Caribbean Stud Poker

by GambleScope Review Team

From the West Indies to the Best Casinos in Las Vegas

LUCK

3

SKILL

4

RTP

0

DIFFICULTY

3

ENTERTAINMENT

4

Caribbean Stud Poker is said to have originated in the West Indies. However, the actual details regarding the creation of this game are not entirely clear. This is a bit surprising seeing that it is one of the relatively newer casino games. Based on some records, Caribbean Stud Poker was invented in the early 1980s, but the initial rules were a bit different. For one thing, the dealer's hand had two cards visible instead of one, and there was no progressive jackpot.

The original home of the card game was Aruba, a favourite stop for cruise ships. Caribbean Stud Poker used the familiar name to draw in players while offering a simplified version that is played against the casino, rather than against other players. It saw great success due to its similarity to poker and was later adopted by the big casinos in Las Vegas. Here, more players discovered the thrill of Caribbean Stud Poker as a table game and progressive jackpots were introduced to make things even more exciting. Each pot was linked to all of the tables available in the casino.

Given its massive following in casinos in the United States and other parts of the world, Caribbean Stud Poker was not left behind during the online gambling revolution. Nowadays, it is a title that can be found at most online casinos. In this case, the progressive jackpot is available on the entire network of casinos powered by the developer in question, leading to huge prizes.

Poker Players Love It! No Need to Bluff in Caribbean Stud Poker

Right from the start, it is safe to say that Caribbean Stud Poker is loved by poker players. After all, it is a game designed for this demographic and it fits very well in the general landscape. The hands are ranked in the same way, and there are even extra payouts offered for solid combinations. As a result, you have some reasons to get excited when you see a straight in hand.

However, the actual playing rules are far easier to learn than in other poker versions, like Texas hold'em for example. The fact that you are playing against the casino and not against players makes everything a lot more straightforward. In many ways, Caribbean Stud Poker is similar to Three Card Poker, but it uses five cards. If you liked the 3-card version, you are sure to love Caribbean Stud as well.

Then there is the fact that it has a reasonably low house edge. If you are looking for fun casino games that don’t put the player at a massive disadvantage, Caribbean Stud Poker should be on your list. The element of risk here is of around 2.7%, which is similar to when you are playing European roulette. Since this game is played with cards, it is arguably more entertaining for fans than the little wheel.

Added on top is the progressive jackpot, a feature that is available in most casinos. It is based on a side bet, and it can be won in full with a royal flush. There aren't many table games that have progressive jackpots, so Caribbean Stud Poker has a lot of things going in its favour. Many players find this mix appealing. If you are one of them, you can learn how to play in a matter of minutes.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules and How You Can Start Playing Today

The rules are straightforward, which is one of the perks of this casino game. First of all, you need to take a seat. On the table, you will find an Ante box where you place the chips equal to the size of the bet you want to make. Most casinos impose a minimum table limit of $/€1, but you can find lower limits at some online casinos. After the ante bet is placed, the dealer will quickly deal the cards. Each player gets five cards facing down, while the dealer receives five cards where one of them is facing up.

You can now review your hand and see what you have. Hand rankings are similar to the ones used in other poker games. The cards start from 2 and go up to 10, followed by Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. Only one deck of cards is used, without any jokers. You cannot change any cards, and the only decision you have to make is whether or not to call the bet to continue with the hand. The call is worth twice as much as the original ante and the chips should be placed in the Bet box on the table.

Your hand is then compared to the dealer's hand. The catch is that the dealer must have at least Ace-King high to qualify. If the dealer doesn’t qualify, you get even money on your ante, and the call bet is a push. If the dealer qualifies and has a stronger hand, you lose both bets. If the dealer qualifies and has a weaker hand, you get 1:1 on the ante wager and the call bet pays according to the table. A pair or lower pays 1:1, two pairs is worth 2:1, three of a kind is 3:1, and so on all the way up to royal flush for a 100:1 payout.

When placing the ante bet, you will also have the option to set a side bet for the progressive jackpot. It is usually at a fixed rate of $/€1, and every wager contributes in part to the growing prize. In most cases, the jackpot is seeded at €10,000 and can grow to exceed €200,000 before it is won. To claim the entire jackpot at its current level, you have to get a royal flush. If you get a straight flush, you get 10% of the jackpot. There are also smaller prizes of €500 for four of a kind, €100 for a full house, and €50 for a flush. The actual rates can vary based on the casino, but the prizes are always added on top of the regular payouts for winning the hand.

The house edge in Caribbean Stud Poker is of 5%, but this is not a good indicator of its RTP. The casino edge is calculated based on the money lost on the original wager. Since you can fold or call for twice as much money, it is better to look at the risk element involved in the gameplay. Here we find a more favourable rate of about 2.7% when playing by basic strategy and not just calling every hand.

Basic Strategy and Advanced Playing Tips to Win in Caribbean Poker

As a general idea, if you play every hand in Caribbean Stud Poker, you are facing a huge disadvantage. It is crucial to know when to hold and when to fold. The good news is that the basic strategy for this casino game is very easy to follow. The idea is that you should fold when you have less than what the dealer has to have to qualify - Ace-King. If we take the strategy a bit further, the actual tipping point is at A-K-J-8-3. If you have a hand weaker than this, it is better to fold it. You will lower the risk in this case to about 2.59%.

However, we always want to give you the very best odds at the table, so we have some expert modifications to the basic strategy in Caribbean Stud Poker to help you win more. You should still fold with a weaker hand than Ace-King high, but you can call with Ace-King only if:
-    The dealer is showing a card of 2-Q that matches one in your hand.
or
-    The dealer has a King or an Ace, and you are holding a Jack or a Queen.

With these small tweaks, the RTP is improved a bit more, to about 2.555%.

And since we are on the topic of expert tips for Caribbean Stud Poker meant to maximise your winnings, you should also stay away from the side bet for the progressive jackpot. While the large prize is appealing the chances of actually getting a royal flush are 0.0001%. The other payouts for this bet are not that great either, so it is best to stick to the regular gameplay.

Overall Pros & Cons of this Hit Casino Table Game

There are many aspects of Caribbean Stud Poker that make it a successful casino game. First of all, it doesn’t require a lot of skill since the value of the hand is determined by five random cards from the deck. The only thing that you need to do is know when to fold. As mentioned previously, the strategy is straightforward and easy to follow so you should have no issues getting the best out of every round.

It is arguably more difficult than other casino games because players are required to have some basic poker knowledge and be familiar with the hand rankings. This doesn’t take long to learn, however. Its success is also thanks to the fact that it is a fun game. You can win significant sums of money from the large payout rates in the main game and the progressive jackpot. Caribbean Stud Poker has it all!