Tales of big wins I receive from readers nearly always come from slot or video poker players.

That’s to be expected. A slot jackpot or a royal at video poker can make your day, while a big day at the tables usually means a long hot streak where everything seems to go right.

Everything went right recently for Brenda, a reader who recently strayed from her usual blackjack play and wound up with a big day at Mississippi Stud Poker. What follows are highlights from a string of emails as I asked a few questions about her day.

“I bought in for $200 and cashed out more than $1,200,” Brenda said.

I asked if she’d played before.

“No, but I could see it was based on five-card stud, and those games are always easy to pick up,” she said. “I’d had a losing session at blackjack and needed a little attitude adjustment.

“One guy at this Mississippi Stud table had a big stack of chips and seemed in a celebratory mood. Why not play with happy people?

“What I found out quickly is that he’d just been really lucky. He was making maximum raises the first time around no matter what his cards were. It seems he got lucky early when he raised with 2-3 unsuited, and the next three cards were 3s. That was a 40-1 payoff for four of a kind.”

That brings us to Brenda’s big win.

“I had a couple of quick losers where I folded right away,” she said. “Then I was dealt a pair of 8s. Pairs of 6s through 10s are pushes, so I could do no worse than get my money back. I started to put down a 1x raise, then a man on my right said, ‘You want to raise 3x there. You can’t lose it.’

“The dealer nodded. He didn’t seem to mind players helping each other. I made it a 3x raise. The next card was no help, but the fourth was my third 8. I had a 3-1 payoff on my $50 in wagers.”

“After that, I got small wins pretty often, and since the small wins had an ante and three raises, a win was worth more than a loss. Still, there are more losses than wins so I wasn’t making any real headway until I hit a couple of big ones.

“The first started when I was dealt Jack-10 of hearts. I looked to my right and the man who’d helped me earlier said, ‘One.’ So my raise was equal to my bet. The next card was a Queen of hearts and he said, ‘Three,’ and I raised 3x.

“When the fourth card was a 7 of hearts, he said, ‘Three again. Have to take a chance on the flush.’ When the fifth card was a 9 of hearts, I had a 6-1 payoff on $40, or $240 on my flush.

“The other big one was easy. I felt daring after the win and raised my ante to $10. I was dealt two Queens, so I was in for three $30 raises. A 6 of diamonds followed, then a 6 of hearts and finally a 6 of spades.

“Two other players started with pairs, so there were three full houses at the table. Mine was worth $1,000 with the 10-1 payoff.”

Did the experience make a Mississippi Stud player out of Brenda?

“Blackjack is still my game and I know not all Mississippi Stud sessions will go like that,” she said. “But as an occasional diversion, sure, I’ll play again.”

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