Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker: Betting Guide For Beginners

In poker, there are different variations that you can play in a casino. Even if you have been playing poker all your life, you might not be aware of Caribbean Stud Poker. More often than not, you don’t know the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker.

The Brief History of Caribbean Stud Poker

What comes to your mind when you hear Caribbean stud poker? 

Hmm…Let me guess. 

You might probably be thinking of some Caribbean cruise. Am I right?

Well, somehow you are right. This card came is popularly originated on various casino-friendly Caribbean islands. Then, soon it became popular on cruise ships that allow gambling. Thereupon, it spread to mainstream casino destinations. 

What is Caribbean Stud Poker?

This game is more of a casino game than a poker game. Here, you are playing against the house and not with other players. Just like the game of Blackjack. The Caribbean Stud Poker is more or less like the gold old-fashioned 5-card stud. So, if have been playing 5-card stud since you were young then you already know the game. 

In these poker variants, the hand starts with the player making an Ante bet. That is why ante is mandatory for this game. (We will discuss more ante and bet later on this article).

How does the Caribbean Stud Poker deck look like?

Just like a regular poker game, the Caribbean stud poker has a deck of 52 cards. Moreover, an automatic shuffling machine usually randomizes the card. 

Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker: The Caribbean Stud Poker Hands

Before you proceed with the rules first, you must first understand the hands. In this game, the hand rules are much easier to understand than other poker variants. Although, the rules are still the same. 

Do you know how to play Texas Hold’em?

The hand ranks in Caribbean Stub Poker are the same. But in this game, the bottom hand is the worst while the top hand is the best. Here are the hands:

Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 of any one suit (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, or Clubs).

Straight Flush: This is a sequence of any 5 cards of any one suit.

Four of a Kind: In this Caribbean Stud Poker hand, you need four cards of the same rank.

Full House: You need three of a kind and a pair.

Flush: This includes all five cards of one suit (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, or Clubs).

Straight: Composed of any 5 cards in a sequence. On the Straight hand, the suit does not matter.

Three of a Kind: Here, you need to have three cards of the same rank.

Two Pairs: This is composed of two cards of the same rank together with (another) two cards of the same rank.

One Pair: You need two cards of the same rank.

High Card: Here, Ace is the best. You need to A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 in descending orders.

How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker? 

Earlier, we have mentioned the game blackjack. Well, the Blackjack table is almost the same as the Caribbean stud poker. Wherein, it has a semi-circular table. The dealer is located on one side while the other side for seven players. On the player’s side, there is a spot where he can place an “ante” and a place for “bet”. When learning how to play the game, you must know what the two types of bets are. 

What is the Caribbean Stud Ante?

Ante is a mandatory bet on this game. Therefore, if you want to play Caribbean Stud Poker, you have to make an ante bet. Moreover, the optional $1 progressive side bet. Next, the dealer and each player will get five cards each. Here, all the cards are dealt face down except one face-up card for the dealer. 

In addition, the dealer will reveal her top card. After that, she will push your card closer to you. Then, the player will examine their cards. But they should not share information with others. Here, you can decide how good you think your cards are. That is why you need to understand how the hand rank rules work. 

When you are not confident with your card, then you can fold. When you call for fold, you are also losing your ante. The dealer will then get your cards together with your ante bet. 

What is the Caribbean Stud Bet?

If you are confident with your card, then you call a raise. In a raise, you are doubling your ante bet. Here, you need to make an extra bet. For an instance, you have $10 as your ante bet. If you want to continue, then you need to place an additional $20 for your bet. 

What happens when the dealer qualifies?

After all the players make their move (fold/raise), the dealer will reveal all her cards. She will arrange them into the highest hand rank possible. Here, the dealer is trying to “qualify”. In other words, her poker hands need to be Ace-King or need to be high rank. Nevertheless, if her hands are in a lower rank, then the dealer will not qualify. 

When the dealer qualifies, the player will then compare their hands against the dealer’s hand. If the player’s hand rank higher, then he wins and gets the money on the ante. The player will also get a payout based on the strength of her cards. Nevertheless, if the player loses then the house will get her ante and bet. However, if the player’s hand ties with the dealer’s hands, he will get both her ante and bet back. 

What will happen when the dealer does not qualify?

Simple. All the remaining players will win. Yet, they will only win their ante bet while the other bet will be returned. 

This is the frustrating side of Caribbean Stud Poker when the dealer does not qualify. Most especially if you have a royal flush, you will only get even money on your ante bet. But, no payout for the strength of your card. 

What are the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker?

When playing this game, you need to know the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker. Moreover, the most important rule among the others is “No sharing of information” about your cards until the game ends. 

#1 Rule: In this game, you can only play one hand.

#2 Rule: Then, you must keep your cards within the view of the dealer all the time.

#3 Rule: In Caribbean Stud Poker, you can touch your cards only once. After you have seen and examined them, decide what will be your move. Then, do not touch your cards again.

#4 Rule: Here, the DEALER MUST QUALIFY. She must have an Ace-King or higher. If not the player will automatically win the Ante Bet. The lowest qualifying hand in this game would be A, K, 4, 3, and 2. Moreover, the highest non-qualifying hand would be A, Q, J, 10, and 9.

Furthermore, when the dealer does not qualify, the player would win the ante bet. In addition, the raise bet would be a push.

#5 Rule: Progressive Side Bet. Before the game starts, players need to place ante bet, right? He can also make a progressive side bet. Moreover, you should only make a side bet based on the strength of your own Caribbean Poker hands. 

The rules are of the game are very simple right. That is why playing Caribbean Stud Poker is so much fun. However, you need to know that the house edge will remain over five percent. Which is very bad compared to the other casino table games. 

Caribbean Stud Poker Pay Table

Hand PayoffJackpot Bonus
Royal Flush200:1100% of Jackpot
Straight Flush50:12500:1
Four of a kind20:1250:1
Full House7:1100:1
Flush5:125:1
Straight4:110:1
Three of a kind3:15:1
Two pair2:1
Pair1:1
Ace + king1:1

What is the best Caribbean Stud Poker strategy?

Now that you know the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker, you must also learn how to make a simple strategy to win. 

  1. Avoid playing progressive side bet. These are only optional and most of the time it is not good for you. In this game, the odds of making one of those 5-cards hand in one deal is pretty much low. So low that you will never make even money from a progressive side bet. In Caribbean Stud Poker, the actual house edge with progressive side bet is 26%. Which is very high and shows that you are at disadvantage.
  2. In this game, always make a bet when you have a pair or better cards. 
  3. In addition, you should make a bet when you have an Ace, King, and one card that matches the dealer’s upcard. 
  4. Moreover, wager if you have an Ace, King, and Queen as well as Ace, King, and Jack. Alternatively, make a bet if any of your cards match the dealer’s upcard. 
  5. When you have an Ace, King, Queen, and two cards, you can make the bet. If and only if, you have two other cards that are higher than the dealer’s upcard. 
  6. Apart from that, fold. Do not risk your chance, if you know that your cards are not strong enough to beat the dealer. Or else, you will eventually lose. 

When you follow this game strategy or if you keep out making a progressive side bet, then you have a 5.22% house edge. 

Caribbean Stud Poker FAQs:

How many decks are often used in Caribbean Stud Poker?

The game has a deck of 52 cards with no jokers just like a regular poker game. In addition, an automatic shuffling machine usually randomizes the card. If you are playing in a land-based casino, two decks are used to speed up the game.

What is the smallest bet that I can place in Caribbean Stud Poker?

The smallest bet depends on the casino you are playing. With online casino, they tend to offer lower limits with this kind of game. Because they do not have dealers and overhead of tables to think about.

Why does the Caribbean Stud Poker so famous in American casinos?

There are many reasons why this game is popular in this part of the world. First, you are playing against the dealer. Next, the game pace is slow and the rules of the Caribbean Stud Poker are simple to understand.

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