Caribbean Stud Poker

The game of Caribbean Stud Poker is a very interesting variant of online poker. This game became very popular and spread all over the world thanks to the casinos on cruise ships that toured the Caribbean Islands. The excitement of poker is combined with the opportunity to try your luck at the so - called jackpot. Players are pitted against the dealer (bank) and not against each other.

The rules of the game are rather easy to learn. Each player places his "ante" on the designated area of the layout. With each hand they can also play for the optional progressive jackpot. After all players have placed their ante, they are dealt five cards face down while the dealer deals himself four down and one up. The player now can either choose to fold or make a raise.

If the player folds he has to return his cards and the hand ends. In doing so he loses his “ante” as well as the optional bets on the jackpot. If the player feels he has a good hand instead, he may choose to make a relance (“raise”) equal to twice the amount of his “ante”. At this point, the dealer exposes his cards. To open, he must have at least a King or an Ace or a higher ranking card, otherwise, the hand ends and the dealer has to pay the player even money on his ante bet plus his raise. If the dealer has a minimum qualifying hand, he is said to be "qualified" and if his hand is higher than the player’s, the player loses his ante bet plus his relance. On the contrary, if the dealer has a qualifying hand but the player has a higher hand, the player wins the ante bet plus the relance according to the payoff chart below:

Payoff chart
Royal flush
100 a 1
Straight flush
50 a 1
Four of a kind
20 a 1
Full house
7 a 1
5 a 1
4 a 1
Three of a kind
3 a 1
Two pair
2 a 1
1 a 1


There is no bluffing in stud poker since players are pitted against the dealer (bank) and not against other players. When playing Caribbean Stud Poker, the most important decision to be made is whether to fold or not. Here are some of the best tips to win a hand at stud poker

  • Always make a raise if you have a pair in your hand, regardless of the dealer’s exposed card and bet on low pairs too. In fact, the dealer’s chance to have a pair will be less than half the time and if he has an Ace, King, both the relance and the ante bet will be won.

  • Surrender hands if you do not have a pair, or Ace, King

  • The choice is quite hard to make if you have an Ace and a King. It is better to play if one of your cards is equivalent to the dealer's exposed card, since he has less chances to have a pair in this case, and also if you have a high ranking card such as a Queen besides an Ace and a King.

  • It is not always profitable to play for the additional progressive jackpot since it may require a great number of rounds before you get an advantageous combination for the jackpot share; it’s better to play when the jackpot is at least € 150.000,00.

In Caribbean Stud Poker, the banker’s edge over the player is around 5%. A good strategy consists in being content with a credit balance.