Caribbean Stud Poker Rules and Tips

Caribbean stud poker is a pretty simple game so once you've read through the rules and started playing there should be no problems with getting the hang of it.

The basic object of the game is to get a five card hand of cards that has a superior poker hand ranking to the dealer's. There are three stages of the game:

  1. You place an ante bet and click deal. The dealer and the player are both drawn five cards each. You're able to see all of the player's cards but only one of the dealer's.
  2. You must decide whether to fold and lose the ante bet or to raise. Raising requires a bet worth two times the original bet. For example, if your ante is £10 then you would place an extra £20 leaving your total bet at £30.
  3. If you fold, then all of the cards will disappear along with your bet. Raising will reveal the dealer's cards. Your set of cards will then be compared against the dealer's and the set with the best poker hand ranking will win.

Show me the Money

The basic payouts range from 1:1 up to 100:1. The payouts of 1:1 are handed out if you win with a pair, a high card hand or if the dealer's hand doesn't qualify (to qualify a hand must have be a king + ace, or better). The rest of the standard payouts are listed below although they can vary slightly:

  • High Card – 1:1
  • One Pair – 1:1
  • Two Pairs – 2:1
  • Three of a Kind – 3:1
  • Straight – 4:1
  • Flush – 5:1
  • Full House – 7:1
  • Four of a Kind – 20:1
  • Straight Flush – 50:1
  • Royal Flush – 100:1

The progressive jackpot payouts tend to start at a flush and work all the way up to the much-coveted royal flush. These payouts can be a multiplication of the side bet, a set figure or a percentage of the jackpot. However, the prize for a royal flush will always be the full amount of the progressive jackpot.

Caribbean Stud Poker Tips

We must stress that you should always play the progressive jackpot side bet. Without it, the game has a much higher house edge than the 5.24% that applies when you play the side bet.

In fact, that house edge isn't as bad as it sounds. Your ability to choose whether to raise or not brings it down to a much more manageable 2.54%.

There are some strategies for Caribbean stud poker but most can prove to be extremely complicated and work only marginally better than using the rules below. So, in an effort to keep it simple we've laid down a few laws here:

Always fold unless:

  • You have a pair or better
  • You have ace, king, queen, jack and any other card
  • You have ace, king, queen and the dealer's up card matches one of yours.
  • You have ace, king, jack and the dealer's up card matches one of yours.
  • You have ace, king, 10 and the dealer's up card matches one of yours.