CARIBBEAN STUD POKER – Playing Guide and Rules to Playing Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy Guide and Game Rules – How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker Online or at Land Casinos: Caribbean Stud Poker is hundreds of years old and a very easy game to learn to play. Caribbean Stud is a variant of five card stud played with a single deck of 52 cards. You play against the Dealer rather than other players, much like Blackjack. It is a win-or-lose game with higher payouts for the better hands. There is also a progressive jackpot side bet.
Poker play begins with an Ante. You and the Dealer will each get five cards. Your cards will all be face down and the Dealer will have one card face up. If the Dealer has an Ace or King you may wish to fold here and lose only your ante. The Dealer only ‘qualifies’ with A, K, or higher. You will either Fold or Raise. Your Raise will be equal to 2x the Ante. So an ante of 1unit would see a Raise of 2 for a total wager of 3 units,
Once you fold or have Raised, the Dealer will expose their cards. If they do not have a King or Ace the game ends and your Raise is returned as a push or tie along with your ante and chips from the Dealer equal to your ante. You do not win the raise bet if the dealer doesn’t qualify.
If the Dealer has a qualifying hand you will compare hands. If the Dealer has a superior hand you lose your ante, along with your raised bet. If your hand is better you win the ante and the raise.
If the Dealer had a qualifying hand and you got a premium hand, i.e. two pair or better you will be paid for the better hand according to the following table. This can vary in odd casinos but the numbers will be on the table felt for you to see.
Royal Flush – 100:1
Straight Flush – 50:1
Four of a Kind – 20:1
Full House – 7:1
Flush – 5:1
Straight – 4:1
Three of a Kind – 3:1
Two Pair – 2:1
Pair – 1:1
Ace or King – 1:1
Some casinos offer a Progressive Jackpot in addition and the dealer does not need to qualify for you to take all or part of the pot. It is activated by placing a side bet with every ante and pays percentages of the pot for certain hands. The standard is 100% for a Royal Flush and 10% of the total pot for a Straight Flush (though may have a max $ cap for Straight Flush)
Statistically the Progressive bet is a low expectation wager unless the jackpot is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Its probably better to buy a lotto ticket than contribute until the odds are more favorable with a larger jackpot.
The three common strategies for this game are very similar and the loss or gain compared to each other over several hundred hands is less than half an ante. A pro player will know how to analyze the numbers and may choose to play optimal strategy but the there is not as much betting action here for the casual player. Even the Wizard of Odds has stated that probably no one has a perfect strategy for the game.
Falling in the middle is the suggestion to bet (raise) any time you have any pair or better. You will lose less often even as the dealer qualifies over 56% of the hands. Your pair will beat the qualifying Ace or King often enough to still keep your play in the higher returns.
For more constant betting action it is acceptable to simply bet any time you have and A or K or better. Still a high return expectancy return the expected loss is only another half an ante or so over the previous strategy.
This can be brought nearer an optimal strategy by folding some hands of A, K or better unless the Dealer has a 2 through Queen and it matches one of your cards. Your matching card makes it far less likely the Dealer will get a pair.
Caribbean Stud is a straightforward and fast paced game with some decent wins possible on occasion. Once you get the feel for it, it really is a “gut” game and knowing the most basic strategies you will be able to trust your instincts for when to increase your antes and hope for the Royal Flush.
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