Caribbean Stud Rules

Posted on
Laura Klusaite

Table Of Contents

  • Caribbean Stud Poker is a popular Casino card game
  • You play against the house rather than other players
  • You can improve your winning chances with the help of a few strategy tips

A friend once told me, 'You cannot call yourself a Poker player if you only know how to play one variant of Poker'.

  1. A free online version of Caribbean Stud Poker. Test out your Caribbean Stud Poker strategy here. Practice for Vegas. Try your luck at the progressive jackpot.
  2. If you choose one of the first two options the game is played just like Caribbean Stud Poker. If you choose to draw, generally one card cost one times the ante, two cards twice the ante, three cards three times the ante, four cards one or two times the.
  3. CARIBBEAN STUD POKER. It’s an exotic twist on things, with plenty of excitement and big winners all around. Kind of like Borgata itself. Caribbean Stud is a five card poker game. To play, wager in the “Ante Box” before the dealer announces no more bets.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules Like most casino table games, you buy in with chips and the first thing you need to do is to decide how much to bet. It is important to note at this point that there are 2 bets in a game of Caribbean Stud Poker, therefore the initial bet should be half of what you are prepared to bet every hand. The rules are the same as Caribbean Stud, but with one exception: the player is allowed to exchange cards before the raise/fold decision. You can switch cards at the following rates/prices: 1 card = 1x the ante; 2 cards = 2x the ante; 3 cards = 3x the ante; 4 cards = 2x the ante; 5 cards = 1x the ante; If you switch all five cards, you must.

And despite the fact we all grow with Texas Hold'em being our bread-and-butter, it may very well be true.

There are so many Poker variants out there that you should now limit yourself to only one game.

Take Caribbean Stud Poker, for example.

Caribbean Poker may not be the Casino game with the best odds, but it can help you to understand Poker a lot better than you do now.


That's what this guide is for.

Learn Caribbean Stud, practice the game online for free, and ace your Poker games. Starting today.

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How to Play Caribbean Stud

Before you start to play Caribbean Poker online - even for free - you need to know how to play.

So, let's learn!

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

In a game of Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer uses a standard 52-card deck of French cards, the same you use to play NLH.

To join the game, you need to make an ante bet.

Most online games have the minimum bet set at $1. Keep this in mind when you decide the size of the bankroll to bring with you at the table.

Once your bet is on the table, the dealer gives you five cards.

A game of Caribbean Poker does not include community cards. What you land from the get-go stays with you until the end of the full round.

The dealer also gets five cards:

  • One card is face-up
  • Four cards are face down

So, you have two options at this point:

  • Call (raise) - You continue to play. This requires an extra bet equal to 2x the ante bet;
  • Fold - You leave the game. No further bets are required, but you forfeit the initial ante bet.

The goal of a Caribbean Poker game is to beat the dealer. To do so, your hand needs to be higher than theirs.

But their hand also needs to 'qualify' - which means it needs to be Ace-King or better. If the dealer's hand does not meet this requirement, you get paid 1 to 1 for your ante.

That's the only win. You get nothing extra for your Call bet.

Caribbean Poker Strategy Tip: The dealer's hand only qualifies when they have an Ace-King (both an Ace and a King in their hand) or higher hand.

If you want to have more chances to win a hand of Caribbean Poker online, make sure your hand beats an AK.

What happens when you play or fold?

When you fold, the run is over. You lose your ante and need to bet again if you want to continue playing Caribbean Poker.

When you call, it's showdown time.

Here's when three things may happen:

  • The Dealer doesn't qualify. You get 1 to 1 for your ante bet and get your call bet back;
  • The Dealer qualifies, and their hand beats yours. You lose both the ante and the call bets;
  • The Dealer qualifies, and your hand wins. You win both the ante (1 to 1) the and call bets

What you get when you win a call bet?

In Caribbean Poker, the payout depends on your hand.

Your handCall bet payouts
Royal Flush100 to 1
Straight Flush50 to 1
Four of a Kind20 to 1
Full House7 to 1
Flush5 to 1
Straight4 to 1
Three of a Kind3 to 1
Two Pair2 to 1
One pair1 to 1
Ace-King High1 to 1

Caribbean Stud Poker Progressive Jackpot Bet

There's one more bet you can place at Caribbean Stud Poker table.

Meet the Progressive Side Bet. When available, this bet is your only chance to activate (and perhaps win) a progressive jackpot.

In most games, this side bet is equal to the table's minimum bet.

Playing the Progressive side bet (or not) doesn't affect any of the other bets you make. You can place the side bet along with your ante bet.

If you do, you win the jackpot if your hand is a Flush or better.

In all other cases, you lose the bet before you even make your mind about folding or calling in the main game.

The jackpot bet is not affected by the dealer's hand either. Even if the dealer beats your hand, you may still win the jackpot bet.

As long as you have a Flush or more, of course.

Your handJakpot bet payouts
Royal Flush100 percent of the jackpot
Straight Flush10 percent of the jackpot
Four of a Kind500x
Full House100x

Is it worth it?

The progressive jackpot in Caribbean Stud Poker comes with its house edge. It depends on the amount that the jackpot will pay out. If the jackpot is above $352,146, you get an advantage at winning it.

Of course, that doesn't mean you will win, but it's the kind of odds you'd like to see at every Casino game bet.

If the jackpot is smaller, not only it will be less tempting, but the House will have the edge over you anyway.

Important: Progressive jackpot bet is not available at every Casino that offers Caribbean Stud Poker.

Want to play Caribbean Stud with a progressive jackpot?Check out these Caribbean Poker games online!

How to Win at Caribbean Stud Poker?

If you play table games for fun, you don't think that much about your winning prospects.

And that's fine.

But if you want to improve your chances, you can use the Caribbean Stud strategy.

Bonus: it's the most uncomplicated strategy you'll ever learn. Seriously.

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

The Caribbean Poker strategy is pretty straightforward.

You can't bluff when you play against the House. So, if you want to call, you need to have a decent hand.

To win more than only your ante bet, your hand needs to be Ace-King or higher.

If the score of your hand is lower, you can only hope for the dealer's hand not to qualify - and that's a far too risky choice to 'only' double your ante.

Numbers at hand, the dealer qualifies 56 per cent of the time. So, it's not really in your favour to hope at this point.

How to play then?


According to Peter Griffin and John M. Gwynn Jr.1, you have the best odds when you call on hand that's Ace-King-Jack-8-3 or better.

So, that's pretty much all you need to remember when making that one significant strategical move in the game.

1: [I]Based on Peter Griffin and John M. Gwynn Jr.'s analysis of Caribbean Stud Poker and its odds. You can read about it in the book '[I]Finding the Edge: Mathematical Analysis of Casino Games[/I]'.

Practice Caribbean Stud for Free or with 'Micro' Bets

You don't have to take my (or Griffin's and Gwynn's) word for it.

Try playing with the mentioned strategy yourself.

Thanks to the demo games available at some online Casinos, you can play Caribbean Stud Poker online for free.

>> Try the game here

Or you can try to play here and go for the real money action even if you are a low roller.

When the minimum bet is $1, you need at least $3 to play a full round of the game.

Unless you play the cheapest games of Caribbean Stud Poker online.

Few players know they can play as little as $0.01 per ante bet (or $0.03 for a full round of the game).

The micro-stakes games are a perfect option to practice and to play your first Caribbean Stud real money rounds.

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Rules & Strategy

Caribbean StudPoker

A popular spin-off of poker developed for traditional casinos more than a decade ago, Caribbean Stud has taken a front-row-seat in casinos, owing its success both to the drastic rise in poker popularity and to its overwhelming simplicity. The basic rules for the game are as follows:

• All players must make an ante wager according to the limits of the table. An optional $1 progressive wager is also made at this time.
• The dealer and all players are dealt five cards. All player cards are dealt face down. The dealer receives four cards face down. The fifth card is exposed.
• After looking at the hand, players must decide whether to fold or bet. Hands values are based according to traditional poker rules. Players may not share information about their hands.
• Any player that folds forfeits the current wager.
• Any player that bets must wager an additional amount equal to twice (2x) the value of the ante.
• After all players have made and acted on their decisions, the dealer will expose his remaining cards.
• The dealer must have a minimum hand of Ace/King to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, players will win even money on their ante and push with their bet.
• If the dealer’s hand does qualify and loses to the player, then the ante will pay even money and the bet will pay according to the table’s payout schedule.

Common Caribbean Stud Pay Table (US)
Hand / Pays
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
All other / 1 to 1

• If the dealer qualifies and wins, the player losses all monies wagered.
• The optional progressive side bet will be based entirely on the standard poker value of the player’s hand.

While the mechanics of the game are clearly easy to follow, optimal strategy for this game can get a little complicated. Unfortunately, providing a detailed strategy for each falls a little outside the scope of this book. However, at its most basic, the call strategy for this game involves two actions: always bet when dealt a pair, and Always fold with any hand below an Ace/King.

Finally, following optimal strategy, the best you can do with this game in terms of reducing the vigorish is about 5.2%.

Variations on a theme

Caribbean Stud is another game that has suffered few changes in overall structure after entering the online environment. In fact, the two biggest changes involve its name—which varies according to software provider–and the payout structure for both the bet and progressive jackpot. Alternative names include: Caribbean Poker, Island Progressive Stud Poker, and Cyberstud Poker.

Caribbean Stud Rules

Pay Table I
Payout structure variations for called hands
Hand / Pays

Royal Flush / 100-1
Straight Flush / 50-1
Four of a Kind / 20-1
Full House / 9-1
Flush / 7-1
Straight / 4-1
Three of a Kind / 3-1
Two Pair / 2-1
Pair or Less / 1-1

Pay Table II
Hand / Pays

Royal Flush / 200-1
Straight Flush / 50-1
Four of a Kind / 20-1
Full House / 7-1
Flush / 5-1
Straight / 4-1
Three of a Kind / 3-1
Two Pair / 2-1
Pair or Less / 1-1

Pay Table III
Hand / Pays

Royal Flush / 800-1
Straight Flush / 200-1
Four of a Kind / 25-1
Full House / 10-1
Flush / 7-1
Straight / 5-1
Three of a Kind / 3-1
Two Pair / 2-1
Pair or Less / 1-1

The pay structures for the optional progressive jackpot wager include:

Progressive Payout Variations
Hand Payout
Table 1 / Table 2 / Table3 / Table4

Royal Flush / 100% / 100% / 100% / 100%
Straight Flush / 10% / 10% / 10% / 10%
Four of a Kind / $500 / $500 / $150 / $100
Full House / $250 / $150 / $100 / $75
Flush / $100 / $75 / $50 / $50
Straight or Lower / $0 / $0 / $0 / $0

As you can see, there are some drastic variations for payout tables from site to site, so if Caribbean Stud Poker is your game, be sure to verify the pay schedules from each casino you visit. If given the opportunity when narrowing down your search, opt for the site that offers the best possible schedule.

Winning at Caribbean Stud

Even though Caribbean Stud is a simple game to learn, the strategy can actually get quite involved. In fact, whole books have been written about the topic, including one by this author.

At its most advanced level, the best you’ll be able to lower the house edge on this game is 5.22%, making it far from one of the best games in the house. A simplified, yet not overly costly strategy—hovering with a vigorish of about 5.5%–involves two actions. First, always bet/raise when your hand contains a pair (no matter how small) or better. Second, fold any hands that do not contain at least the minimum qualifying hand for the dealer: Ace-King.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

Slightly more advanced strategy involves paying close attention to the dealer’s upcard. For example, if you hold an Ace-King in your hand and the dealer’s exposed card is below a king and matches one of your other cards, you should bet. Other factors that you should keep an eye out for include the remaining cards in your Ace-King hand (do you have a queen as well, while the dealer shows garbage?) and the comparative rank of the dealer’s card to your remaining cards.

While it’s usually suggested that player’s learn and master the optimal strategy for any game they play, in this particular instance beginners may want to avoid the hours of tedious study needed to drop the edge such a small amount in an otherwise expensive game, and concentrate solely on these basics. If you find that you have a real taste for the game, then invest the time to drop that edge down to its optimal level.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

Rules & Strategy – Caribbean Stud Poker

Rules For Caribbean Stud Poker

Rules & Strategy Caribbean Stud Poker A popular spin-off of poker developed for traditional casinos more than a decade ago, Caribbean Stud has taken a front-row-seat in casinos, owing its …