi Stud is somewhat similar to other poker-based table games like Let It Ride or video poker. The goal is to make the best five-card hand possible by combining your two cards and three community cards. If you finish the hand with a pair of sixes or better, then you’ll win, with better hands returning bigger rewards. The game is played with a single, standard 52-card deck.

The deal

The game begins with the player making a required ante bet. The dealer will then give each player two cards (face down in live casino play). Players are allowed to look at their own cards. The dealer also places three community cards face down. These community cards are known as Third Street, Fourth Street, and Fifth Street.

The first bet

Each player may now choose to make a bet. These wagers can be worth anywhere from one to three times the initial ante wager. If a player doesn’t want to make a bet, they can also fold, forfeiting the ante and ending their hand.

The second bet (“Third Street”)

The dealer will now turn over the first community card, known as Third Street. Once again, players can choose to fold their hand, which loses all previously made bets, or make a bet of anywhere between one and three times the ante size.

The third bet (“Fourth Street”)

The dealer will now flip over the second community card, known as Fourth Street. Players can again choose to either fold and give up all bets they’ve made so far, or make an additional bet of between one and three times the size of the ante.

The final card (“Fifth Street”)

Finally, the third and last community card – Fifth Street – is turned over by the dealer. Players now know the entirety of their hands. After this card is revealed, the players now reveal their hands. Each player will be paid on all of their wagers according to the pay table below.

Mississippi Stud Hand Rankings

Hand rankings are critical to playing Mississippi Stud. Your bets will be paid out according to the strength of your hand, with better hands paying out far more money than weaker ones. If you’re familiar with how to play poker, you’ll immediately understand which hands are best.

Below, we’ve laid out the standard payouts you’ll see when playing Mississippi Stud online. While this pay table can vary slightly, the top Mississippi Stud games almost universally use the following payouts.

Hand Payout

Royal Flush

500 to 1

Straight Flush

100 to 1

Four of a Kind

40 to 1

Full House

10 to 1


6 to 1


4 to 1

Three of a Kind

3 to 1

Two Pairs

2 to 1

Pair of Jacks or Better

1 to 1

Paid of Sixes through Tens


All Other Hands


a custom compass pointing to the word strategy

Mississippi Stud strategy is based entirely around what hands you should play and when you should fold to cut your losses. At the start of the hand, you will play a lot more hands than you might expect, as you should only fold some of the worst hands that have little hope of turning into winners. As the hand goes on, your decisions will be based on your chances of winning, especially your chances of pulling in a huge return.

Your bets will come in two sizes. Sometimes, you’ll be in a position where you want to make the minimum bet – just matching the ante – to stick around in the hand. Other times, when you have a clear advantage, you’ll make the maximum bet of three times the ante.

In this Mississippi Stud guide, you’ll sometimes see us referring to the number of “points” in your hand. Each card in your hand is worth a certain number of points, as follows:

  • High cards (Jacks through Aces): 2 points
  • Medium cards (Sixes through Tens): 1 point
  • Low Cards (Twos through Fives): 0 points

Starting hands to fold

The best Mississippi Stud players play most of their starting hands. However, there are some hands you should fold. Here’s a quick list of hands that are not worth playing:

  • All hands worth zero points, except for pairs
  • All hands worth one point, except for specifically 6/5 suited

Opening bets

At the start of the game, the biggest advantage you can have is holding a pair – even a small one. Our Mississippi Stud strategy reflects this.

  • Bet 3x the ante with any pair
  • Bet 1x the ante with any hand worth two points or more
  • Bet 1x the ante with 6/5 suited

Betting on Third Street

By the time you see the first community card, you’ll have a lot more information on your hand’s potential. Make bets or fold as follows:

  • Bet 3x the ante with any winning hand (a pair of sixes or better)
  • Bet 3x the ante if you have three cards to a royal flush
  • Bet 3x the ante with a straight flush draw if all cards are five or higher and there are no gaps
  • Bet 3x the ante with a straight flush draw with one high card and one gap, or two high cards and two gaps
  • Raise 1x the ante if you have a low pair, any three suited cards, or at least three points
  • Raise 1x the ante if you have a straight draw with no gaps and all cards four or higher
  • Raise 1x the ante with a straight draw that has one gap and two medium cards
  • Fold all other hands

Betting on Fourth Street

Betting gets even easier on fourth street, as you’ll know nearly your entire hand. Bet as follows at this point:

  • Bet 3x the ante with any winning hand (a pair of sixes or better)
  • Bet 3x the ante if you have four cards of the same suit
  • Bet 3x the ante if you have four cards to a straight with no gaps and an eight or higher in your hand
  • Bet 1x the ante if you have any other four card straight with no gaps
  • Bet 1x the ante if you have a low pair, or at least four points
  • Bet 1x the ante if you have three medium cards and have made at least one earlier 3x raise
  • Fold all other hands

Golden Rules to Remember When Playing Mississippi Stud

A royal flush and a poker chip

While the above guide should give you everything you need to know when playing at a Mississippi Stud casino, there are a few additional concepts worth keeping in mind during each hand. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of our favourite Mississippi Stud tips to help you get the most out of your play. Commit these to memory, and you’ll be able to make faster, better decisions when playing online.

  1. Only Make 1x or 3x Bets – There are only two bet sizes worth making in Mississippi Stud. If you have the advantage, you’ll always bet 3x your ante, since you should maximize your edge. If you are just staying in on a speculative hand, you’ll bet the minimum, equal to your ante size.
  2. Avoid Any Side Bets – While not as common as in games like blackjack, some casinos do offer side bets and progressive jackpots linked to Mississippi Stud. If you see one of these bets, it is best to just avoid them, as they have much higher house edges than the game itself.
  3. Take Your Time – While Mississippi Stud strategy isn’t particularly complicated, there are a lot of rules and some close calls. Rushing can lead to mistakes, so be sure to confirm the correct play before you fold or make a wager to avoid losing unnecessary bets or accidentally giving up on hands you should play.
  4. Keep This Strategy Handy – There’s no need to try and memorize the entire strategy we’ve outlined here. Instead, you can keep it on hand while you play. This will allow you to refer back to the advice whenever you need to. Remember, there’s no rush to make decisions, so check carefully to get the lowest house edge possible.

Where to Play Mississippi Stud Online

We hope that our Mississippi Stud guide has you feeling confident about playing this great game. The next step is to start playing at a safe and reputable Mississippi Stud casino in order to put your skills to the test.

You can get started by signing up at one of our recommended sites today. Our expert team has evaluated each of these online casinos to ensure they offer fair gameplay, secure transactions, and – of course – excellent Mississippi Stud poker games for you to enjoy. Click on a link to one of our top Mississippi Stud sites to start playing right now!