Caribbean Stud Poker Overview

Caribbean Stud Poker closely resembles five card stud except that Caribbean Stud is played against the house and not against the other players. The game also contains an optional progressive side bet for players to wager on the outcome of their hands.

The object of the game is to get a better hand than the dealer. There’s no way you can dictate which cards you get but you do you have the opportunity to raise and fold as you see fit.

How to Play Stud Poker

At the beginning of the hand, the player makes an ante wager and the optional $1 progressive side bet (more on the side bet later). The player is then dealt five cards face down and the dealer receives four cards face down plus one card face up.

The player may now look at his own cards but he cannot show them to anyone else. After looking at the cards, the player now has the option to fold or raise. If the player folds, the ante and side bets are lost and the hand is ended.

If the player chooses to raise, the player must put in an additional bet equal to twice the size of the original ante. The dealer will then reveal his remaining 4 cards and check to see if his hand qualifies. If the hand does not qualify, the player will win even money on the ante bet and the raise bet will be returned to the player.

The dealer’s hand must have an Ace-King or higher to qualify. This means that if the dealer has five random cards below Ace and King, the hand does not qualify. If at least two of the cards are an Ace and King or the dealer has a pair or better, the hand qualifies. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, the player will receive even money on his ante wager and the raise bet will be returned without any winnings.

When the dealer’s hand does qualify, that hand is then compared to the player’s hand. If the dealer’s hand wins, the ante and raise bets are lost and a new hand may begin. If the player has a better hand than the dealer, the player will receive even money on his ante and the raise bet will receive a payout according to the following chart:

Caribbean Stud Payout Chart

Progressive Side Bet

This optional bet is activated by paying a dollar at the beginning of each Caribbean Stud hand. The game then continues as normal and if you catch a strong hand without folding, you’ll be paid according to the following chart:

Side Bet Payouts

The progressive jackpot starts out at some dollar amount determined by the casino and then a percentage of every dollar wagered for the side bet is donated to the progressive jackpot. As a result, the jackpot grows bigger and bigger until someone hits it. At that point, the jackpot resets to the predetermined amount and begins growing again.

Basic Caribbean Stud Strategy

The optimal strategy for Caribbean Stud is wonderfully simple. All you have to do is follow these strategy rules and you’ll be able to lower the house advantage. The house will always have an advantage but at least your losses will be smaller and your wins larger and more frequent.

  1. Always raise with a pair or better
  2. Always fold with anything less than A-K
  3. Raise if you have at least an A-K and one of your cards matches the dealer’s up card
  4. Raise if you have A-K-J or better