How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker

caribbean stud poker tableCaribbean Stud Poker originally takes its name from its popularity in the casinos of the Caribbean before popularising gaming boats and finally making its way to the casino of Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City where it still finds an audience today. It is also now become one of the most popular video poker variants in online poker, playing almost exactly the same as 5 Card Stud.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty of how to play Caribbean Stud Poker, there are a few distinctions to make about this particular variant. Firstly, there is no bluffing at all in Caribbean Stud Poker. It will become clear in due course why poker’s most famous skill is redundant in this game.

Secondly, this is a game where you take on the house, there are no other players in the game for you to worry about. Finally, there are no further draws to be made in Caribbean Stud Poker and the house edge works out to 5.22%. And that’s it. That’s all there is to know about this amazingly simple game.

Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker

know the rulesPlay begins with the players betting the table ante before the dealer deals out five cards all face down. The dealer will then deal a 5-card hand face down to themselves with one card laying face up and showing.

At this point, the idea is that players take a look at their hands and decide on whether or not to put down a secondary bet on top of their ante. Card hand strengths are the same as in an actual poker game. This is usually twice the size of their first wager.

The other option available is to fold and drop out of the hand altogether.

How Does the Dealer Qualify?

As soon as every player has made their move, the dealer will look at their own hand in order to determine what happens next. To qualify, the dealer must have a hand that contains at least an Ace King or better. This means that the lowest possible qualifying dealer hand would be A,K,4,3,2.

If the player and the dealer are holding the same valued hands, then the game is a push which is the same as a tie and your stake will be returned.

If the dealer has the better hand, you will lose both the ante bet and your additional bet. If the dealer does not qualify and you placed a secondary bet you will be paid out even money on the ante bet while the additional punt is considered a push and returned.

If the dealer does qualify and you have made the additional bet and you have the stronger hand you will get back evens on your ante plus pre-determined odds on the bet part according to the following pay table. Note, the payout table can vary slightly depending on casino.

Caribbean Stud Poker Pay table

Hand Odds
Royal Flush 100/1
Straight Flush 50/1
Four of a Kind 20/1
Full House 7/1
Flush 5/1
Straight 4/1
Three of a Kind 3/1
2 Pair 2/1
Pair Evens

Caribbean Stud Progressive Bet

Very often, there will be the option of making an additional wager that pays into and out of a progressive jackpot. While this bet has no bearing on the main game, it is still a bet on how good your hand will be and must be made before the game begins.

To win this bet, your 5-card hand must be one of the following, regardless of what the dealer holds:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush

In this bet, typically the Royal Flush will win 100% of the progressive jackpot while at the other end of the scale, a Flush would payout around 10% of the progressive jackpot. Generally speaking, it is not worth playing this bet due to the chances of actually making one of those 5-card hands being extremely low. Also, the house edge on the progressive jackpot bet is 26%.

Additional Caribbean Stud Poker Bets

5+1 Bonus Bet

At some online casinos there is another optional side bet that can be made called the 5+1 bonus bet. This bet pays out if the player can make at least a three of a kind with their own 5 cards plus the dealer’s exposed card.

Once again, all bets are paid out on an escalating scale with a Royal Flush earning the most and paying out up to 1,000x the bet.

How to Determine a Winning Caribbean Stud Hand

royal flush ace king queen jack ten same suit

In Caribbean Stud poker, the best 5-card hand is the same as the best hand in regular poker games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Your poker hand rankings are listed below:

Poker Hand Rankings

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four-of-a-Kind
  4. Full House
  5. Flush
  6. Straight
  7. Three-of-a-Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. Pair
  10. High Card

Caribbean Stud Poker Online – Basic Strategy Tips

Always Play The Additional Bet With Pair Or Better

Once you know your cards and, so long as you are holding at least a pair, preferably high ranking but even with low ranking pairs, then play the additional bet.

Bet If You Have Ace King And The Dealer Shows Queen or Lower

If you are holding AK and the dealer’s face up card is a queen or less, then bet. If the dealer shows an Ace or a King and you have a Queen or a Jack then play the extra bet.

Fold With Anything Less Than Ace King

If you do not have at least and Ace and a King fold it and drop out of the hand.

Where Can I Play Caribbean Stud Poker Online?

Caribbean Stud Poker can be played at virtually every online casino but the payout tables will differ from house to house so pick a favourable one. If you are looking to play free online Caribbean Stud poker, this is a good idea and one that will help you heighten your skills.

Fortunately, free play software is provided by just about every casino online. Truthfully though, it is an extremely easy game to get to grips with and you really should not have a problems playing Caribbean Stud Poker.


What Is The House Edge Of Caribbean Stud Poker?

The house edge on real money Caribbean Stud is around 5.22%.

Is Caribbean Stud Poker An Easy Game To Learn?

Yes, it is very simple and you only really need to know your card hand strengths.

Are There Any Caribbean Stud Poker Tips Or Strategies To Help Me Win?

There are a few tips that we have shared above to help you better understand when to hold and when to fold but ultimately there are no tips required.

Is Caribbean Stud Poker Fair?

Yes, Online Caribbean Stud Poker games online are kept fair by Random number generators (RNGs) that ensure a fair dealing of the cards.

Is Caribbean Stud Poker Safe?

So long as play at a well regulated and licenced online casino then yes, Caribbean Stud Poker Is Fair.