Discount Gambling

Mississippi Stud @ Barona Casino (Update)

Posted in +EV, mississippi stud by stephenhow on August 9, 2011

Mississippi Stud LogoI’ve been playing more full-exposure Mississippi Stud at my nearby Barona Casino, since it’s the closest casino to me, and the game is nice and full most every night. The game is a lot more fun now, since I’ve learned all the decision points of the +EV strategy. Most every hand is a “no-brainer” now, and I only have to look at my chart for some copied, suited hands.

I’ve fine-tuned the strategy a bit, it now simulates at a +1.85% player’s edge for a full table. I’ll publish the full strategy when I’ve finished optimizing it. I’ve computed the “element-of-risk” (return per average bet risked), and it’s an amazing +0.78%. This results from the ability to 3x bet multiple streets at no risk (i.e., the hand either pushes or wins). The “element-of-risk” figure is the more accurate indicator for games requiring post-Ante bets. This means that after your Ante, you only risk another 1.35 units per hand. That’s pretty low, considering there are 3 streets to bet.

Strategy Details

The discussion below elaborates on the +EV strategy card shown in the original +EV Mississippi Stud @ Barona post. This post clarifies a few of the decision points, and shows you how to use additional information, like high cards seen, and flush cards seen.

3rd Street

Raising Hands

There are a few hands you should 3x raise on 3rd Street, that on average will pay off better than just 1x calling. Notice that the expectation value (EV) is positive and higher for 3x raising vs. 1x calling for the following hands:

3rd Street Raising Hands
Hand 1x EV 3x EV Improvement
6 high outs (suited) +1.93 +2.16 +0.23
6 high outs (offsuit) +1.48 +1.55 +0.07
6 high outs (QJo) +1.58 +1.71 +0.13
5 high outs (possible straight flush) +1.44 +1.49 +0.05
small pair, no copies +10.7 +13.3 +2.6

Those are the only raising hands. Bet other hands 1x at most. I often see people raising 5 offsuit high outs. That’s a losing move, as a 1x bet has a +0.63 return, while raising the bet to 3x decreases the return to +0.43. So you’re risking more and winning less. You win more by betting less. Don’t raise any hands except the ones in the above table!

Piggyback Bets

Often, people don’t 3x bet their hands on 3rd Street in the above table. Barona etiquette allows other players at the table to piggyback on the betting spot, if it’s not maxed out (3x). I take as many of these bets as I can, because they’re +EV. First, I tell the owner of the hand to max out their own bet, that it’s in their favour to do so. Only if they won’t make the bet themselves, do I ask to ride along a 2x bet. Usually, I talk people into taking their own EV. But, if they’re too scared, I’ll take the bet myself. From the above table, we see that the return for a 2x piggyback bet is the Improvement value. E.g., if someone doesn’t raise their uncopied small pair, a 2x piggyback bet returns +2.6 Ante average win, or a (2.6-2)/2 = +30% average profit. The returns are smaller for other hands, but is pretty good for 6 high suited outs (+11.5% for a 2x piggyback).

Calling Hands
3rd Street Hands
Outs 1x EV Notes
High Mid Low
3rd Street (Offsuit)
3 0 -0.47 Call
2 2 -0.79 Call
2 1 -1.09 Fold*
2 0 3 -1.05 Fold*
1 3 -0.99 Call*
1 2 -1.31 Fold
0 5 -0.71 Call
0 4 -1.12 Fold*
0 3 3 -0.95 Call
0 0 6 -1.43 Fold
3rd Street (Suited)
2 0 -0.87 Call
1 2 0 -0.96 Call*
0 4 -0.75 Call
0 3 3 -0.71 Call
0 3 2 -0.98 Call*
0 0 6 -1.20 Fold**

* EV varies +/- 0.20 depending on if the hand “reaches” (can make straight), and if less than 4 high cards are seen, and if suited, whether 3 or more flush cards are seen.

** You should call 54s if you can make a straight flush, and you’re not copied, and at most one flush card is seen.

So, you should use the above table as a guideline for calling or folding. Marginal hand (*) decisions depend on whether it “reaches”, the number of flush cards seen (< 3), the number of high cards seen (<= 4), and whether a straight flush is possible. For simplicity, treat each factor equally in making your decision. (A hand is more valuable when less than 4 high cards are seen, because it increases the probability of making a high pair on board).

4th Street

Raising Hands
4th Street Raising Hands
Hand 1x EV 3x EV Improvement
low pair w/ all 5 outs +1.41 +1.67 +0.26
at least 7 or more high outs (suited) +1.06 +1.22 +0.16
at least 3 high outs and possible straight flush +3.05 +3.85 +0.80
Calling Hands

The 4th Street calling points are pretty simple, and basically boil down to the following minimum hands:

  • 3 high (“pay”) outs
  • 2 high (“pay”) outs, and 3 mid (“push”) outs
  • 1 high (“pay”) outs, and 5 mid (“push”) outs
  • 6 mid (“push”) outs

You should also call a straight draw if just below these minimum requirements.

5th Street

The 5th decision is very easy to compute, since you’re betting on one card, and you know all your outs. Refer to the strategy card for the decision points, but your basic “calling hands” are

  • 5 (or more) “pay” outs
  • 4 “pay” and 2 “push” outs
  • 3 “pay” and 4 “push” outs
  • 2 “pay” and 6 “push” outs
  • 1 “pay” and 8 “push” outs

These minimum calling hands are pretty easy to remember. I know that once I have 5 high (“pay”) outs, I’m never folding. Or, once I have 4 high (“pay”) outs, I only need to pick up 2 mid (“push”) outs to not fold. And, when I only have 3 high (“pay”) outs, I know I need at least 4 mid (“push”) outs to see 5th street. If my hand is worse than these minimums, on average, I’m better off folding the hand, and losing 3 units, than playing and losing more than 3 units.

5th Street Hands
Outs 1x EV Notes
High Mid Low
5 0 -2.72 Call
4 2 -2.95 Call
4 1 -3.05 Fold
3 4 -2.95 Call
3 3 -3.05 Fold
2 6 -2.95 Call
1 8 -2.95 Call

You’re getting a lot of odds for the 5th Street bet, so if you feel like it, you can call with a slightly subpar hand (like short one mid out), since it only costs you 5% of an Ante on average. At a $5 Ante, that’s $0.25, so it won’t kill you to play an occasional underdog. Usually, I make the fold, but offer my hand to anyone at the table. Usually, someone wants it, because they’re getting odds for a cheap price ($0.25).

You should 3x raise any flush. It is extremely rare that any flush draw is -EV, so raise them all.

You should refer to the strategy card to know when to raise a straight draw. If all 8 straight outs are available, 3x raise the draw. Else, check the strategy card, which shows you the minimum requirements in order to raise a draw. E.g., you can raise a gutshot (4 straight outs) when you also have 8 high (“pay”) outs and 3 mid (“push”) outs.

Improved Table Rules

If you didn’t think it could get any better, Barona now lets you bet on multiple hands simultaneously. I guess this is part of their Social Wagering concept. Also, the table limits are $5-$100, with no limit on aggregate payout. So that means you can bet $100 Antes on 6 spots, with an EV of (6)($100)(1.8%) = $10.8/hand. If you get a fast table, you could play 40 hands/hr, for an average profit of $432/hr.

4 Responses

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  1. sage said, on August 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

    please give a definition of ‘outs’ .
    please give an example of how the number of ‘outs’ are calculated.

    • stephenhow said, on August 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

      In poker, “outs” refers to the (number of) cards that make your hand a winner. So, if I’m dealt K6, without any more info (i.e., there are no other players, or I don’t see their cards), then I say I have 3 high outs, and 3 low outs. That means there are 3 Kings in the deck that make my hand a winner, and there are 3 sixes in the deck that make my hand a “freeroll” with odds (I at least push, and if I win, I win more than even-money). But, if I know the other players hold one King but no sixes, then I have 2 high outs and 3 mid outs (3 cards to make a freerolling mid-pair).

      As another example, if I have KQ offsuit (KQo), and there are 5 other players showing their cards (like at Barona) and I don’t see any King or Queen, then I have 6 high outs. Any King or Queen on the board will make my hand a winner. I will 3x bet 3rd Street on the info of seeing 10 out of 50 (1/5 of the remaining cards), and the knowledge that there are still 6 outs in the 40 cards remaining in the deck. If I don’t hit my hand on 3rd Street, I back down to a 1x bet on 4th Street. I will never fold my hand with 5 or more high outs.

      On the other hand, if I have KQo, and I see two Kings and no Queens among the 5 other players, then I have 4 high outs. I will only bet 1x on 3rd Street. I need to pick up at least 2 mid outs to see 5th Street. So, if a mid card comes on 3rd Street (say a 9), and there are still two 9’s in the deck, I will not fold (you need 4 high outs and 2 mid outs to see the river).

      Say you have 76o. You start off with 6 mid outs, and you subtract from that any 6 or 7 you see among the 5 other players. If they only have one of your outs, you’re still left with 5 mid outs, so you 1x bet on 3rd Street to see 4th Street. If you don’t pick up any more high or mid outs, or a 5 for a straight draw, you’ll fold the hand.

      Say you have 64o. You start off with 3 mid outs and 3 low outs, and you subtract from that any 6 or 4 you see among the other players. If no one copies you, you have your full 3 mid + 3 low outs, and they reach to make a straight, so you call 1x to see 4th Street. However, you need to pick up at least 2 high outs, or at least 3 mid outs, or a 5 for a straight draw to continue. If a 2 comes on 3rd Street, you’ll fold your hand, because you need at least 6 mid outs to bet 4th Street. If a K comes on 3rd Street, look around to see how many Kings are left in the deck. This is the number of high outs you’ve improved by. If you have at least 2 King outs (there are 2 left in the deck), then you bet 1x to see 4th Street on the strength of 2 high + 3 mid outs.

      Is that any clearer?

  2. sage said, on August 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

    not a poker player here, so it’s mainly picking up on the jargon that’s been an obstacle for me, lol.
    but yes, your post above helps make things more clear so that eventually i believe i’ll be able to apply your various strategies.
    like i say, i’m not at the point where i fully grasp the strategy using knowledge from collusion, but, just guessing here, essentially your collusion strategies tell us when it is positive ev or at least optimal ev to either follow basic strategy or digress from basic strategy visa v your collusion strategy. so we may fold at times when basic strategy doesn’t call for folding, or we may at times play on even though basic strategy might call for folding. we may at times raise our bets, even though basic strategy may call for a different action, sorta thing. reason i’m going through all this jabber is that i’m thinking i’ll be able to remember and apply your strategies better if i’m able to use basic strategy as a foundation around which your collusion strategies diverge.
    well, anyway thank you for your explanations.

  3. vgMega said, on August 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    SO they finally let you bet on other hands now huh…I need to make a trip down there soon.

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