Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud poker is a variety similar to the traditional 5-card stud poker game. However, one key difference that separates the two is that in Caribbean stud poker, players bet against the house instead of other players at the table. With this in mind, there is no strategy utilized in regard to bluffing or using deceptive play against your opponent.


A main point that detracts some players from the game is that it has a larger house advantage than other poker varieties.  For this reason, two of the original developers of Caribbean Stud Poker, Americans Danny Jones and Michael Titus, decided to add a live progressive jackpot in to the mix, a feature very similar to those used in Slots games, in order to entice players and bolster the game’s popularity. It is mainly for this reason that Caribbean stud poker enjoys its popularity to this day, in Vegas and abroad. The Caribbean variant became particularly popular among those cruise ships frequenting the Caribbean islands, especially Aruba where the game was heavily marketed after its development.


The rules for Caribbean Stud Poker are relatively simple to learn. To begin, antes are placed on the layout, be aware progressive play may require activation. There are only two moves to make during play, a fold or a raise. A raise is twice the ante.  Cards are dealt in 5-card hands with the dealer showing one card, the rest face down. After betting the dealers cards are shown and compared to the players. Ace-king is the lowest acceptable playing hand. Up until a royal flush is achieved, betting repays a larger amount as the hand’s value in Poker increases. If the dealer beats a player, the dealer receives both the players ante and bet. If a dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify bets are void and antes are returned.


Caribbean Stud is not a poker game for amateurs. Betting strategy is difficult and, because the game is typically played using 6 full decks, shuffled after each hand, any type of card counting strategy can be effectively ruled out. One thing to remember is that a low pair is not necessarily a losing hand. Betting with a low pair like 2’s or 3’s can actually pay out in the long run, contrary to what one may think. This is not because they win over the lowest qualifying ace-king, but because folding these common hands guarantee you lose your ante, if a player bets against the house at least they have a decent chance of breaking even or making a return.


The linked progressive jackpot is something that no Caribbean Stud player should forget; it will pay off big when a player lands one of the winning hands, anything over a flush, and typically costs only $1 per hand to activate. Remember, it is a player’s duty to ensure the progressive attribute is activated each turn.



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