Caribbean Stud Poker - How to Play

Caribbean Stud is an extremely fun game, but many players do not regard it as a poker game. In fact, it is definitely a variant of Poker, one in which players directly confront the house in a true heads up game. These days, lots of online casinos provide a lucrative progressive side-pot with Caribbean Stud Poker, which in effect means it resembles a modern slot more so than a traditional table game. Another main advantage of this variant of the game of Poker is that players cannot bluff during a round.

Characteristics of the Game

The objective and way to win in Caribbean Stud Poker is for the player to have a higher ranked hand than that of the dealer.

Caribbean Stud Poker Gameplay

You play directly versus the dealer in this popular variant of poker. One deck of 52 cards is used and the game begins with the first round of betting, called ‘placing the Ante’. You then receive 5 cards, with the dealer will also dealing himself 5cards. One of his cards is dealt face-up and visible to everyone. Based on the value of your hand and the dealer's card that is visible to you, you have to decide whether you think you have a stronger hand overall and thus the ability to win the round. If you decide to advance the game, you have to make a bet, or call the existing bet, which is usually set at a value double of that of the Ante. Alternatively, if you do decide to fold your hand, you only lose the ante and the round ends.

If you decide to call, the dealer will show his hand, the value of which must correspond to at least an Ace and a King in order to be eligible to play. If it does not qualify, you win even money, 1:1, on your original bet (Ante) and your bet is returned. If the dealer's hand qualifies and it is weaker than yours, you win the round. You win even money (1:1) on your initial bet (Ante), whereas the odds on your bet depend on the strength of your hand. The strength of the hands varies according to the normal ranking of hands found in Poker.

Eligibility of the dealer

The dealer will be considered ineligible to play if his hand holds less value than an Ace and a King. If his hand is considered as ineligible, the bets no longer count, and the money (ante) is returned to each player. The starting bets are doubled, but as they are generally low the winnings are still not extremely high. This will always be the case, even if the dealer has a better hand than the players do. The newly-placed bets are in play only if the dealer's hand has been disqualified by one or another of the players.

Hand Ranks and Pay-outs Odds

Besides doubling the bet of each hand, if the player manages to defeat the dealer, he also wins an additional amount on top. This amount can vary depending on the casino but in reality it’s usually pretty standard across the board. Below is a quick reference table that illustrates how the hands rank in order of best to worst and also the associated pay-out odds for each hand.

Hand RankingsPay-out Odds
Royal Flush100 to 1
Straight Flush50 to 1
Four-of-a-kind20 to 1
Full House7 to 1
Flush5 to 1
Straight4 to 1
Three-of-a-kind3 to 1
Two pairs2 to 1
One pair1 to 1

The Casinos Percentage of Deduction

Casinos generally deduct 5.3% of the amount of the player's winnings, but this percentage may be reduced in certain cases, sometimes to 2.3%. It depends on how standardized the game is and on a few strategic considerations. Therefor 2.3% corresponds to a situation where you have an optimal strategy and positioning. It is almost impossible to find such a percentage in an online casino.

You can now practice playing with this free game.

Want to learn more about gameplay in Caribbean Stud Poker? Check out another article from Caribbean-Poker.org!