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Caribbean Stud Poker Guide

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide

Poker is a card game played by players against each other. Over the years, poker enthusiasts have innovated several poker variants. As such, you can now play online poker real money games against the house instead of other players. In this detailed Caribbean Stud Poker Guide, you will find out what the game is, its origin, how to play, rules & strategies, mistakes to avoid, and more. Read through this casino guide and, with practice, you will be equipped to play the game like a pro.

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide: What Is Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean Stud is a computerized poker variant that follows similar gameplay as 5-card Stud poker. Players in the UK and Europe refer to this variant as Casino Five Card Stud Poker. The game is played one-on-one between a player and a dealer, and you can play for real money, and also practice with free poker online games.

There could be up to six players playing the game. But, each of these players plays against the house individually. The goal of this game is to beat the dealer by forming a better hand.

The game is often tied to a progressive jackpot bonus. You can win a massive bonus if you play it right and make a progressive bet (more of this later in this Caribbean Stud Poker Guide). If you are interested in an entertaining game characterized by fast paces and a quick turnaround between hands, this is your plug.

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide: A Little Bit of Hisotry

The origin of Caribbean Stud Poker remains uncertain, with various claims, but David Sklansky’s name is often associated with it. In 1982, David, a former poker pro and bracelet winner, invented the game initially known as Casino Poker. However, he couldn’t patent it due to legal restrictions and personal reasons.

The original version of the game differed, lacking the progressive jackpot and requiring the dealer to reveal two cards. Unbeknownst to David, the game was played on cruises to Aruba, where a gambler learned about it and introduced the idea to casino owner Danny Jones.

In 1987, Danny discussed the game with software engineer Michael Titus, who added the progressive jackpot feature, leading to its success. Caribbean Stud Poker is spread across Las Vegas, Florida, the Caribbean, and worldwide.

Today, the game is popular in live casinos globally, known by various names like Oasis Poker and Tropical Poker in different regions. Some developers use alternative names like Cyber Stud Poker and Five Card Poker to avoid licensing fees.

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide | The Rules

Before we learn how to play Caribbean Stud Poker, it is crucial to understand some basic rules. Rules make a game what it is. So, you must follow each for the game to flow smoothly.

The rules of Caribbean Stud Poker are fairly strict but easy to understand. They include:

  • A player can only hold and wager on one hand at the table.
  • A player interested in playing the progressive jackpot is responsible for ensuring that their wager has been entered into a slot. The indicator light must show it is on to indicate you’ve made a bet.
  • Players are not allowed to share information about their hands among themselves or the dealer. If they do, all wagers are forfeited.
  • The dealer deals five cards. If an incorrect number of cards is dealt, it results in a dead hand for that particular player. This is also called a push. Misdealing can happen during a live game.
  • If a hole card is exposed before the dealer announces no more bets, all hands become void.
  • Each player at the table must keep their cards given to the dealer. If you are playing in a land-based casino, then place your cards somewhere the dealer can see at all times. If you are playing online, this might not be an issue as your cards are electronic.
  • Once you have checked your cards and decided to continue playing, you must flip them face down. Also, you are not supposed to flip them again.
  • If a dealer is dealt four cards instead of the usual five, he or she can deal an additional card to complete the hand. If the dealer gets more than five cards or three, all hands become void. It will lead to reshuffling.

How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the rules, you are ready to play. Caribbean Stud Poker is similar to the usual poker, which uses a 52-card deck. The difference is that you will be playing against the dealer. Unlike the other poker casino games, other players’ cards in this game are of no importance to you.

To begin playing, you have to start by placing a bet at the ante box. Note that this game’s table is almost similar to the blackjack table and not a poker table. On the table, you can see an ante box/circle. Enter the amount you want to bet; most casinos set a minimum stake amount of $5.

On the same table, you will see another box/circle reserved for a progressive bet. It is up to decide whether to enter the jackpot by betting an extra (for example) $1. There is no requirement to enter this jackpot.

Once all bets and progressive bets have been made, the dealer deals five cards to each player on the table. If you are playing live poker online, you might not see other players as they are in different locations. But you will be aware they are there. Once you have your cards and know what they are, you can flip them over. Remember, you should not chat with your fellow players sharing your card details as the act is frowned upon by casinos.

The dealer will flip one card to face up. By looking at this one card, you guess whether you have a better hand or not. At this point, you can decide to fold or to continue playing.

When Do You Bet Or Fold?

If you decide to continue playing, you have to raise your bet to see the dealer’s card. The best is usually double the first bet. So, if you bet $5 on the ante, you have to bet $10 on the second bet. Once you place your second bet and all the other players have folded or bet the second time, the dealer will show his other four cards. At this moment, the dealer must have qualified for the game to continue.

How Does a Dealer Qualify?

A dealer must have a king or ace card to continue playing. If they don’t have these cards, they have to fold. If they fold, you will win a ratio of 1:1. So if you bet $5 on the ante, you will get $5 back plus another $5.

If the dealer did not fold and you made a second bet, the second bet becomes void. So, your bet will be returned without the win amount. If you made a progressive bet, the amount is never returned unless you win the jackpot. Furthermore, if the dealer qualifies and you have a better hand than his, you will place the ante bet in 1:1 and the second bet depending on your hand. So, if you bet $5 for the ante, you will get a total of $10. But if your hand is two Pairs, you will get a 3:1 win. This means you will bag $30 plus your bet amount, which according to our example, is $10.

Payouts in Caribbean Stud Poker

Payouts are based on the ante made at the start of a game. If the dealer qualifies and you have a better hand, you will get additional pay depending on a paytable usually displayed somewhere on your casino screen. The standard paytable for US casinos looks something similar to the table below:

Pair 1:1
Two Pair :1
Three-of-a-kind 3:1
Straight 4:1
Flush 5:1
House 7:1
Four-of-a-kind 20:1
Straight Flush 50:1
Royal Flush 100:1


If the dealer has a better hand, you lose the ante bet and the secondary bet. But, if you placed a progressive bet and got a hand of either royal flush, flush, house, four-of-a-kind, or straight flush, you will win the progressive jackpot even if you lost to the dealer. If you tie with the dealer, your bet from that hand is returned without a profit.

What Is the Odd That You Will Win?

The house edge for Caribbean Stud is slightly above 5 percent. It seems impossible, considering that you and the dealer have a 50/50 probability of having a better hand. But, you have to realize that 45 percent of the time, the dealer will not have a qualifying hand. But, the house has a better edge on the basis of the betting structure. So, for you to stay in a hand, you have to bet twice the size of the ante. If the dealer does not qualify, you will only win the ante.

With a set of payout rules at the online casino, the dealer’s margins range from 5. percent to 5.5 percent. Ideally, Caribbean Stud Poker is not a player’s advantage game. In fact, the odds of winning an American-style roulette are sometimes higher than in Caribbean Stud.

If the house edge is 5.5 percent, it means you are giving up about 5.5 percent per session. So, if you apply all the necessary strategies and bet $1, it means you will lose almost $10 per hour in an online casino.

The loss might be higher in a land-based casino. If you bet the progressive bet, you increase the house’s edge by 3 or 4 percent.

Caribbean Stud Tips and Strategies

While these strategies do not guarantee success, they improve your chances of winning.

  • Always play if you have a strong hand. Remember, the dealer cannot play unless they have Ace-King in their hand.
  • Raise with a pair or better. Fold without the dealer’s qualifying hand (Ace/King). Playing without them is high risk. Bluffing doesn’t work well in Caribbean Stud Poker
  • If you have an ace/king, you can bet if the dealer’s face-up card does not match any of your other cards.
  • Also, If you have an ace/king, you can bet if the dealer’s face-up card is lower than your fourth-strongest card, and you have a queen.
  • If you have an ace/king in your hand and the dealer’s face-up card is anything from up to the queen, you can raise. This is because the face-up card matches any of your other cards. This strategy will work for you, especially if you do not have a hand with Pair.
  • If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace or king, and you have a jack or a queen, you can bet the secondary bet.
  • Alternatively, you can bet with a queen or jack in your hand if their first card is either an ace or king. Always ensure that you have thoroughly checked your cards before you bet.
  • Do not play if you have a weak hand. A weak hand is one with no ace or a king. Also, if your hand is not a two-pair, card high, straight, straight hand, royal flush, and other card ranking do not play. Following this tip is especially crucial for new players.

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide | Progressive Bet and Progressive Jackpot

Earlier, we mentioned Caribbean Stud Poker is often associated with a progressive jackpot. To qualify for this jackpot, you need to make a progressive bet. Usually, there is a progressive bet button on the poker table.

It is optional to tap or click on that button and place an additional bet before a game starts to qualify for the jackpot bonus. Every Caribbean Stud game has a unique jackpot amount depending on when it was last paid out and how much has contributed to the jackpot since. Here is how the jackpot is paid out depending on your hand:

  • Royal Flush: 100% of the jackpot
  • Straight Flush: 10% of the jackpot
  • Four of a kind: $500
  • house: $100
  • Flush: $75

The progressive jackpot aspect in a Caribbean Stud game is an exciting element that keeps players engaged. Essentially, the game has an increasing prize pool each time a player plays the game. Once you make the bet, the dealer deals you five cards from which you can check whether you have a winning hand for the progressive jackpot.

Hundreds of players could be playing this game each day. With the progressive bets they make, the prize pool could be millions before a player hits the jackpot. So if you make a progressive bet and get a flush hand, the casino will pay you $75 from the prize pool. If your hand is Royal flush, you collect the whole jackpot prize.

Once a player wins, the jackpot sum is reset.

Poker Hand Ranking

Above, you’ve come across terms such as Pair, royal flush, house, and others. These are called poker hand rankings. To enter and play Caribbean Stud Poker like a pro, you need to understand poker hand ranking.

  • Royal flush: A hand is made of ace, king, queen, jack, and 10. They must wear a similar suit.
  • Straight flush: Five cards in a row wearing the same suit. For example, if you have 4, 5,6,7,8 all with a spade suit, you say you have a straight flush.
  • Four-of-a-kindFour similar cards wearing each of the four suits. For example, if you have four Ace cards, each with a unique suit including a heart, spade, diamond, and club, then you have a four-of-a-kind hand. The fifth card can be any other card.
  • Full house: When you have three of a kind plus a pair.
  • Flush: Five cards wearing the same suit but not in numerical order. For example, a Queen, Ace, 6, 3, 10 wearing a club suit is a flush hand.
  • Straight: Five cards in numerical order but not in the same suit.
  • Three-of-a-kind: Three similar cards and two non-pair. If you get three King cards and a Queen, you have a three-of-a-kind hand. The three similar cards might not have a similar suit.
  • Two Pair: Two pairs of same-value cards. For example, you can have two Ace cards and two 4 cards. The fifth card can be any other card.
  • One Pair: A pair of cards with the same value. For example, if your hand is made of Q-cards, an 8, 4, and, you can say you have a one-pair hand.
  • High Card: A hand with no matching cards. A good example is a hand comprising K, Q, J, 4, 7.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

A beginner Caribbean Stud Poker player is bound to make mistakes. But, this section tells you the most common mistakes made by other beginner players so that you avoid them.

The first mistake is thinking that with low-hand pairs, you cannot continue playing. But, you should know that even a weak hand has a 50 percent chance of winning.

Another mistake is to play when you don’t have at least an Ace or King card. A dealer is eligible to continue playing if they have the Ace and King cards. So, if you don’t have either of these, you will automatically lose both the ante bet and the secondary bet.

In general, remember these two basics when playing Caribbean Stud Poker:

  • Fold if you do not have at least an Ace or King
  • Continue playing if you have at least a pair or more


Did this Caribbean Stud Poker Guide provide a foundation and base knowledge to start playing Caribbean Stud Poker? If it did, that was our hope.

No one should start playing a game without understanding the basic rules. If you do, you become vulnerable to losing stake money. Yet, losing money shouldn’t be your goal. In fact, if you start losing money by trying to recoup your losses, it may be time to take a break and dedicate your time to studying the game with our multiple online casino guides, so you should be able to win several games. Moreover, you’ll have more fun.

With the strategies shared above and a bit of practice, you should be able to play Caribbean Stud Poker like a pro. Remember to follow the rules so that your gaming turns out to be entertaining. Interestingly, you can use this information to play at a local casino (select your best choice after reading online casino reviews about casinos of your interest) and also try game variants for practicing, like the Caribbean Poker game.

So, if you are planning to visit Las Vegas or any big city, kill some time by playing this game. If you can travel, create an account at Vegas Aces Casino and start playing. Remember, if you want to know more about Vegas Aces, check our social media and be aware of every casino news.

Caribbean Stud Poker Guide FAQ

Is Caribbean Stud Poker game a fair game?

Yes, the house edge might be above .4%, but it is a fair game.

Can I play the game on my phone?

Yes, most game developers today create games compatible with mobile devices. That includes Caribbean Stud.

Can I play Caribbean Stud Poker for free online?

Yes. Once you load the game on your device, you will see two buttons. One for real money and another for fun. Click the 'for fun" button to play the game without spending a dime.

What payment methods can I use to deposit funds and withdraw my winnings?

If you are playing at Vegas Aces, you can use banking methods such as Skrill, Neteller, MasterCard, and other methods to deposit and withdraw your winnings. Check the payment page to find the applicable payment methods.

How can I win the Caribbean Stud Poker progressive jackpot?

You become eligible to win the jackpot by placing a progressive bet. You will see the progressive bet button on the table on your screen.