Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker
What You Need to Know
Caribbean Stud Poker, or as many players know it as Caribbean Poker, is a popular card game played at both live and online casinos. Using the same rules as 5-Card Stud poker, players receive five cards where they play against the dealer’s hand. The dealer will show one card, with which the player has to decide whether or not to raise. This simple poker game is easy to learn and understand.
Our Caribbean Stud Poker online page will show players how to play, with an easy step-by-step guide. Learn what variations you can play, as well as the best online casinos that offer Caribbean Stud Poker. Get an extra edge by learning the proper strategy, and start playing like a pro.
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How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker Online
When playing a game like Caribbean Stud Poker online for the first time, it’s helpful to begin by simply examining the table layout.
Typically, you’ll see the familiar table game arrangement, pitting you against the dealer with a betting area in the middle of the felt. For the majority of online Caribbean Stud Games spread by the online casinos and software providers listed in the next section, the table layout will appear in a familiar fashion.
You’ll see a set of clickable chip icons in the corner of the screen, usually beginning with $1 chips and climbing in increments through $100, and these will be used to place your wagers.
Two betting circles are lined out in the center of the table, with one labeled Ante and the other labeled Raise. Your chips will be placed in the appropriate betting circles during each hand.
Next, you’ll see an array of buttons in the lower part of the screen, typically labeled Fold, Raise, and Deal. These will be used to control the game action during each hand.
Finally, you’ll notice a side button labeled Progressive, and this is where you can place an optional wager to give yourself a shot at your online casino’s progressive jackpot prize pool.
Guide to Play Caribbean Stud Poker
Place Ante Bet
To begin a hand of Caribbean Stud Poker, you’ll need to place a mandatory ante bet, and for the sake of this discussion the ante bet will be for $5. Once you’ve anted up, click deal to begin the hand.
Five Cards are Dealt
The dealer will distribute five cards face up in your direction, before dealing themselves five cards as well. The dealer’s hand will have four cards face down at the beginning, with one card exposed to provide players with the partial information on which the game hinges.
The objective of Caribbean Stud Poker is simply to beat the dealer’s five card hand with your own, according to the standard poker hand hierarchy. That means one pair beats high card, two pair beats one pair, and so on.
Fold or Raise
With no ability to improve your five card holding, Caribbean Stud Poker might seem a bit boring by that description, but the game actually hinges on a single decision as to whether or not to raise the stakes or simply fold out.
By comparing your five card hand to the dealer’s lone exposed card, players can decide whether or not to up the stakes by raising, or to leave the ante bet as their only risk. In other words, after you’ve anted for $5, and assessed the strength of your five cards relative to the dealer’s up card, you can opt to raise and place an additional wager. The raise bet will always equal double the amount of your original ante bet, so with $5 already in the pot, raising will cost you $10 more.
You can also elect to fold, or forfeit your cards and the ante bet, along with any side bets in play.
After you’ve made the game’s only decision, raising or folding, the dealer will reveal their four down cards and complete their own five-card hand. Your hand is compared with the dealer’s hand, and the highest hand is declared the winner.
One thing to remember about the dealer’s hand, however, is that it must reach a certain level of strength to qualify for a win. In the case of Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer must make a hand of ace-king high or better in order to qualify. To visualize dealer qualification, the worst qualifying hand a dealer can hold is A K 2 3 4, while the best non-qualifying hand stands at A Q J 10 9.
Deciding Who the Winner Is
When the dealer fails to produce a qualifying hand, your ante bet will be paid out at even money, while your raise bet will be returned as a push. When the dealer does qualify and beats your hand, you’ll lose both the ante bet and the raise bet.
Getting a Bigger Payout
On the other hand, when the dealer does qualify and your five cards outrank theirs, the real fun of Caribbean Stud Poker begins. By beating a qualifying dealer hand, you’ll earn a payout of even money on your ante bet, along with an additional payout on your raise bet. Players love Caribbean Stud Poker because the game includes an escalating payout table for winning raise bets, which has been included below.
Hand Rankings and Payouts
|Hand Rank||Description||Ante||Raise Odds|
|Royal Flush||A, K, Q, J, 10 of same suit||1 to 1||100 to 1|
|Straight Flush||5 cards of the same suit in sequence||1 to 1||50 to 1|
|4 of a Kind||4 cards of same rank||1 to 1||20 to 1|
|Full House||3 of a Kind, plus a pair||1 to 1||7 to 1|
|Flush||5 cards of same suit||1 to 1||5 to 1|
|Straight||5 cards in sequence, mixed suits||1 to 1||3 to 1|
|3 of a Kind||3 cards of same rank||1 to 1||2 to 1|
|Two pair||2 pairs of different rank||1 to 1||1 to 1|
|One pair||1 pair (2 cards) of same rank||1 to 1||1 to 1|
|High card||3 cards of same rank||1 to 1||1 to 1|
As you can see, making high-strength hands like three of a kind, a straight, or a flush will result in significant returns on your raise bet.
As an example, consider a hand in which you’ve anted for $5, placed the additional $10 raise bet, and landed a flush as your five card hand. If the dealer produces a qualifying hand (one which doesn’t beat a flush obviously), you’ll receive $5 in winnings for your ante bet, along with $50 in winnings on your raise bet.
These escalating payouts provide the game’s punch, but remember, you’ll only receive the higher raise bet payouts when the dealer produces a qualifying hand. So even if you make a straight flush, the dealer still needs to produce A-K or higher in order for you to collect the 50 to 1 payout on your raise bet.
Caribbean Stud Poker Variations
Caribbean Stud Poker is a very popular casino card game, so many have come out with different variations of the same game. Some have different rules, other have different gameplay. Check them out.
Best Places to Play Caribbean Stud Poker Online
We have listed some of the top online poker sites that offer Caribbean Stud Poker. Make sure to read their reviews to decide which is the best fit for you, as well as if they cater to players in your country.
888 Casino (Live Dealer)
Betway (Live Dealer)
Caribbean Poker Software Developers
These are some of the major software providers which include a version of Caribbean Stud Poker within their platforms.
Online Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
Caribbean Stud Poker can appear to be quite simple since you’re simply receiving five cards and hoping they beat the dealer’s hand. However, there is a useful Caribbean Stud Poker strategy to consider.
This is because you’ll always have the choice between folding or raising, and based on the dealer’s single up card versus your own five cards, a mathematically correct choice will always exist.
Just like in blackjack, every scenario you can possibly face during a hand of Caribbean Stud Poker creates an optimal play. By sticking to the basic Caribbean Stud Poker strategy guidelines listed below, you can help to keep yourself on the right side of variance more often than not, by making the correct decision to raise or fold based on your five cards and the dealer’s up card.
- When you hold a pair or higher, you should always raise.
- When you hold less than ace-king, you should always fold.
- When you hold ace-king in your hand, consult this handy Caribbean Stud Poker A-K chart* to identify the optimal play for each scenario.*The three other cards in your hand are depicted along the left-hand side of the chart while the dealer’s up card is shown at the top.
By sticking to these rules for raising and folding, the house edge for Caribbean Stud Poker stands at 5.22 percent. This number puts the game on the higher end of the table game spectrum, similar to the 5.26 house edge you’ll be up against on a double-zero roulette wheel. But in reality, the fact that so many raise bets will be pushed when the dealer doesn’t qualify lowers the true element of risk to just 2.56 percent. This is lower than Let It Ride and other popular table games, making Caribbean Stud Poker a player friendly game when played correctly.
Use this same chart when playing Caribbean Stud in Las Vegas.
Avoid the Sucker Bet
The most important strategic consideration for the game is discipline because you’ll be tempted to throw an extra $1 chip on the progressive jackpot bet. While this extra cost might seem minimal at first, wagering on the progressive side bet is always a losing proposition. The house edge you’re up against soars to more than 26 percent when you place the additional side bet. This also quickly adds up to $30 or more per hour based on how many hands are dealt per hour.
By avoiding the progressive side bet altogether, and sticking to the raise/fold guidelines listed above, you’ll give yourself the best chance to enjoy profitable sessions of Caribbean Stud Poker over the long run.
Caribbean Poker Created
Two of the most popular games played in casinos around the world are blackjack and poker, so it was only natural that they were brought together to create an entirely new table game.
Caribbean Stud Poker was created in 1993 by SHFL Entertainment, a company previously known as Shuffle Master Inc. that also designed other hybrid table games like Casino War and Let It Ride. Shuffle Master and its gaming portfolio went on to be owned by Bally Technologies, which in turn, was purchased by Scientific Games.
By combining the basic elements of blackjack and the poker variant known as stud, Caribbean Stud Poker holds several distinct draws for casino regulars. With a brisk pace of play, low house edge, simple rules, and gameplay mechanics, and an escalating payout table, Caribbean Stud Poker provides a perfect table game experience.
The game has become a staple of land-based casinos all across the planet, but during the last few years, Caribbean Stud Poker has also conquered the world of online casinos. The overwhelming majority of major online casino platforms offer Caribbean Stud Poker games.
You may also hear of a game known as Caribbean Draw Poker, and as the names suggest, these are close cousins. The only difference between the two games is that Caribbean Draw Poker allows players to discard up to two cards and draw from the deck while in Caribbean Stud Poker your five-card hand remains the same.
Due to a crucial provision in the rules which allows players to mitigate their risk, more on that to come, Caribbean Stud Poker offers a forgiving experience in terms of bankroll management. At first glance, the game’s house edge appears to put it on par with games of chance like roulette, but as you’ll see during this walkthrough, players enjoy a reduced risk factor when playing Caribbean Stud Poker.