When we think of poker games, most of us imagine a game of Texas Hold’em. But one of the best alternatives to this classic is Caribbean stud poker. This could be an online casino game if you’re looking for something new and exciting. It combines traditional casino poker with busting the house for unrivalled entertainment.
Not sure how to get started? We are here to help! Keep reading for everything you need to know about playing Caribbean stud poker.
What is Caribbean Stud Poker?
Caribbean stud poker is a relatively new addition to casinos. It is hard to trace the exact beginning of the game. Professional poker player David Sklansky claimed he invented it in 1982. It is a twist on traditional five-card stud poker. The object is the same—you want to get the highest five-card hand possible. Yet rather than players winning against each other, they must beat the dealer’s hand. This means there is no bluffing around the table and no deception.
Online Caribbean stud poker is the electronic version of this game available at most online casinos. The rules are identical, but the cards are shuffled electronically using an RNG. Live casino games are also available at many UK online casinos. These titles do feature a real dealer. Video footage of the croupier is streamed to your device. You can then play along in real time for a more authentic land-based experience.
How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker
Learning how to play Caribbean stud poker is pretty easy. This is especially true if you already know how to play regular five-card stud. The game is identical other than the fact punters play against the house at all times. You want a hand higher than the dealer’s to win. Below we run through the rules and winning hands in more detail.
Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker
A Caribbean stud poker game always starts with all players placing an even money “ante” bet. The croupier then deals five cards face down to players. They will then deal a five-card hand to themselves, but their final card is face-up. Based on this face-up card and their hand, players can then choose to either:
- Fold their hand if they think their hand will lose
- Place another bet of double the ante if they think their hand will win
The dealer then looks at their entire five-card hand. If their hand is at least A-K-4-3-2, they can “open” their hand to the table for all players to see. Players with higher hands than the dealer will receive a payout. The hand ranking system is the same one used for regular stud poker. A royal flush is the highest hand, whereas a high card is the worst.
In Caribbean stud poker, it makes no difference what cards the other players have. For example, say the dealer had a two-pair of Aces and 7s. If you have a three-of-a-kind but another player has a royal flush, you will still win your bet. Both of you will win your bets as both hands are higher than the dealer’s hand. If the dealer cannot open their hand, all players automatically win and receive a payout
Caribbean Stud Card Rankings
Anyone familiar with casino poker will already know card rankings. But, if you’re new to the game, it can seem a little confusing. The table below details of all the different hands from best to worst.
|Royal Flush||A sequence of 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit.|
|Straight Flush||A sequence of any other card numbers all in the same suit. For example, A-2-3-4-5 of diamonds or 5-6-7-8-9 of clubs.|
|Four of a Kind||Four cards with the same face value. For example, four Kings or four 3s.|
|Full House||A five-card hand made up of a three-of-a-kind and a single pair—for example, K-K-K-3-3 or 10-10-10-6-6.|
|Flush||Five cards, all in the same suit. Their face value doesn’t matter—for example, A-7-5-4-3-2 of spades or K-10-8-7-4-2 of diamonds.|
|Straight||Five cards, all in sequence. The suit of the cards doesn’t matter—for example, 3-4-5-6-7 in various suits.|
|Three of a Kind||Three cards, all with the same face value. For example, three Jacks or three 2s.|
|Two Pair||Two lots of two cards with the same value. For example, two 3s and two Queens.|
|Pair||Simply two cards of the same face value. For example, two Kings or two 9s.|
|High Card||All other hands are high cards. The hand with the highest face card wins. 2 is always the lowest, while Ace is the highest.|
The value of the cards distinguishes hands of the same ranking in hand. For example, four-of-a-kind Jacks would win over four-of-a-kind 2s. Where two hands are identical (such as the player and dealer with a pair of Aces), you look at the cards outside the hand. The highest card outside the pair is known as the kicker. Whoever has the highest kicker wins. Learn these winning hands and rules off by heart—you want to have the higher than the dealer to win!
Betting Types and Payouts
Ante Bets and Call Bets
There are two main bets that you can place in a game of Caribbean stud poker:
- Ante Bet: The initial bet of the game is the “ante” bet. This is the amount players must put on the table if they want to be dealt in. Most online Caribbean stud poker games will have the ante capped at as little as £2.50. If you fold after cards have been dealt, you lose your ante.
- Call Bet: If you do not fold, you can place additional bets after seeing your cards. This is called a “call bet”, though some sites will refer to it as a “raise wager” or “raise bets”. Call bets are always worth double the ante bet, tripling your initial wager.
Winning ante bets are always paid out at a rate of 1:1. This means it is an even-money bet. Where the dealer doesn’t open their hand, players automatically win. But they only receive a payout for the ante.
Where the dealer does open their hand, players with winning hands also get paid for their call bet. The value of your hand determines the payout rate of call bets. Rarer hands will have higher payouts, whereas common hands will have lower payouts. The exact call bet payout rates vary between sites, but many follow the below schedule.
|Winning Hand||Payout Rate|
|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|
|Pair||1 to 1|
|High Card||1 to 1|
Caribbean Stud Poker Progressive Jackpot
You can also place an optional bet to qualify for the progressive jackpot feature. This is one of the most exciting features of Caribbean stud poker. You must have a flush or higher-scoring hand to win the progressive jackpot side bet. The bet will win regardless of whether your hand beats the dealer’s hand.
Bets are paid out on a sliding scale. For example, a royal flush pays 100% of the progressive jackpot. Comparatively, a straight flush pays out 10%. Payout rates vary between online casinos but are generally as follows:
|Winning Hand||Payout With £1 Bet|
|Royal Flush||100% of the progressive jackpot|
|Straight Flush||10% of the progressive jackpot|
|Four of a Kind||£500|
The value of the progressive jackpot will be different at every online table. In many cases, hitting the jackpot prize can be highly rewarding. Yet hitting the jackpot in Caribbean stud is a difficult thing to do. To avoid losses, only place progressive bets when the jackpot is six-figures.
How to Win Caribbean Stud Poker
Playing Caribbean stud and winning Caribbean stud are two different things. The game does need strategy and skill. Learn what hands to fold and which to call bets on, and you can make your gameplay highly profitable. There are also a few other tips that can help improve your bankroll.
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
The optimal strategy for playing Caribbean stud poker is pretty simple. When first starting, our best advice is to follow these tips:
- Always make a call bet if you have a pair or higher
- Always fold hands that are lower than an Ace-King
This leaves only one hand to be confused about – the A-K hand. If you are dealt Ace-King, you can use the dealer’s exposed card to guide your decision to fold or call. You can call if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace or a King. But you should only call if you have an A-K-J or an A-K-Q in your hand. Even if the dealer holds an Ace and a King, your other high card will help you win.
If the dealer’s up card is any other value (2 through Queen), you also call. But this is assuming that you have a card of the same rank in your hand. For example, if the dealer’s face-up card is a 10 and you have a 10, a King, and an Ace, you should call. But you should fold if you don’t have a 10 in your hand.
This Caribbean stud strategy helps to limit the house edge by up to 2.3% so you can boost your winnings.
Other Tips for Winning Caribbean Stud
There are a few other tips you can also implement when you play Caribbean stud poker. Follow these, and you can further boost your winnings while minimising your losses:
- Set yourself a budget for Caribbean stud and stick to it. Gambling more than you can afford to lose can leave you in a sticky situation.
- Know when to walk away from the table. Chasing losses or running after winning streaks can result in huge losses. The house edge means the casino always wins in the long run, so never forget this!
- Avoid progressive jackpot bets when playing Caribbean stud unless the prize pool is at six figures. Winning the jackpot is risky and only worthwhile if lucrative rewards are up for grabs.
- Stick with the Caribbean stud poker strategy detailed above. This is the best way to reduce the house edge and improve your chances of winning.
To win the jackpot, you’ll need a royal flush, which pays out at 1000 to 1 for bets of 5 coins.
Many online casinos offer Caribbean Stud Poker, including 888 Casino, Betfair Casino, Leo Vegas Casino, and Mr Green Casino.
The house edge for Caribbean Stud Poker is about 5.22%, so the odds are slightly in favour of the casino.
Online Caribbean Stud Poker Games are completely legitimate and regulated by the government. You can play confidently, knowing you will get a fair game at any reputable site.
More than 10,000 Caribbean Stud Poker games are accessible online. You should visit our Caribbean Stud Poker page to discover the best and the latest options on the internet today.
Various versions of Caribbean stud poker exist, such as Oasis Poker and 3-Card Poker. Even though their rules and payouts are slightly different, they are all based on five-card stud poker.
When playing, the best strategy is to raise with a pair or better and fold if you have anything less than an Ace-King combination. This way, you will maximize your chances of winning!