How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker: Rules, Strategy & Odds
Caribbean Stud Poker is a popular game among most online casinos, and generally carries a large progressive jackpot that can be won by any player who chooses to make the optional progressive side bet. The chances of winning the side bet aren’t very good, thus the majority of players ignore this portion of the game, choosing to play only the standard hand of Caribbean Stud Poker.
This card game is easily compared to 5 Card Stud. The basic rules are the same in terms of hand ranks and the lack of a draw phase. However, 5 Card Stud is generally played with a group of poker players, whereas Caribbean Stud Poker pits each player against only the dealer.
Playing Caribbean Stud Poker online is fairly simple. The game begins with the player placing an Ante bet within the table’s minimum and maximum stakes. The player also has the option of placing a $1 side bet by clicking the progressive bonus bet circle, which pays out if the player develops a strong enough hand in the end, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Once the Ante bet is placed, the dealer will deal five cards to the player and five cards to himself. The dealer then turns one of his own cards face up. The player will then examine his own cards, and the dealer’s single face-up card, to decide whether or not he wants to fold or continue with the hand.
If the player folds, the ante bet is automatically lost and the hand is over. If the player chooses to continue, he must place an additional Raise bet, equal to twice the amount of the current ante bet.
When the player raises, the dealer turns over his remaining four cards and the two hands are compared. Standard poker hand ranks apply. If the dealer’s hand qualifies (see the dealer qualification rules below), the highest ranking poker hands wins. If the dealer wins, both the ante and raise bets are lost. A winning hand for the player pays even money (1 to 1) on the Ante bet, while the Raise bet is paid according to the following pay table. Note that payouts may vary from one online casino to the next:
- Royal Flush Pays 100 to 1
- Straight Flush Pays 50 to 1
- Four of a Kind Pays 20 to 1
- Full House Pays 7 to 1
- Flush Pays 5 to 1
- Straight Pays 4 to 1
- Three of a Kind Pays 3 to 1
- Two Pair Pays 2 to 1
- Pair Pays 1 to 1
- High Card Pays 1 to 1
In order for the dealer’s hand to qualify, it must contain at least an Ace and King high. A pair or better would qualify as well. If the dealer has no Ace, or an Ace with a Queen or lower kicker, it will not qualify.
Should the dealer’s hand fail to qualify, the raise bet is automatically returned to the player as a push. The hands are then compared and the ante bet is either paid even money or lost depending on whether the player has beaten the dealer’s hand.
The progressive side bet in Caribbean Stud Poker is based on the strength of the player’s hand. It does not matter whether the player has beaten the dealer in the standard hand or not. They can lose the standard hand and still win the progressive side bet. All side bets are placed at exactly $1. The following hand ranks are awarded the corresponding amount in most online casinos. Note that the actual prize may vary from one operator to the next.
- Royal Flush Pays 100% of the Progressive Jackpot
- Straight Flush Pays 10% of the Progressive Jackpot
- Four of a Kind Pays $500
- Full House Pays $100
- Flush Pays $50