Caribbean Stud Poker

Summary - Caribbean Stud Poker is a casino table game based on 5 card draw poker which is played against the dealer.  Players make up to two bets, their ante and raise and the goal is the make the highest 5 card poker hand you can.

Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the most popular casino table games since it is easy to play and features huge progressive jackpots.  If you already have an understand of how to play draw poker, Caribbean Stud should be easy to learn.  On this page you will find a full guide to Caribbean Stud including rules and where to play Caribbean Stud Poker online.  Below we have recommended some good online casinos to play the game, as well as provided an overview of how it works including betting, progressive jackpots and player and dealer moves in the game.

How To Play Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker is played against the dealer and up to 6 players can be wagering at the table at the same time.  The game starts with an ante bet for which the players receive 5 cards representing a poker hand.  There is also an optional jackpot bet (usually $1 per hand) that can be wagered and pays out special amounts for the hard to make hands.  Once the cards have been dealt, each player then looks at their hand and decides whether they would like to continue or fold.  If you fold your hand then, you will lose all of your bets.  In order to continue with the hand, you must place another bet equal to exactly 2 times your ante bet and then it is the dealer's turn to check their hand for the table.

Carribean Stud Poker

When the dealer checks their hand, they must have Ace King or better in their hand to qualify.  If the dealer does not qualify all people left in the hand will be paid out on their ante bets but not their secondary bets.  If the dealer does qualify, you must have a better poker hand than the dealer to win.  If the dealer qualifies and you have a better hand, you will win that game and be paid out accordingly.  Let's take a quick look at an overview of how to play Caribbean Stud to recap the rules.

Quick Recap

  • Caribbean Stud is essentially 5 card poker with extra jackpot payouts
  • Players may wager an additional $1 bet to win the progressive jackpot
  • The game starts with an ante wager and players at dealt 5 cards
  • Player cards and dealt face down, dealer shows their last card face up
  • Players look at cards and decide whether they want to raise or fold
  • If they fold, all wagers are lost, to raise you must put another bet 2x ante
  • Once all wagers are done, dealer checks their hand to determine winners
  • The dealer must have an Ace and a King or better in their hand to qualify
  • If the dealer does not qualify, players ante bets will be paid out only
  • If the dealer does qualify, you must have a better poker hand than them
  • If you have a better hand than the dealer, both ante and raise bet are paid

Now that we have a solid overview of the game, we are going to take a look at the different hands you can get in Caribbean Stud Poker for unfamiliar players.

Caribbean Stud Poker Hands

As we already mentioned, Caribbean Stud is played using poker hand values from the 5 card poker variations.  Below is an explanation of what each hand is in the game along with a ranking from top to bottom of which hand beats which in poker.

Poker Hands Caribbean Stud Poker Hand Combinations
Royal Flush Royal Flush
Straight Flush Straight Flush
Four Of A Kind Four of a Kind
Full House Full House
Flush Flush
Straight Straight
Three Of A Kind Three of a Kind
Two Pair Two Pair
One Pair One Pair

Caribbean Stud Poker Payouts

The other main element of playing Caribbean Stud Poker is the different payouts that are associated with the game.  Not all bets pay the same, and as you might imagine the harder to get hands have significantly higher payout odds.  Next we will look at the regular and progressive bonus payouts for Caribbean Stud Poker.  Please keep in mind these payouts are paid only if the dealer qualifies and there is no push in the game, without dealer qualify bets are paid with even money only.

Regular Caribbean Stud Pay Outs: These are the regular payouts in a game of Caribbean Stud when the dealer qualifies and you have a higher hand than them.

  • Royal Flush pays 100:1
  • Straight Flush pays 50:1
  • Four of a Kind pays 20:1
  • Full House pays 7:1
  • Flush pays 5:1
  • Straight pays 4:1
  • Three of a Kind pays 3:1
  • Two Pair pays 2:1
  • Pair/No Pair pays 1:1

Progressive Jackpot Payouts: These are the payouts from the progressive prize pool, you must bet $1 in the progressive slot in order to qualifies for this prize.  The progressive jackpot grows as more bets are placed and continues until won.  Most online casinos offer progressives over $100,000 with a minimum $1 table limit.

  • Royal Flush pays 100% of the progressive jackpot
  • Straight Flush pays 10% of the progressive jackpot
  • Four of a Kind pays a $500 player bonus
  • Full House pays a $100 player bonus
  • Flush pays a $75 player bonus

Caribbean Stud Strategy

Although there is not set strategy in Caribbean Stud like there is in blackjack, there are some things that you can take into account to give yourself a slight advantage when playing the game, including dealer up card and what you have in your hand.

For your own hand the general rule is that you should always raise when you have a pair or better, particularly when the dealer's up card matches one of the cards in your hand, thus making it less likely they will have a pair or better.  Some players also will raise with Ace King but no pair in their hands with the hopes that the dealer will not qualify and they will be paid on their ante bet, but this is a bit risky.

In terms of the dealer up card, you can use this to get a little bit of information about the dealer's hand.  If their up card matches one of the cards in your hand and you have Ace King or better, it would be a good idea to raise since the likelihood of the dealer being able to beat you is reduced since you hold that card.

Overall, Caribbean Stud isn't really meant to be a game of strategy but more one of entertainment that offers some life changing payouts if you are lucky enough to hit the progressive jackpot.  The game is very communal and can be extremely fun when played with a group of friends or other players at your local or online casino.