Big Raise Stud Poker
Big Raise Stud Poker is a hybrid table game which briefly appeared for a pair of trial runs in Las Vegas casinos in 2013 and 2014. The game incorporates elements of stud poker, blackjack, and Mississippi Stud to form a new take on the classic table game structure. Unfortunately for players, despite reaching the trial run phase in Nevada, and Colorado, the game is no longer active.
With the casino game landscape continually shifting, and old games being tinkered with and revived from the dead, Big Raise Stud Poker may very well return to a gaming floor near you. In that spirit, this page was written to provide an introduction to Big Raise Stud Poker, beginning with a walkthrough covering the game’s rules and structure. After that, we’ll discuss ways to find the game, followed by a discussion on the proper strategy you should employ if you hope to excel at Big Raise Stud Poker.
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Rules and How to Play
Big Raise Stud Poker follows the familiar table game setup and structure, so you’ll be sitting at a semi-circular table with up to five other players, while a dealer runs the game from the opposite side.
The basis of Big Raise Stud Poker is an individual contest between each player and the traditional poker hand hierarchy. Using three hole cards and two community cards, players hope to form high ranking poker hands in order to claim their share of an escalating pay table.
In this game, the dealer runs the game and supervises the action, but players don’t need to beat the dealer in order to win. Instead, they hope to combine their three card hand with the two community cards on the table to make high-ranking, high-paying hands.
In addition to the base game, players can also hope to connect on either one of two side bets, lending the game a familiar air of excitement and anticipation which is offered by the best table games.
Table and Game Objective
The game is played using a single standard 52 card deck of playing cards. The dealer will reshuffle the deck upon the completion of each hand.
The objective of Big Raise Stud Poker is to form the best possible five-card poker hand, using both your three hole cards and two community cards shared by all players.
Playing Big Raise Stud Poker
To begin the game, players must place a mandatory ante bet. The table minimum for most games of this type begins with $5, so we’ll consider a $5 wager has been placed.
Optional Side Bets
At this time, players can also decide to place wagers on one or both of the game’s two side bets: the three card bonus and the progressive bonus. Both of these side bets will be described in greater detail later in this section.
Three Cards Dealt
Once all players have anted up and placed any desired side bets, the dealer will then distribute three cards face down to each player, along with two community cards face down in the middle of the table.
Players then examine their three-card holding, assessing its relative value, and deciding between two options: Fold or Raise.
- By folding, the player surrenders the hand immediately, forfeiting their ante wager and giving up on the hand without placing any additional wagers.
- By raising, the player can elect to place an additional wager equal to either one or four times the ante bet. In other words, with an ante bet of $5 in place, you could raise an additional $5, or pump the action up with a $20 raise.
Pay the Winner and Start Over
Once all payouts have been awarded, and all losing wagers claimed by the house, the dealer will then reshuffle the deck and begin a new hand.
Poker Hand Payouts
All qualifying five card poker hands will be compared to a pay table, before the combined value of the ante and raise bets is paid off based on the corresponding odds:
|Royal Flush||500 to 1|
|Straight Flush||100 to 1|
|Four of a Kind||40 to 1|
|Full House||8 to 1|
|Flush||6 to 1|
|Straight||4 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||3 to 1|
|Two Pair||2 to 1|
|High pair (10-Ace)||1 to 1|
|Medium Pair (6-9)||Push|
As you can see, the minimum hand required to qualify for a payout on your ante and raise bets in Big Raise Stud Poker stands at one pair of sixes or better. Landing a pair of fives won’t suffice, and your bets will be claimed by the house, while a pair of sixes, sevens, eights, or nines will result in your bet being returned as a push.
Three Card Bonus Payouts
The three card bonus bet works as the name implies, paying out on the results of your first three cards only. The following pay table is used for the three card bonus:
|Straight Flush||100 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||30 to 1|
|Straight||6 to 1|
|Flush||3 to 1|
|Pair||1 to 1|
The progressive bonus bet is based on your final five-card hand, and the name comes from the fact that this side bet is connected to a larger progressive jackpot. If you’re lucky enough to land a royal flush, you’ll win the lion’s share of a running progressive jackpot that begins at $100,000 and runs higher as the game goes on without a jackpot being hit.
The following pay table is used for the progressive bonus:
|Royal Flush||Jackpot: 100,000+ to 1|
|Straight Flush||10,000 to 1|
|Four of a Kind||300 to 1|
|Full House||50 to 1|
|Flush||40 to 1|
|Straight||30 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||9 to 1|
For our running example hand, we’ll assume we placed a $5 ante bet. We start with a three-card holding of Ac Ah 9s, and we’ll elect to raise the maximum amount of $20, for a total wager of $25 ($5 ante + $20 raise = $25).
For the side bets, we’ll place the typical $1 wager on both the three card bonus and the progressive bonus.
Once all players have either folded or raised, the dealer will then reveal the two community cards, and players will combine their three-card holding to create their final five card poker hand.
Let’s run through various scenarios to see how the payout system works. When the two community cards fail to improve our hand, coming Kd 5c or some other unconnected set of cards, we’ll still hold a pair of aces. This hand is worth a 1 to 1 payout on our combined ante and raise bets ($25), so we’d be paid out $25 in profit by the dealer.
What happens when the community cards come with an ace, something like Ad 4h? Now holding three of a kind, our $25 total wager on the ante and the raise would produce a $75 payout on top of the bet.
If we get lucky enough to catch the perfect Ad As combination as the community cards, giving us four aces, the payout climbs to 40 to 1 on our $25 wager or a $1,000 payout.
Of course, Big Raise Stud Poker also includes the two optional side bets (three card bonus and progressive bonus), and both of these wagers can produce substantial payouts in addition to those earned in the main game.
Using our running example hand, the Ac Ah 9s combination forms one pair, good enough to claim a $1 payout at even money on our $1 side bet.
There are four potential scenarios are possible using our first three cards of Ac Ah 9s.
Best Places to Play Big Raise Stud Poker
Unfortunately, as was discussed in the introduction, Big Raise Stud Poker appears to have been consigned to history’s scrapheap – at least at the moment.
Following the game’s initial trial run, at The Venetian and The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas in 2013 and 2014, further reports and sightings have dried up.
New table games are invented and marketed to the casino industry every year, and the environment is defined by close competition. Considering the similarities between Big Raise Stud Poker and Mississippi Stud, it would seem that players simply kept their business to the more familiar game rather than trying something new.
With that said, it never hurts to place a few phone calls to your favorite casino properties and ask for the table games manager. By inquiring about the status of Big Raise Stud Poker, you may get lucky enough to find the game being played in your local casino, or hear of a venue somewhere else which does offer the game.
As for the online arena, Big Raise Stud Poker has yet to be adapted for play over the internet.
Big Raise Stud Poker Strategy
Courtesy of acclaimed game theorist and casino mathematics expert Michael Shackleford, AKA the Wizard of Odds, offers players basic strategy that they should stick to when at the Big Raise Stud Poker tables is actually quite simple.
Essentially, players should alternate between minimum raises with marginal three card hands, maximum raises with superior holdings, and folds with inferior combinations.
As a guide to your Big Raise Stud Poker decision making, consult the following rules and assess the strength of your three card hand before proceeding accordingly. In this case, high cards are defined as aces through tens, medium cards are nines through sixes, and low cards and fives through twos.
Raise 4x the Ante With …
- Three of a kind
- Any medium or high pair
- Any three cards to a royal flush
- Three cards to a straight flush, with no gaps, low card of five or higher
- Three cards to a straight flush, with one gap, low card of six or higher
- Three cards to a straight flush, with two gaps, and at least two high cards
Raise 1x the Ante With …
- Three cards to a flush
- Any low pair
- All three cards either medium or high
- Two high cards and one low card
- Three cards to a straight, with one or fewer gaps, and two medium cards
When you happen to hold a three card hand which doesn’t meet either of the minimum requirements as stated above, you should always fold.
Get the Lowest House Edge
By adhering to the guidelines above, you’ll ensure that you face the lowest possible house edge on Big Raise Stud Poker. This strategy follows a similar structure as the basic strategy charts used by sharp blackjack players, limiting your decisions to predetermined parameters.
According to Shackleford’s analysis of the game, players at a Big Raise Stud Poker table who employ the guidelines above should be raising the maximum 12.49 percent of the time, raising the minimum 44.62 percent of the time, and folding 42.90 percent of hands.
The overall house edge on the base game in Big Raise Stud Poker stands at 2.58 percent, making the ante and raise bets a fairly reasonable proposition from the player’s perspective. This house edge rate is actually lower than most other poker-based hybrid table games, perhaps providing a clue as to why the game never caught on with casino operators and floor managers.
Avoid the Side Bets
As for the game’s pair of side bets, the strategy couldn’t be easier to grasp: avoid them at every turn.
When wagering on the three card bonus bet, for example, the house edge working against you climbs to 7.28 percent, placing it squarely in the “sucker bet” category.
The odds are even worse on the progressive bonus bet, which carries a house edge of 17.70 percent, worse than all but the squarest of casino games like keno and the Big Six wheel.
In order to succeed at Big Raise Stud Poker, sound strategy dictates limiting your action to only the ante and raise bets, while adhering strictly to the guidelines on raising or folding.