Daily News Poker News Online Gaming News Investor News Vegas News Featured Articles
Strategies & Tips Books & Movies
Gaming Life Gaming Tips Comps & Promos
HOME > Gaming > Three-Card Poker and Mississippi Stud

Three-Card Poker and Mississippi Stud

27 April 2014

By John Grochowski

QUESTION: I love to play the Three-Card Poker and Mississippi Stud Poker. On Three-Card it almost seems as if the best strategy is to just go blind on every deal. On Mississippi Stud sometimes it seems like you should just ride out the hand. So many times it seems as if the fifth river card will match one of your three cards and save your hand. But then again, some times it doesn't work out that way.

I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on strategies for the two games. Is one better than the other to play?

ANSWER: Mississippi Stud has been a game on the rise in the last couple of years. While Three-Card Poker remains the most popular poker-based table games outside the poker rooms, Mississippi Stud has been gaining ground, supplanting Caribbean Stud in many casinos.

In Three-Card Poker, if the original rules are in play and there’s an ante bet bonus of 5-1 on straight flushes, 4-1 on three of a kind and even money on straights, the house edge is 3.4 percent of your ante, or 2 percent of total action. There are bonus variations. With the lowest pay table, 3-2-1 instead of 5-4-1, the house edge is 4.3 percent of your ante or 2.6 percent of total action.

Mississippi Stud, with a potential of three rounds of betting after the ante, has a house edge of 4.9 percent of your ante, or 1.4 percent of total action. Assuming you start with the same ante, your average losses will be higher in Mississippi Stud because you’ll wind up with more money in play, but you also have a slightly better shot to win.

Basic strategy is easy in Three-Card Poker. Bet whenever you have Queen-6-4 or better, and fold lesser hands.

In Mississippi Stud, a five-card game with no dealer hand to beat, you ante, then each player gets two cards face down, and three community cards are dealt. After looking at your cards, you may bet one-to-three times your ante, with another round of betting after the first community card is turned up, and a third round after you see the second community card. Payoffs are according to a pay table that starts at a pair of 6s.

The strategy is a little more involved than that in Three-Card Poker. For a full analysis, check out Michael Shackelford's website, www.wizardofodds.com.

In the following basic strategy, a high card is a Jack or better, a middle card is 6 through 10 and a low card is 2 through 5.

  • After two cards, raise three times your bet with any pair, or one time your bet with at least one high card; two middle cards, or consecutive cards 6-5 or better of the same suit.

  • After three cards, raise three times your bet with any paying hand of a middle pair or higher; three cards to a royal; three cards to a straight flush, 5-6-7 or higher and no gaps; three cards to a straight flush with one gap if you have at least one high card, and with two gaps with at least two high cards. Raise an amount equal to your bet with three parts of flush; a low pair; two or three high cards; three middle cards; one high card and one middle card; or three parts of a straight, 4-5-6 or higher, with no gaps.

  • After four cards, raise 3x with any winning hand; four parts of a flush, or four parts on outside straight, 8 high or better. Raise 1x with any other straight draw; a low pair; at least two high cards; on high cards and two or three middle cards; one high card and two previous 3x raises; three middle cards and at least one previous 3x raise.

  • If your hand doesn't make the list, fold.

QUESTION: Tell me something about casino chips. I always see the $5, $25 and $100 chips, and sometimes $500 and $1,000. At some blackjack tables, I see $2.50 chips, which makes sense so that when you bet $5 and get a blackjack, they can pay the $7.50 with a $5 chip and a $2.50 chip.

Last week, I noticed someone at the cashier’s cage who had a couple of yellow chips, and I asked my cashier what they were. She said $20. I’d never seen them before. Who uses $20 chips?

ANSWER: Some casinos use $20 chips at baccarat and at Pai Gow Poker tables. That’s because players must pay a 5 percent commission on wins at Pai Gow and on banker bets at baccarat. If you bet $20, your commission is $1. Betting in increments of $20 makes for easy change-making on commissions.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John  Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

More about John Grochowski
More articles by John Grochowski

John Grochowski's Website:

Books by John Grochowski:

The Video Poker Answer Book
The Video Poker Answer Book
More books by John Grochowski
Sign up for Casino City's Newsletter and a Chance to Win an exciting Casino City Prize