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There are lots of variants of poker but just a few seem to catch on and gain real popularity. Caribbean Stud is one of those which has become increasingly popular despite only being about twenty five years old. The origins of the game vary from Fremont Street in Vegas to a tour ship in the Caribbean – but there’s no doubt it’s a fun game. It’s certainly one of the fastest growing table games around and you’ll find it played in all the major USA casinos although it’s not quite as popular in Europe. So if you’ve got yourself confused about the best roulette bets and are looking for something different, why not try this version of poker.
Why is Caribbean Stud Poker so popular?
Well the game certainly has the possibility of very big pay offs and it’s very easy to understand. But from a gambling perspective it’s not really for me – the standard game has a pretty high house edge somewhat over 5% which is about the same as playing roulette on an American wheel! You can reduce the edge slightly by playing certain strategies but it’s still not the best game to maximise your chances of winning. However sometimes it’s just about playing the game and Caribbean Stud poker online is certainly fun.
I’ll put a proper page up dedicated to the strategy of Caribbean Poker again as it’s quite a big subject. Here though is a free online version of the game which you can practice on.
Firstly all players must make the mandatory Ante bet on the table. Five cards are dealt to each player and one card is revealed from the Bankers hand. If you’re in a real casino you should wait until the dealer pushes your cards towards you before picking them up. Then you must evaluate your hand and decide if it’s worth gambling against the dealers. The rankings are standard poker values ranging from High Card value up to a Royal flush.
- Fold – forfeit your cards and your Ante. In a casino you would place your cards face down and push them towards the dealer who will remove them from the game.
- Play on – Place an additional bet of exactly double the Ante. So if you played a $10 Ante then you would need to place a $20 bet to continue.
After all players have made their decisions, the dealer will turn over the remaining four cards on their hands. The dealer will then make the highest ranking poker hand available using their hand. To stay in the game the dealer has to ‘qualify’ which means that the hand must have at least a value of Ace/King to continue.
Caribbean Stud Poker Outcomes
- If the dealer qualifies – then all hands are compared with the dealer. If the players hand wins then the player wins on both Ante and the Raise bet. If the players hand is lower than the dealer then the player loses the Ante and the Bet.
- If the dealer doesn’t qualify – all players still in the game will win. But the payout is only based on the initial Ante not the Bet.
Winning Ante bets are paid at evens money. The Bet wager is paid at escalating odds depending on the hand (but only if the dealer qualifies). The odds range from evens to a pair up to 100-1 for a Royal flush.
The Progressive Jackpot
You’ll see in the game above an extra side bet called the progressive bet. This gives you a chance to win the jackpot total at the top of the screen. In a casino it will take the form of a drop slot with a red light next to it. You activate this bet by placing a small bet (usually a $1) and it gives you a chance to win either all the amount or a percentage depending on your hand – Royal Flush would pay 100% of the jackpot for example.
Basic Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
It’s great fun to play but the house edge makes it a bad choice for serious gamblers. However you should always play the Basic strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker online to minimize the house advantage.
- Always Fold if you Hold no Ranking Hand
- Always Place Bet if you Hold Pair or Better
- If you Hold Ace/King – Place Bet if one of your other cards matches or beats the dealers upturned card.
There are more advanced strategies but as I mentioned if you are playing too seriously you shouldn’t be playing this game. The existence of the Progressive Jackpot though does give an outside chance of a very big win if Lady Luck is smiling at you. There are many other casinos which offers online casino bonuses just for this game. It’s a fun game though and despite my reservations about the odds I always play a few hands of Caribbean Stud Poker when I come across it. Enjoy ………