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A Guide to Caribbean Stud Rules and Strategy

Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the most popular gambling games online. However, many recreational players start wagering real money without first understanding the basic rules and strategies of the game. This can be a very costly mistake.

If you are keen on having some fun without exhausting your bankroll, you need to learn the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker. They’re not difficult, and will make a noticeable difference in your overall play.

This page is for you if:
  • You want to learn the basic rules of Caribbean Stud Poker
  • You want to understand some basic game strategy
  • You are looking for somewhere to play online
  • You want the best real-money bonuses

Learning Basic Caribbean Stud Rules

At a casino online, Caribbean Stud Poker is played against the house and not against other players. Playing for real money begins with the player placing an initial wager. This is also known as an ante. During this time, players can also make a sidebet wager of $1 which qualifies them for the progressive jackpot.

Next, the player is dealt five cards, face down. These will be used to compete with the dealer’s hand, which is dealt with four cards down and one card up.

Now, players will look at their hand which is based according to traditional poker rules. Depending on how confident he or she is, they have the option to place another bet which will double (2x) the initial ante, or they can fold, losing their ante. For example, when you play Caribbean Stud Poker online at a $5 table, your wager is $5 and your call bet would be $10.

This is when the showdown begins. Once all players have made their decision, the dealer exposes his 4 remaining cards. The dealer must have a minimum hand of an Ace-King or better. If the dealer does not qualify, players are paid even money for their original bet. The second call bet is considered to be a push, in that it does not win or lose. If the dealer’s hand outranks the player’s, the house wins.

Here’s where the real money winnings get big. If the player's hand beats the dealer, they will be paid even money for the initial ante bet and the call bet will be paid according to the following pay table.

  • evens for a pair or high card
  • Caribbean Stud - Basic Rules And Strategy
  • 2-1 for two pairs
  • 3-1 for Three of a Kind
  • 4-1 for a Straight
  • 5-1 for a Flush
  • 7-1 for a Full House
  • 20-1 for a Four of a Kind
  • 50-1 for a Straight Flush
  • 100-1 for a Royal Flush

If you don’t know what these hands are, please refer to the reference table on your game screen, or take a quick look at our guide to poker hands.

Knowing When to Bet in Caribbean Stud

The beauty of online Caribbean Stud is that you can keep a handy list of moves by your computer for easy reference. Print this table off and refer to it when you play online.

Player's other
three cards
Dealer's up card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-J-10 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-9 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-8 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-7 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-6 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-5 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-4 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-3 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Q-J-2 R R R R R R R R R R R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-10-9 R R R R R R R R R 2 R R R
Q-10-8 R R R R R R R R R 3 R R R
Q-10-7 R R R R R R R R R 3 R R R
Q-10-6 R R R R R R R R R 4 R R R
Q-10-5 R R R R R R R R R 4 R R R
Q-10-4 R R R R R R R R R 4 R R R
Q-10-3 R R R R R R R R R 4 R R R
Q-10-2 R R R R 1 1 R R R 4 R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-9-8 R R R R R R R R F 3 R R R
Q-9-7 R R R R R R R R F 3 R R R
Q-9-6 R R R R R R R R F 4 R R R
Q-9-5 R R R R R R R R F 4 R R R
Q-9-4 R R R R R R R R F 4 R R R
Q-9-3 R R R R 1 1 R R F 4 R R R
Q-9-2 R R R 1 1 1 R R F 4 R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-8-7 R R R R R R R F F 3* R R R
Q-8-6 R R R R R R R F F 4 R R R
Q-8-5 R R R R 1 1 R F F 4 R R R
Q-8-4 R R R 1 1 1 R F F 4 R R R
Q-8-3 R R R 1 1 1 R F F 4 R R R
Q-8-2 R R R 1 2 2 R F F 4 R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-7-6 R R R 1 R R F F F F R R R
Q-7-5 R R R R 1 R F F F F R R R
Q-7-4 R R R 1 2 R F F F F R R R
Q-7-3 R R 1 2 2 R F F F F R R R
Q-7-2 R R 1 2 2* R F F F F R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-6-5 R R R R R F F F F F R R R
Q-6-4 R R R 2 R F F F F F R R R
Q-6-3 R R 1 3 R F F F F F R R R
Q-6-2 R R 1* 3 R F F F F F R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-5-4 R R R R F F F F F F R R R
Q-5-3 R R 2 R F F F F F F R R R
Q-5-2 R 1 2* R F F F F F F R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-4-3 R R R F F F F F F F R R R
Q-4-2 R 2 R F F F F F F F R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
Q-3-2 R R F F F F F F F F R R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-10-9 F F F F F F F R R R F R R
J-10-8 F F F F F F R F R R F R R
J-10-7 F F F F F R F F R R F R R
J-10-6 F F F F R F F F R R F R R
J-10-5 F F F R F F F F R R F R R
J-10-4 F F R F F F F F R R F R R
J-10-3 F R F F F F F F R R F R R
J-10-2 R F F F F F F F R R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-9-8 F F F F F F R R F R F R R
J-9-7 F F F F F R F R F R F R R
J-9-6 F F F F R F F R F R F R R
J-9-5 F F F R F F F R F R F R R
J-9-4 F F R F F F F R F R F R R
J-9-3 F R F F F F F R F R F R R
J-9-2 R F F F F F F R F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-8-7 F F F F F R R F F R F R R
J-8-6 F F F F R F R F F R F R R
J-8-5 F F F R F F R F F R F R R
J-8-4 F F R F F F R F F R F R R
J-8-3 F R F F F F R F F R F R R
J-8-2 R F F F F F R F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-7-6 F F F F R R F F F R F R R
J-7-5 F F F R F R F F F R F R R
J-7-4 F F R F F R F F F R F R R
J-7-3 F R F F F R F F F R F R R
J-7-2 R F F F F R F F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-6-5 F F F R R F F F F R F R R
J-6-4 F F R F R F F F F R F R R
J-6-3 F R F F R F F F F R F R R
J-6-2 R F F F R F F F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-5-4 F F R R F F F F F R F R R
J-5-3 F R F R F F F F F R F R R
J-5-2 R F F R F F F F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-4-3 F R R F F F F F F R F R R
J-4-2 R F R F F F F F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
J-3-2 R R F F F F F F F R F R R
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-9-8 F F F F F F R R R F F F F
10-9-7 F F F F F R F R R F F F F
10-9-6 F F F F R F F R R F F F F
10-9-5 F F F R F F F R R F F F F
10-9-4 F F R F F F F R R F F F F
10-9-3 F R F F F F F R R F F F F
10-9-2 R F F F F F F R R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-8-7 F F F F F R R F R F F F F
10-8-6 F F F F R F R F R F F F F
10-8-5 F F F R F F R F R F F F F
10-8-4 F F R F F F R F R F F F F
10-8-3 F R F F F F R F R F F F F
10-8-2 R F F F F F R F R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-7-6 F F F F R R F F R F F F F
10-7-5 F F F R F R F F R F F F F
10-7-4 F F R F F R F F R F F F F
10-7-3 F R F F F R F F R F F F F
10-7-2 R F F F F R F F R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-6-5 F F F R R F F F R F F F F
10-6-4 F F R F R F F F R F F F F
10-6-3 F R F F R F F F R F F F F
10-6-2 R F F F R F F F R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-5-4 F F R R F F F F R F F F F
10-5-3 F R F R F F F F R F F F F
10-5-2 R F F R F F F F R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-4-3 F R R F F F F F R F F F F
10-4-2 R F R F F F F F R F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
10-3-2 R R F F F F F F 1* F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-8-7 F F F F F R R R F F F F F
9-8-6 F F F F R F R R F F F F F
9-8-5 F F F R F F R R F F F F F
9-8-4 F F R F F F R R F F F F F
9-8-3 F R F F F F R R F F F F F
9-8-2 R F F F F F R R F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-7-6 F F F F R R F R F F F F F
9-7-5 F F F R F R F R F F F F F
9-7-4 F F R F F R F R F F F F F
9-7-3 F R F F F R F R F F F F F
9-7-2 R F F F F R F R F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-6-5 F F F R R F F R F F F F F
9-6-4 F F R F R F F R F F F F F
9-6-3 F R F F R F F R F F F F F
9-6-2 R F F F R F F R F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-5-4 F F R R F F F R F F F F F
9-5-3 F R F R F F F R F F F F F
9-5-2 R F F R F F F R F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-4-3 F R R F F F F 1 F F F F F
9-4-2 R F R F F F F 2 F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
9-3-2 R R F F F F F 4 F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
8-7-6 F F F F R R R F F F F F F
8-7-5 F F F R F R R F F F F F F
8-7-4 F F R F F R R F F F F F F
8-7-3 F R F F F R R F F F F F F
8-7-2 R F F F F R R F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
8-6-5 F F F R R F R F F F F F F
8-6-4 F F R F R F R F F F F F F
8-6-3 F R F F R F R F F F F F F
8-6-2 R F F F R F R F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
8-5-4 F F R R F F R F F F F F F
8-5-3 F R F R F F R F F F F F F
8-5-2 R F F R F F R F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
8-4-3 F R R F F F 1 F F F F F F
8-4-2 R F R F F F 2 F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
8-3-2 R R F F F F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
7-6-5 F F F R R R F F F F F F F
7-6-4 F F R F R R F F F F F F F
7-6-3 F R F F R R F F F F F F F
7-6-2 R F F F R R F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
7-5-4 F F R R F R F F F F F F F
7-5-3 F R F R F R F F F F F F F
7-5-2 R F F R F R F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
7-4-3 F R R F F R F F F F F F F
7-4-2 R F R F F 1* F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
7-3-2 R R F F F 4 F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
6-5-4 F F R R R F F F F F F F F
6-5-3 F R F R R F F F F F F F F
6-5-2 R F F R R F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
6-4-3 F R R F R F F F F F F F F
6-4-2 R F R F 1 F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
6-3-2 R R F F 2* F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
5-4-3 F R R R F F F F F F F F F
5-4-2 R F R R F F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
5-3-2 R R F 1 F F F F F F F F F
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A
4-3-2 R R R F F F F F F F F F F
Key to table:
R Always raise.
1 Raise if the suit of dealer's card matches the suit of one or more of your cards.
2 Raise if the suit of dealer's card matches the suit of two or more of your cards.
3 Raise if the suit of dealer's card matches the suit of three or more of your cards.
4 Raise if the suit of dealer's card matches the suit of four of your cards.
F Always fold

There are simpler strategies that can still have a marked effect on the house edge, however. The simplest is to only raise on pairs or better, which leaves a house edge of 5.47%. A slightly more complex strategy is to raise on Ace/King/Jack/8/3 or higher, which reduces the house edge to 5.316%. For those who do not wish to use perfect strategy, this one should be sufficient.

The dealer up card is a vital part to high-level Caribbean Stud Poker play. More advanced players will rely on knowledge of it, their hand, and the probabilities on the other four dealer cards in order to choose the best times to raise and when to fold. Players who become adept at choosing the right times to play or fold may also be interested in games like three card poker, where similar choices must be made.

The Progressive Jackpot Side Bet

Caribbean Stud - The Progressive Jackpot

When you play at a casino online, Caribbean Stud Poker will offer players the chance to make a $1 sidebet, before the cards are dealt. This jackpot is unique in the sense that you can win a percentage or all of it depending on the hand.

  • Royal Flush - 100% of jackpot - 1 in 647,740
  • Straight Flush - 10% of jackpot - 1 in 647,740
  • Four of a Kind - $500* - 1 in 4,165
  • Full House - $100* - 1 in 693
  • Flush - $50* - 1 in 508

*These payouts vary from casino to casino

Sometimes these jackpots can be huge, even into the millions. As a progressive jackpot it will continue to grow until someone wins it. Whether or not you make this bet, is up to you.

Five Simple Tips

You have made the effort to learn the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker. Without getting into the strategy of the game, here is the basic ways you can win real money.

  • Get a hand which is higher than the dealer’s hand.
  • Get a hand equal to the dealer’s, but with a higher spare card.
  • When the dealer’s hand does not qualify (it’s less than A-K).
  • You’ve wagered on the jackpot and hold qualifying hands.
  • You understand the rules and have learned a strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker

Finding a Great Caribbean Stud Casino Online

Caribbean Stud poker isn't reserved for James Bond or high rollers. In 2017 you can enjoy a game at any time on the web, and for small stakes.

Signing up for an account takes a few minutes, and many of the leading developers have their own Caribbean Stud formats to enjoy. Choose a strategy and see where your bankroll can go.

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