Caribbean Hold’em

Caribbean Hold’em Poker

Caribbean Hold’em is a fun and popular poker game variant. This in-depth OUSC guide will help you learn everything there is to know about Caribbean Hold’em Poker. Find a detailed walkthrough of the rules and gameplay structure, including the available wagers, payouts, and side bets. Also, find a list of recommended online casinos where you can play Caribbean Hold’em.

Caribbean Hold’em

Everything You Need to Know

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Caribbean Hold’em Poker Overview

Online Poker Game

Caribbean Hold’em is similar to Casino Hold’em, except for one specific rule change that you can find below. Under the usual table game layout, you sit across from the dealer running the game. You may have up to two other players playing at the same table.

Most online versions of either game are one-on-one affairs, so you’ll be playing by yourself while wagering on one, two, or three different hands.

Poker Hand Rankings

Caribbean Hold’em is a poker game. If you’re not familiar with the traditional poker hand hierarchy, check out the rankings below to see how the hands stack up.

poker hands rankings
poker hands infographic

How to Play Online Caribbean Holdem

The goal of Caribbean Hold’em is to get a better poker hand than the dealer, who must have at least a pair of fours to qualify. Check out this quick and easy step-by-step guide to learn how to play and get started.

  1. Cards are Dealt

    After placing the mandatory Ante bet, the dealer will distribute two cards face down to each player, along with two cards face down to themselves. The dealer will place three cards face up along the felt, and these represent the first part of the “community” cards that you can use along with your hole cards to create a five-card poker hand.
  2. Fold or Call

    You can now decide between two options:
    Fold: you forfeit the hand straight away and surrender your Ante bet.
    Call: you must place an additional “Call” wager equal to exactly twice the amount of your original Ante bet.
  3. Last Cards Are Dealt

    The dealer will add two more community cards to the table when you decide to call, making it five total. At this point, the dealer will reveal their two hole cards, along with your own. You’ll both form the best possible five-card poker hand.
  4. Dealer’s Hand

    The dealer’s hand must be valued at one pair of 4s or better to qualify.
    1. When the dealer doesn’t qualify, your Ante bet will be paid out according to the paytable, while your Call bet will be returned as a push.
    2. When the dealer does qualify and beats your hand, you’ll lose both the Ante bet and the Call bet.
    3. When the dealer qualifies and produces an identical hand, both your Ante and Call bets will be returned as a push.
    4. When the dealer does qualify, but you have a superior hand, the Ante bet will be paid out according to the Ante Bet paytable. The Call bet will be paid out at even money.
  5. Rule Difference

    The only difference found in Caribbean Hold’em concerns the payouts when the dealer doesn’t qualify. In this game, the Ante bet only pays out at even money, not according to the Ante Bet paytable, while the Call bet is returned as a push.
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Caribbean Hold’em Ante Bet Payouts

Below you can find the four most common Ante Bet paytables. The most common paytable is Table #3, which has been bolded for clarification.

HANDTABLE 1 TABLE 2 TABLE 3TABLE 4
Royal Flush20:125:1100:1100:1
Straight Flush20:125:120:149:1
Four of a Kind10:112:110:117:1
Full House3:13:13:13:1
Flush2:12:12:12:1
All Others1:11:11:11:1

AA+ Side Bet & Payouts

The only side bet available in these games is known as the AA+ side bet. It pays out based on the strength of your hand after the “flop,” or the first three community cards only.

HANDTABLE 1 TABLE 2 TABLE 3
Royal Flush20:125:1100:1
Straight Flush25:150:150:1
Four of a Kind25:140:140:1
Full House25:130:130:1
Flush25:120:120:1
Straight7:17:110:1
Three of a Kind7:17:18:1
Two Pair7:17:17:1
Pair of Aces7:17:17:1
HOUSE EDGE6.40%6.26%2.97%

Play Caribbean Hold’em Poker For Free

Are you ready to play a round of Caribbean Holdem? Practice your newfound skills with this free game demo.

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Best Caribbean Hold’em Casinos

You can find Caribbean Hold’em at some of the best online poker sites. The poker variant is an offshoot specifically created by RealTime Gaming. Take a look at some of our recommended online casinos to play this game.

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Strategy Tips for Caribbean Hold’em

Multiple Cards Icon Big

Follow this simple set of guidelines to stay as close to optimal strategy as possible, without overwhelming yourself or memorizing a long list of rules. The basic strategy for Caribbean Hold’em breaks down as follows. You should expect to fold about 18% of your hands and call on the other 82% when using this strategy.

  • Always call when holding one pair or better.
  • Always call when holding ace high or king high.
  • Call when holding queen high or jack highunless the board contains cards all of the same suit, and you don’t hold any cards in that suit.
  • Always call when holding a four-card flush draw or a four-card straight draw.
  • Always call when holding two overcards (two cards that rank higher than the highest card on the board).
  • Always fold when the board is paired, and you have no cards that match the board or no cards higher than a 10 – unless you have a four-card flush draw or a four-card flush draw.
  • Always fold when you hold low unpaired cards that don’t match the board and create no flush draw or straight draw.
  • Keep in mind the various paytables used in the game. Paytable #3 offers a house edge of 2.16%, while paytable #2 in the chart above lowers the house edge against to just 1.96%, and paytable #1 hikes the rate to 2.40%

Did You Know?

stephen au yeung
Stephen Au Yeung

In the late 1990s, a professional poker player named Stephen Au Yeung began teaching his girlfriend how to play the poker variant known as Texas Hold’em. Au Yeung eventually devised a simple lesson based on five community cards and two hole cards.

His teaching tool blossomed into a hybrid table game known as Casino Hold’em, commonly called Caribbean Hold’em. Casino Hold’em launched in 2000, but according to Au Yeung, it took another 10 years to catch on fully.

Eventually, the game gained widespread popularity across the United States and Europe. An offshoot of the game known as Caribbean Hold’em was developed by RealTime Gaming, in which a single rule adjustment differentiates the two.

Play Caribbean Hold’em at Online Casinos!

If you think Texas Hold’em is too intimidating, Caribbean Hold’em Poker is right up your alley. The rules and strategy are simpler to follow, so it’s a perfect choice for beginners. Remember to look around for the best possible paytable, as this seemingly small difference can add up to huge savings over the long run!

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About the Author
Neil White

Neil White - Editor in Chief

His drive and passion for casinos and the most popular games keep him in touch with the latest news and interests to provide the best for his readers.