How To Win at Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker, sometimes called casino stud poker, is a casino table game played online and live. The rules stem from five-card stud poker except you play against the house, not other players. There’s no bluffing involved, so don’t worry if you’ve not perfected your poker face!

Poker player and theorist David Sklansky claims to be the game’s inventor. He came up with a table game in 1982 called Casino Poker. Skalnsky showed the game to a fellow poker player who introduced it to The King International Casino in Aruba. The casino owner adapted the rules to create the Caribbean Stud Poker we know and love today.

What Are The Caribbean Stud Poker Rules?

The aim of Caribbean Stud Poker is to make the best five-card poker hand. Standard poker hand rankings are used, which makes the game simple. Most online and live casino offer a progressive jackpot, usually awarded by making a Royal flush.

  • High card
  • One pair
  • Two pair
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal flush

The game starts when you place your ante on the marked spot. An additional bet is required to compete for the progressive jackpot, while other side bets are available.

Each player and the dealer receive five cards face down. Nobody can look at their cards until the dealer turns over one of his. The player then decides whether to raise or fold. Folding forfeits the ante bet and the game ends.

An additional bet worth twice the ante is placed in the box marked bet if the player wants to take on the dealer. The dealer then reveals their four remaining cards and the best hand wins.

The dealer needs ace-king for their hand to qualify. You lose both the ante and bet if the dealer’s hand is better than yours. A tie results in you receiving both your ante and bet wagers back. Your bet amount is a push and your ante is paid out at even money if the dealer doesn’t qualify.

What Are The Payouts For Caribbean Stud Poker

Each online casino is different but most adhere to a payout table not dissimilar to the one shown below.

Hand strength Payout
Royal flush 100 to 1
Straight flush 50 to 1
Four of a kind 20 to 1
Full house 7 to 1
Flush 5 to 1
Straight 4 to 1
Three of a kind 3 to 1
Two pair 2 to 1
One pair or less 1 to 1

Don’t Makes These Mistakes

Caribbean Stud Poker players tend to come from a Texas Hold’em or video poker background and play the games similarly. This means they overestimate and underestimate certain hands.

First, A-Q is a powerful hand in Hold’em but complete trash in Caribbean Stud Poker. Fold A-Q without a second thought when you’re dealt it. Why? Because you cannot beat the dealer’s qualifying hand.

A-K on the other hand is trickier. You should play the majority of A-K hand because you can beat a qualifying dealer hand. Sometimes, both you and the dealer will have A-K and who wins comes down to the other three cards in your hand. Obviously, this makes hands such as A-K-Q-9-7 much stronger than A-K-5-3-2.

Always raise with A-K when you have Q-J or Q-T alongside it and you won’t go far wrong.

Caribbean Stud Players tend to undervalue low pairs, but they are strong hands. Raise every pair you receive because the odds are massively in your favour. You’ll make the most of your money from this game when you have a pair in your hand.

According to the optimal strategy charts freely available online you’ll raise around 52.55% of your hands. For the record, the house edge of Caribbean Stud Poker is around the 5% mark.