Caribbean Stud Poker - Basic Strategy

In this article we will see two different strategies. You will know from the following which one is more suitable for you. Caribbean Stud is a game where the house holds a clear advantage and where the player confronts the dealer one-on-one. It's a game of luck. Consequently, it is rarely possible to predict what cards will come out, short of your having an inordinately mathematical mind or friends at your side who are observing your game in progress.

Strategy 1 – Folding everything with a value less than an Ace or King

The first strategy is very simple and is summarized as follows: as soon as you have cards with a rank inferior to a King or an Ace, you fold. This means therefore that you can only play with these two cards. But you should adopt this strategy only in the case of a strong hand. In effect, any pair – even a pair of 2s – can prevail against a strong hand composed of a King and an Ace. Therefore, in the case of a strong hand remember that you only play the King and the Ace; otherwise you fold right away.


Here is an example of a game situation. You have in your hand an Ace, a 10, a 3, and two 4s. The dealer has just placed a King on the table. Now, you know how to act. By having the Ace in your possession, you are certain to be able to compose the strongest hand in the game. Moreover, you know you can't change cards. Even if the dealer has a pair of 4s like you, you will prevail because of the King. Of course, it is hoped that the dealer doesn't come out with another Ace. Otherwise this would be the opportunity to constitute a Royal Flush. In that case, what should you do? Well, you will raise the bet, of course! First of all, because you have an Ace and a King; second, because you have a pair.

Strategy 2 – Betting for all the right reasons

The next tactic has little to do with the cards but rather with the way that you bet. In Caribbean Stud, the game can be a progressive type: the more you bet, the more you feed a jackpot that's picked up at the end of the game. That explains the interest in not placing progressive bets when the jackpot is too small. In fact, it's necessary for the jackpot to be worthwhile in terms of winnings. If the opposite is true, it's useless to wear yourself out for an insignificant jackpot. Continue to play normally.

Otherwise, Caribbean Stud remains a fairly simple game with a withholding rate of 5.4 percent on winnings that goes directly to the bank. This percentage is about the same in all the casinos; moreover, it’s a little too high for the taste of some players, all the more so since one is never certain of winning in this game. In Caribbean Stud Poker, the player goes heads up against the dealer and plays with a hand of five cards, similar to traditional poker.

Useful Tips for Caribbean Stud Poker

In this poker game, you are forced to play with your initial five cards. You may not ask the dealer to exchange them. In Caribbean Stud Poker, there is also no bluffing. In traditional Poker, one is permitted to bluff, as this act is considered to be a game strategy that can lead to victory. To do this, you have to throw the adversary off balance and place him in a tricky situation. In Caribbean Stud Poker however that is not tolerated, one has to clearly see the five cards that you hold. It's therefore foolish to call on the starting bet if you don't have at least a pair or a strong hand like Ace-King.

Now, let's look at some very specific rules in Caribbean Stud. To start playing, you have to bet an amount that shows that you have entered the game. The dealer will then deal you five different cards. He, too, has five cards. One of these cards is placed face up. This gives you the chance to fold immediately or to call on the starting bet. To stay in the game, you have to raise the bet each time.

The revealed card does not indicate much about the outcome of the game. Using a strategy is therefore useless in this particular case. Also note that sometimes the dealer must have an Ace or a King to continue playing. If he has neither one of them, the money you initially wagered is returned to you, and you can even win still more money. It's after the second bet that the dealer asks to see the cards. You can also raise the bet when you hold a pair or a stronger combination. Regardless of the pair you have, you have the means to strike a good blow. However, it can occur that the dealer has stronger cards than yours. In that case, what should you do?

Imagine you have a pair of 3s and your best card is a King. The dealer shows you a card: it's an Ace. First of all, you know that the house is not going to stay; second, their strongest card (the Ace) beats yours (a King). Moreover, if the dealer himself also has a pair higher than 3s, it's the house that is likely to win; unless of course it has nothing or only a pair of 2s. In that case, your strategy will be one of caution: you fold.

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