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Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud Poker is a table game in which you play against the house instead of against other players. This form of poker has become one of the most popular games on the casino floor, but with a house edge of 5.2 percent, Caribbean Stud Poker strategy is often necessary because you get out as soon as you get up. With potential payouts as high as 100 to 1 on a wager, Caribbean Stud appeals to just about every type of in-person or online casino player. 

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What are the Caribbean Stud Poker Rules?

It’s become so popular because it’s a very easy game to play, yet there is still player involvement in the game play. Caribbean Stud Poker rules insist that players must make the decision in a hand or fold out, leaving your ante bet (the ante is when each player bets the same amount) behind you if you fold. Dealers must qualify for the hand by making at least ace – king or higher, otherwise the hand is dead and the player wins even money on the ante bet.

Once the dealer’s hand qualifies, the player has to beat the dealer’s hand in order to get paid on their bet. If the player wins against the dealer, they will be paid odds based on the strength of the hand. This will vary in each casino, but most payouts for Caribbean Stud Poker are as follows (and you can see by the difference between the payout and the probability why this game carries such a big edge for the house): 

Caribbean Stud Payout
  • One Pair pays even money (1 in 2 hands probability)
  • Two Pair pays 2 to 1 (1 in 21 hands)
  • 3 of a Kind pays 3 to 1 (1 in 47 hands)
  • Straight pays 4 to 1 (1 in 246 hands)
  • Flush pays 5 to 1 (1 in 526 hands)
  • Full House pays 7 to 1 (1 in 694 hands)
  • 4 of a Kind pays 20 to 1 (1 in 4,167 hands)
  • Straight Flush pays 50 to 1 (1 in 72,202 hands)
  • Royal Flush pays 100 to 1 (1 in 649,351 hands)

Is There a Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy that Works?

Caribbean Stud Poker strategy involves following one simple rule to lower the house edge as much as possible: Raise the hand if you’ve been dealt a pair or higher. Experts have fine-tuned this strategy down to when you’ve been dealt A, K, J, 8, 3 or better. Anything less should be folded. When following this out properly, other odds can be determined.

If you fold your hand every time you have less than the above, you should, on average, fold your hand 47.5 percent of the time. That leaves you with 52.5 percent of the hands you are dealt as raising hands. Dealers will always keep A, K, so they will qualify for the hand a little more than 53 percent of the time. The dealer will not qualify 23 percent of the time that you raise, or one in every four hands.

Caribbean Stud Poker odds, if you have raised correctly, will predict that the dealer will win, on average, 13.5 percent of the time and the player will win 16 percent of the time that they qualify to play the hand. The dealer will also not qualify on hands that you raise 23 percent of the time. A push hand will occur on average every 62,500 hands, or roughly 0.0016 percent of the time.

The house edge in the game of Caribbean Stud Poker will differ based on how the player plays the game. If a player folds anything less than A, K, J, 8, 3, they can expect to give up a 5.3 percent house edge. Other common strategies include raising when one of the dealer’s up-cards matches (5.3% house edge), raising on a pair or better (5.4% house edge), raising on A, K or better (5.7% house edge).

Some players employ a strategy that sees them raising with every hand, but we don’t recommend that practice as it gives the house a whopping 16.5 percent edge. Even worse, Caribbean Stud Poker odds can be found by betting on the jackpot. This bet can give the house as much as a 26.5 percent edge. Stick to the optimum strategy for the best chance to get ahead of the game and walk away when you find yourself up 10 winning hands or more.

Online Caribbean Stud Poker

Online casinos have gotten into the Caribbean Stud Poker business, giving players a chance to get together and try to beat the house. If all the players at a table shared their hole card information, they could increase the chances of predicting what the dealer is holding. However, even with an edge like that, the house will still hold an edge over the players, somewhere around 0.5 percent at a six-player table. Most online casino tables will not have that many players seated.

The game may sound a bit complicated to a new player but the reality is that it is very simple to play and takes only a few hands before it all becomes clear. New Caribbean Stud Poker players should take the time to play a free version of the game at an online casino to give themselves time to learn the ropes before investing in real money action.

History of Caribbean Stud Poker

The history of the game is much disputed. Some claim that Caribbean Stud Poker was invented in Aruba, which would seem plausible since Aruba is an island in the Caribbean. Many people also claimed that they’re the inventor of the game, like author and gambling expert David Sklansky. According to Sklansky, he invented the game in 1982 under the moniker of “Casino Poker.” Furthermore, Sklansky claims he brought the game to Aruba and the name was changed. Dennis King is another person who claims to have invented Caribbean Stud Poker when he owned a hotel in Aruba. With everyone and their moms laying claim to the creation of the game, it’s hard to pinpoint its actual origins. Most of us can agree that the game was created in Aruba but who actually invented it is a mystery. 

 

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