Caribbean Stud Poker Overview
Best Caribbean Stud Poker Online Casinos
Despite its name, Caribbean Stud Poker is not a true variation of poker. This five card game, played with a single deck of 52 cards, is played against the dealer and not against other players around the table. Also, unlike true poker, luck is the deciding factor in this game and no amount of skill or typical poker features, such as bluffing, will be able to prevent the player from losing in the long run because of the permanent house edge. However, there are certain steps that players can take in order to minimize their losses, which will be elaborated on below.
Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the newest games in the gambling industry, and evolved out of the basic elements of poker which has, of course, been around for much longer. The first ‘sightings’ of Caribbean Stud Poker were on cruise ships circling the Caribbean in the 1980’s and on Aruba in the region. Because of the simple rules and similarity to poker, the game soon became popular among players, despite its hefty house edge.
As with any gambling pastime that slightly rises in popularity, Caribbean Stud Poker soon appeared in Las Vegas establishments, although, because of the high house edge, players were reluctant to put huge amounts on the game. In order to attract more players, casinos introduced progressive jackpots attached to the game, a move that seemed to work well. Today, Caribbean Stud Poker is reasonably well sought-after and has been made even moee popular since the introduction of the game to the world of online gambling. Internet gambling sites offer Caribbean Stud Poker alongside other games such as blackjack and poker, and nowadays players are drawn to this card game because of its simplicity, progressive jackpot and hints of classic poker.
The objective of Caribbean Stud Poker is to receive the highest ranked five card poker hand possible in the game and to beat the dealer’s hand.
Ante: The wager that each player needs to place at the beginning of the game before the cards are dealt.
Bet: A wager that is double the total of the ante.
Calling the Dealer: Playing out one’s hand in Caribbean Stud Poker.
Folding: When the player surrenders his or her hand.
Progressive Jackpot: A side bet with a jackpot that grows each time the game is played, until one lucky winner grabs the entire pot.
Push: The situation when wagers are returned because neither the player nor the dealer wins.
Qualified: For a game of Caribbean Stud Poker to be fully decided, the dealer must have a ‘qualified’ hand, meaning that his hand needs to include at least an Ace and a King.
How to Play/Game Rules
Essentially, Caribbean Stud Poker is all about making an initial bet, being dealt a hand of cards and then deciding whether to bet against the dealer or not. The player makes his or her decision based on the poker hand that was dealt, as well as one of the dealer’s cards that was dealt face up.
An initial bet – known as the ante - is made against the house/dealer.
The dealer deals the player a hand of cards.
Players decide whether they are in a position to bet against the house or not.
One of the dealer’s cards is left up facing to allow players to reach a better decision.
If the player decides not to continue in the game, the cards are folded and the player is forced to forfeit the ante (initial wager).
If the player decides to go ahead and wager against the dealer, the ante needs to be doubled.
To qualify, the dealer needs to have a hand that contains a King, Ace or better.
If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s and if the dealer has a qualified hand, the player wins.
If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, the raise bet is returned to the player and the initial bet is also returned on a one to one basis.
If the dealer’s hand qualifies and the player’s hand wins, the player is paid out on the raise, as well as on the ante (one to one).
A payout chart will determine just how much a player is paid out on a winning hand.
The highest card determines which side wins the game if the game reaches a point where the dealer and the player have the same hand.
If the player wins with… the payout is….
A Royal Flush – 100:1
A Straight Flush – 50:1
Four of a Kind - 20:1
A Full House – 7:1
A Flush – 5:1
A Straight – 4:1
Three of a Kind – 3:1
Two Pairs – 2:1
Ace-King or Single Pair – 1:1
Tips and Strategies
While Caribbean Stud Poker is a game of luck, there are many things that players can do in order to minimize their losses at the casino. One of them is to develop an optimal strategy, which may differ from casino to casino but is generally used as a rule of thumb.
The optimal strategy is as follows:
Call a bet when you have an Ace-King-Jack-X-X or higher.
Call a bet when you have an Ace-King and the dealer’s upcard denomination.
Fold in all other circumstances.
Caribbean Stud Poker Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t fold on a low pair, while calling on an Ace-King. Did you know that you have more chance of beating the dealer’s hand with a low pair of card that you do with an Ace-King combination?
Don’t be tempted to bluff. It is pointless to bluff in a game where the house has 55% edge most of the time. In other words, don’t bet all hands.
Don’t fold on all pairs under five. Believe it or not, statistically speaking, even the lowest pair of cards can beat the dealer’s hand half the time.
Do fold your cards when your hand is worth less than the dealer’s qualifying hand.
Do remember that a pair of eights has the highest chance of winning, according to statistics. This is one time that the dealer’s exposed card doesn’t play a deciding factor in your decision.
Do remember, too, that pairs of five, six or seven are heavily dependent on the dealer’s exposed upcard.
Do raise with a pair or higher.
Do raise on a King-Ace under these circumstances:
– if the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace or King and you have a Queen or Jack
– if the dealer’s exposed card is a two through to Queen and matches one of your cards.
– If the dealer’s card does not match any of yours, if the dealer’s card is less than your fourth highest card and if you have a Queen.
Don’t go blindly into the progressive jackpot. Even the cheap $1 price tag is not a good reason to play this bet automatically. Experts suggest that, as a rule of thumb, play the jackpot when the jackpot is high, otherwise don’t bother.
Play for enjoyment. Remember that Caribbean Stud Poker has a house edge of nearly 5.3%, which puts it on par with roulette. If you think you’re don’t have the temperament for this game, rather avoid it.
If you are on a winning streak, stop when the going is still good. Statistics say that you will lose this game in the long run so grab your winnings and go when you’re still up!
Wager wisely. As with all gambling pastimes, you should budget your bankroll and decide just how much money you can afford to lose at the casino. Set yourself a limit as to how much you will spend, as well as how long your gaming session will run. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of Caribbean Stud Poker!
Play for free. Most online casinos will give you to opportunity to practice Caribbean Stud Poker for free. This is a great way to get to know the rules, practice the optimal strategy and apply all that theory to a practical game, without risking your own bankroll.
The simplicity of the game, the easy-to-follow rules and the exciting poker elements in Caribbean Stud make this a popular pastime at casinos. Players seem to ignore the relatively high house edge and play this game for the enjoyment and comfortable pace.
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