Dec

12

2017

# Mississippi Stud Poker Straight Strategy

Mississippi Stud Poker calls on you to raise your bets or fold after seeing three cards and again after seeing four cards.

Your raise can be from one to three times your ante, but as a practical matter, two times is never the right play. Either the hand is strong and you stay with a 3x raise, the hand is less strong but good enough to play instead of folding, or weak enough to cut your losses and fold.

The dividing lines can seem arbitrary, but they’re not. For those who play basic strategy for Mississippi Stud, the dividers are based in the math of the game.

One such situation was pointed out by a reader. If, after seeing four cards, you have a straight draw that’s open on both ends and is at least 8-high, your best play is a 3x bet. However, if it’s 7-high or lower, the best play is a 1x bet.

“I don’t understand the distinction,” the reader wrote. “If I have 4-5-6-7, I can get straight with any of the four 3s or any of the four 8s. If I have 5-6-7-8, I can get the straight with any of the four 4s or any of the four 9s.

“Either way, I have eight ways to make the straight.”

If the straight was the only potential paying hand in play, the reader would be correct. You have as good a chance at completing a straight with 4-5-6-7 as with 5-6-7-8.

However, the Mississippi Stud pay table starts with giving you your money back on pairs of 6s through 10s.

With 4-5-6-7, you have only two cards that could pair up for a push — the 6 or the 7. With 5-6-7-8, you add the 8 as a third card that could pair up and avoid a loss.

That extra chance pushes 5-6-7-8 just past the dividing line for 3x vs. 1x bets.