Gambling Tips > Video Poker

How to Play Mississippi Stud Poker

By Henry Tamburin

Mississippi Stud Poker is a popular table game, especially in casinos in the South. The rules of the game are simple, which is one reason for its popularity. However, there is an element of skill in deciding whether to raise or fold your hand.


The game begins with all players making an Ante wager. The dealer will give each player two cards face down and then place three community cards face down on the layout.  Each player will make a five card poker hand consisting of his or her two cards and the three community cards. Thus, you are not playing against other players; you are just trying to make one of the poker hands listed in the payoff table for the game (see pay table below).

After the Ante wager is made and the cards are dealt, each player looks at his or her two cards and then determines whether to fold or make a “Third Street” wager. The latter can be 1x, 2x, or 3x the amount of your Ante wager. If you decide to fold, you lose your Ante wager. If you decide to stay in the game, you make a wager (either 1x, 2x, or 3x your Ante wager) by placing the appropriate amount of chips in the Third Street betting spot. After all the players have decided to fold or stay in the game, the dealer will turn over the first community card.


The above process is repeated again for the Fourth Street and then the Fifth Street (and last) community card (i.e., you can fold at any time and forfeit the wagers you made or bet 1x, 2x, or 3xs your Ante wager prior to the dealer revealing the fourth and then fifth community cards).


After all the community cards are revealed, a player will receive a payout based on his or her five-card poker hand (consisting of the initial two player cards and the three community cards) according to the following pay table.  (Note: You need at least a pair of 6s or higher poker hand to receive a payout with Mississippi Stud Poker.)


                          Mississippi Stud Poker Pay Table



Payoff Odds

Royal Flush

500 to 1

Straight Flush

100 to 1


40 to 1

Full House

10 to 1


6 to 1


4 to 1


3 to 1

Two Pair

2 to 1

Pair of Jacks through Aces

1 to 1

Pair of 6s through 10s


Pair of 2s through 5s


No Pair



There is an optimum playing strategy for Mississippi Stud Poker based on a mathematical analysis of the game. You’ll find this optimum strategy on the Mississippi Stud page at, or in the set of poker-based strategy cards by James Grosjean. (For more about these excellent strategy cards, visit my web store at


Here are some strategy tips to keep in mind:


  1. You should never bet 2x the Ante. Either wager 1x or 3xs depending on the strength or weakness of your hand.
  2. Once you have a pair of 6s or better, always bet 3x the Ante on all remaining bets.
  3. Follow the playing strategy in either of the two references above for all hands.  The Grosjean strategy cards contain a small and slightly larger strategy card for Mississippi Stud that you can take with you when you play. (That way, you’ll always be making the correct play.)
  4. The playing strategy is simple for Third Street but becomes more complex for Fourth and Fifth Streets.
  5. You can practice playing Mississippi Stud Poker on your home PC by going to this site (This simulator can also alert you if you make a playing strategy mistake.)

Even learning the above optimum playing strategy for the game, the house edge is still
steep: 4.9%, meaning in the long run you can expect to lose about $15 per hour betting $10 on the Ante. (If you play by the seat of your pants, you can expect to lose a lot more money.)