If you’re a serious poker player, you’ve probably heard of Caribbean Stud, a variant that requires no bluffing. In this online poker version, you need to beat the dealer’s hand by getting a high-ranking hand.
In this guide, we’ll review the rules, payouts, odds, house edge (5.2%), and what it all means for your Caribbean Stud poker strategy. Plus, we’ve listed the premium online casinos that offer this game.
In Caribbean Stud poker, your objective is to beat the house (dealer) with a high ranking hand. However, to win your bet, the dealer needs a qualifying hand (ace-king or higher) before the showdown.
There’s no bluffing required from any player at the table, so you only need to focus on the rules of the game. Plus there are no community cards, so your hand is made up only of the cards you receive.
Play by the Rules
To start the game, you have to place an ante wager, which goes into the pot.
Then you will receive five cards from the dealer face-down, and the dealer also gets five. But only four of theirs will be face-down, and the other face-up.
If the dealer qualifies, you can look at your cards and decide about your next move:
You can decide to fold and give up your ante bet
Or you can play and place a bet that’s double your ante
But if the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, you’ll get your ante bet back and progress to a new round.
Payouts & Odds
Since Caribbean Stud is played against the house, your payouts are impacted by the house edge. The actual payouts differ hugely from the casino payouts, so pay close attention.
Odds of Winning
Caribbean Stud Hand Probabilities
How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker
First, you’ll place your ante bet to start the table game and the optional $1 progressive bet.
Then, each player and the dealer will get five cards from the deck, with one of the dealer’s cards face-up.
Based on the dealer’s up-card, you need to decide if you’ll raise (double your bet) or fold.
Fourthly, the dealer will turn over their cards and see if they have a King or higher qualify.
If the dealer qualifies and you lose, all of your bets are lost.
But if the dealer qualifies and you win, your ante bet pays even-money.
If you and the dealer tie, both the ante and raise wagers will push.
Bets & Side Wagers
In any game of Caribbean Stud, you can place your main bets, and then the following:
Bonus – you can bet on the value of a player’s hand, which pays out 100 to one and a house edge of 7.39%.
Super Power – when the dealer has a pair or better, and the player has two pair or better, you win at 20 to one at a 25.33% house edge.
Power Play – this pays when the dealer has a pair but the player wins with a house edge of 12.41% and pays six to one.
Fuego – a side bet on consecutive winning hands with payouts ranging between eight to one and 40 to one on three to five winning hands. But the house edge ranges between 48.5% and 65.1%.
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
Many Caribbean Stud strategies rely on lowering the house edge as much as you can, which means raising if you have a pair or higher. Experts suggest only doing this when you have Aces, Kings, Jacks, eights, threes, or better.
If you’re dealt anything else, fold and go into a new round with your ante bet. According to experts, folding when you have less than the above, you’ll fold 47.5% of the time. This means that you’ll be raising 52.5% of the hands you’re dealt.
Since a Royal Flush pays 100 to one with actual odds of 649 740 to one, we recommend banking on a lower hand ranking. Dealers always keep Ace and King, so they’ll qualify 53% of the time, but only 23% if you raise.
On average, dealers win 13.5% of the time, and you’ll win 16% of the time when they qualify. And, dealers won’t qualify on the hands you raise 23% of the time.
Now, if you fold anything less than A, K, J, 8, or 3, you’ll give up a 5.3% house advantage. Other strategies state that the house edge changes on some cards:
When the dealer’s up-card matches – 5.3% edge
Raising on a pair or better – 5.4%
Raising on A, K, or better – 5.7% edge
Progressive Jackpot Strategy
Something that sets Caribbean Stud poker unique is that many casinos offer a progressive jackpot with it. To enter the jackpot, you need to make a $1 side bet besides the ante for your five-card hand.
Progressive bets are based on the poker value of your hand, be it a straight flush or something else. Paytables are available above for you to check.
Playing Caribbean Stud Poker
Overall, Caribbean Stud is a great game if you’re looking for a challenge or something different. But it’s not a table game you should play regularly because the house advantage gets expensive.
At least you can play it for free if you’re interested in playing over profits at online casinos. With that said, check out our favorite sites above to get a premium bonus to start playing!