How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker – Rules and Strategy

Poker is arguably one of the oldest and most popular forms of gambling, which has enabled it to reach all sides of the globe. Due to different influences and practices, this eventually caused the development of all kinds of variants of the well-known card game. One such example is Caribbean Stud Poker, a variant originating from the gambling-oriented islands in the Caribbean that are known to be a popular destination for many cruise ships where gambling is allowed. Once established on the isles, the game underwent the changes and is nowadays a widespread poker game in both land-based and online casino establishments. If you intend to play the game online you should visit

The Basic Game Rules

The table for Caribbean Stud Poker is the same as the one for blackjack – a semicircle with the dealer on the one side and seven player seats on the other. It makes use of one 52-card deck and requires the table to have two marked boxes, ‘ante’ and ‘bet’ in order for it to go seamlessly.

Each of the players, as well as the dealer, is dealt five cards per hand, and cards are normally shuffled by an automated machine before the next round. This means that players in Caribbean Stud Poker are not going up against each other, each of them aim to get a hand better than the dealer’s.

The Game Play

Caribbean Stud Poker has a characteristic way of betting – like any poker game, players are invited to place an initial bet before seeing their cards – the ‘ante’ bet. During this time, they are also able to place an additional $1 for the game’s progressive jackpot bet. After that, players can see their five card-hand, and one of the five cards making up the dealer’s hand, and choose to fold or bet accordingly. Once the bets are placed – they need to be double the amount of the ante – and players reveal their hands, the dealer shows their hand in a manner that would give them the most powerful combination possible, i.e. they try to qualify. In order to do this, the dealer’s hand has to be Ace-King or higher.

When the dealer qualifies, each player ranks their hand with the dealer’s – a higher hand pays even money on the ante, and a specific payout on the bet, depending on the player’s specific hand. When the dealer doesn’t qualify, each player is paid even money on the ante and gets the bet money back, without a chance for a payout.

Tips and Strategies

A recommended move in this poker variant is to pay the extra $1 for the jackpot, as it offers the chance for a generous payout (based on a set payout table) even when the dealer fails to qualify.

As for specific strategies, more experienced players usually suggest folding a weak hand that isn’t worth the risk, and playing lower-rank hands that could prove extremely valuable. If you prefer your poker action online, remember to stick to reliable operators, and always practice reasonable bankroll management.

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