Caribbean Stud Rules

Playing the Games - Caribbean Stud

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Caribbean StudBasics of Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud Poker is a lot of fun to play, but just a word of warning...it is not a great money maker, with a house edge of over 5% even if played optimally.  So don't look to raid the casino's coffers playing this game.
The rules of the game are pretty simple...

  • Play begins with players placing a starting wager, called the 'ante'
  • Each player is dealt a 5 card, face up hand.
  • The dealer also receives 5 cards, although 1 is face up, the other 4 are face down.
  • Players must then decide whether to stay of fold.  If they fold, they forfeit their ante.
  • If they stay, they must add a further bet equal to 2x the ante ('the raise').
  • Once players have made their choices, the dealer reveals their cards. Now, for the game to continue, the dealer must qualify (have a minimum Ace and King poker hand).  If the dealer doesn't qualify, players still in the game win even money on their ante and the raise is pushed (ie returned to the player - no win no lose)  If the dealer does qualify, then the player's and dealer's hands are compared and the highest wins (applying normal poker rankings).

If dealer's hand wins, the player loses both the ante and raise

If the player's hand wins, the player wins even money on the ante, and gets odds on the additional wager according to the following payoff table:

Caribbean Stud Strategy
As we noted above this is not a great returning game, with a house edge of just over 5% even if played optimally.  So if you are looking to win big at the casino, this perhaps isn't your best game choice.  But still, it is lots of fun, and to play it optimally is really easy.

Optimal strategy for Caribbean Stud is pretty simple, and its this:
·    Raise on A-K-J-8-3 or better (the "beacon hand")
·    Fold otherwise.

While this won't make you a long-term winner, it will help slow your losses. It's the paying hands, a pair or better, that will net you the good wins. Trouble is that the dealer must qualify (A-K) in order for you to get the real payoffs and this only 54% of the time.  This means that 46% of the time you'll only get paid for your Ante bet at 1-1 no matter how good your cards are.

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