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Caribbean Stud Poker
Introduction   |   Strategy   |   The Rules   |   Tips
Caribbean Stud Poker  

Caribbean Stud Poker is a basic 5 card poker game in which the dealer and the player face off head to head to see who has the best poker hand.

It is a very straight forward game, and quite easy to play once you become versed in the few slight variants in the rules; it can be picked up and played quite readily.

The big difference between this and other player-vs.-dealer games is that in order to qualify for playing, the dealer must have a hand which includes an Ace-King combination or better. If he does not qualify the first bet (the Ante bet) is paid out even money, and the second bet is considered a push and returned.

The Ante bet is wagered before any cards are dealt. Once all bets are laid down, the players and dealers get their 5 cards. The dealers cards are face down with the exception of one that is shown for the players. The players look at their hand and the dealers shown card, then decide if they feel that their hand will beat the dealer’s or not.

Once they decide what they want to do with their cards (no, tearing them up and tossing them in the air is not an option…this is an online game!) the players either forfeit their Ante bet or place a second bet (let’s call it a Call bet) which is twice the size as the ante.

The dealer turns his cards over to compare with the players hands. If the dealer’s hand beats yours you wave good bye to your wagers. If your hand beats the dealers you get paid even money for your Ante bet and according to a payout table on your Call bet.

That is how simple the game is to play. You don’t have to strategize overly much, or worry about bluffing, raising, calling other players. It’s all between the dealer and you, and to the victor goes the spoils!
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy   Being a game where you can’t really do much but bet, fold, and/or call, there’s not much in the way of strategy as to game play in itself. There are, however, a few tricks which may turn the house edge more to your favor. Some players have a tendency to fold on all pairs lower than 5. The best play is to keep playing and place the call bet if you have a hand containing an Ace-K or higher, and any pair is higher than an Ace-K. The general mind set would be “it’s only a pair of 3’s, that can’t win” but if you consider that the odds are just as high that the dealer has a hand equal to or lower than yours, why not play them?

By the same token (or should we say chip?) it’s not a good idea to “bluff” and place the call bet when you have nothing decent in your hand. Your best strategy: fold on a hand that has nothing, and look forward to the next hand.

If you have the Ace-K combination, you may still wonder what to do. A good rule of thumb is to play, especially if the dealer’s shown card matches one in your hand…this reduces the likelihood of the dealer having a pair, at least of the shown card.

This is really all the strategy which can be employed in Caribbean Stud Poker other than a sense of nerve. If you’re looking for a game of poker without the interaction of multiple players being involved in the game, this could be one you’ll really enjoy.
Play Caribbean Stud Poker Live   The rules are fairly basic, but there are a few slight differences between this and other versions of poker. Before any cards are dealt each player places an ante bet. Once the dealer calls out “No more bets” and proceeds to deal the cards. Each player gets 5 and the dealer receives 4 cards facedown and one card face up. The players judge their hands against the dealer’s shown card and make a determination to either fold, or to place a call bet. The call bet is an amount twice the value of the ante bet.

Once all players have made the choice to play or stop playing, the dealer’s cards are turned over. If the dealer does not have a hand with at least a K-A combination or better, the game is over. The ante bet is paid out by an equal amount, and the call bet is just returned.

If the dealer does have a K-A or better, then the player’s and the dealer’s hand are compared. This is quite simple…if the player’s hand is better than the dealer’s, the player wins. If the dealer’s hand is better than the player’s, he takes it all.

A win by the player yields a return of equal money on the ante bet, and a return based upon this table for the call bet:

» Straight Flush: 50 to 1
» 4 of a Kind: 20 to 1
» Full House: 7 to 1
» Flush: 5 to 1
» Straight: 4 to 1
» 3 of a Kind: 3 to 1
» 2 Pairs: 2 to 1
» Pair or less: 1 to 1

There is also a side bonus bet which can be played on, though it is not recommended you do as the payout amount is not even close to the odds of your winning. Should you want to give it a try, this dollar bet must be placed at the time you place your initial ante bet.

That’s all there is to the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker. Once you’ve read our Tips and Strategies, you are ready to get in a few practice rounds at a free room, then on to the money tables where, hopefully, the luck will be in your hands!
Free Roll Caribbean Stud Poker  

Though very simple to play and easy to learn, it’s always a good idea to read up on the particular quirks and variations of many different types of games before you begin to play. It’s also a good idea to find a reputable casino, and one which offers free games to practice on prior to you needing to wager your own cash.

You can find links to some of the best online casinos in our Casino Review section. Why not practice with free chips, rather than ones you’ve paid for!

It’s always a good idea to know when you should fold and when you should place the call bet to continue playing. The odds in this game, as most others, are in the houses favor, but you can reduce these odds by following certain tips and strategies.

Gain knowledge of poker hands so you don’t have to second-guess the choice you should make. Familiarization of what you’re playing is always a good thing! Straights, flushes, full houses are all hands that are obvious to play, but you should also know what to play or fold when you have a less clear hand.

It’s a very rare occasion when you should pay the “side bet” or “bonus bet” offered by most casinos on most games. The odds of you winning that, as you always need to have an exceptional hand, are astronomically small, and the payout bonus is quite small considering the odds you need…even for the lowest hand qualifying for this “bonus”. The majority of experts all concur that these bets are really nothing but handing your money directly to the casino.

Now that you’ve read all our tips, strategies, and rules it’s time to mosey on over to a free room, get in a few practice rounds, then try your hand at a money table. Good luck, and enjoy this fun game.
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