How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker Online
Caribbean Stud is one of the most popular casino poker games at live casinos. This is a simple game to play, with just a single decision point. At the same time there is a lot of potential for a big win if you make a great poker hand against the qualifying hand of the dealer. You will often find a progressive jackpot side-bet associated with this game too.
This guide takes you through how to play Caribbean Stud from the perspective of someone who is new to the game. Even if you are familiar with poker concepts, there are parts of this game it is worth learning before you sit down and enjoy it for real money.
First of all below I have covered the objectives of the game, and some of the payouts available for making good poker hands. Next the setup of the game and the sequence of events is discussed, which includes that all-important decision on whether to bet or fold your hand. Finally, the progressive jackpot side bet is covered, this involves the payout and the pros and cons of taking this bet at all.
Caribbean Stud Poker – Payouts and Qualification
The basis of this game is that your 5-card poker hand should beat the dealer’s 5-card poker hand. If it does then you will get paid out according to the strength of your hand, based on the following table.
Royal Flush 100-to-1
Straight Flush 50-to-1
Four of a Kind 20-to-1
Full House 7-to-1
3 of a Kind 3-to-1
Pair or below 1-to-1
There is a caveat here. You will only get paid out if the dealers hand ‘qualifies’ by getting ace-king high or better. If the dealer does not qualify then the strength of your hand does not matter, your raise bet will be returned and you will win 1-to-1 on your ante bet. This can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you make a great poker hand.
The section below shows how you get from the start of the hand to the part where you compare hands with the dealer to determine the winner.
Caribbean Stud Poker – The Order of Play
The deck is shuffled and all players wishing to be part of the hand need to place an ‘Ante’ bet to be dealt into the hand. Next each player and the dealer gets 5 cards, these are dealt clockwise, 1 at a time. One of the dealer’s cards is visible, though this does not make any difference to most of your decision making.
You check your hand and decide whether to raise or fold. If you raise you will be continuing with the hand and need to put down double your ante bet into the ‘raise’ betting circle. If you fold then you lose your ante, and take no further part in the hand. A basic strategy is to play Ace-King or better and fold any hands with less than this. There are situations where you can play Ace-Queen high too.
Next the dealer will reveal her hand. If this does not qualify, then you are paid 1-to-1 on the ante bet regardless of what your hand is, and the next hand begins. If the dealer qualifies with Ace-King high or better, then your hands are compared. If you win then you are paid according to the above table according to your raise bet, and also paid 1-to-1 on the ante on top. If you are tied, for example both of you have a pair of kings, then the next highest card is used to determine the winner. It is possible, though rare than you could have a tie with all of your cards, in which case the bet is returned.
This is a simple game, with a decision which is mostly very easy to make – this explains the enduring appeal of Caribbean Stud Poker both in live casinos and online.
Caribbean Stud Poker – The Progressive Jackpot Side Bet
There is an additional bet associated with most Caribbean Stud games. This costs a flat $1, and pays out a big progressive jackpot if you hit royal flush. There are some smaller prizes on offer too, including 10% of the jackpot total for a straight-flush. You’ll get a fixed $75 for a full house, $100 for 4 of a kind and $50 for a flush too.
This side bet has a much bigger house edge in favor of the casino than the main game does. Compared to almost every bet in the casino this is a bad wager to make. On the positive side, it is just one dollar, and it does add a little excitement to your play. Just having the chance of winning that progressive jackpot gives you permission to dream about what you would do with the money after all. This is a personal choice, and one that adds some entertainment value for recreational gamblers.