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How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean Stud poker is a casino table game that has gained significant popularity over the years, and it is now a staple in land-based and online casinos. You will also find it under the name Casino Stud poker. The game derives from 5-Card Stud poker, unlike regular poker games like Texas Hold ‘emOmaha, or Razz poker, where you play against other players; when you play Caribbean Stud poker, you don’t play against other players, but you play against the house. Our gambling experts created the following guide on how to play Caribbean Stud poker. We also share some poker tips and the best online places you can play this simple poker game.

Main Caribbean Stud Rules

Caribbean Stud poker is straightforward to play, and unlike some other casino games like slots where the player does not have a say in the game, this game involves the player. The game’s origin is a bit unclear, with some claims that David Skalnsky invented the game in 1982 under the name Casino Poker. Still, it was a few years later when he was approached by another poker player who brought the game to the King International Casino in Aruba, where the poker rules were changed somewhat, and the game was patented. From there, the game spread into many land-based casinos and later into online casinos, where Caribbean Stud poker has become a staple poker game.

The Caribbean Stud poker game is simply set up in the casino, as you play the game against the dealer (the house). The main goal in this poker variant is to have a better poker hand than the dealer. To qualify, the dealer’s hand needs to have an Ace or a K; if the dealer does not have a qualifying hand, there is no action, and the ante bets are paid 1 to 1.

There are two bets in Caribbean Stud poker, the ante bet and the raise, but the player also has the option to fold if they don’t like their cards. In this case, the player needs to forfeit their ante bet.

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Caribbean Stud Poker Gameplay

It is effortless to play Caribbean Stud poker because all you need to do is join the poker table and place your ante bet. We need to note that different casinos have different payouts and different betting limits, which we urge you to check before you join a Caribbean Stud poker game.

✅ Antes

To join the game, you need to place the ante bet, or the forced bet, in the amount prescribed by the casino where you play. After all the players place their ante bets, and if there is a progressive jackpot feature, you can also join it, the dealer announces, “no more bets.”

✅ Dealing the Cards

After the “no more bets” announcement, the dealer and the players get five face-down cards each. The dealer turns over one of their cards, keeping the four others face-down, and then the players may look at their cards.

✅ Play or Fold

Once the players see their cards, they have the option to play or fold. If they fold, they’ll forfeit the ante bets, and if they decide to play, the players must place the raise bet, which is twice the ante bet. Then, the dealer will reveal their hand, and they need to have an A and a K or form a high-ranked poker hand.

If the dealer hand does not qualify, then the ante bets are paid 1 to 1, and the raised bets are push (returned to the bettors). If the dealer’s hand qualifies, the dealer compares it against the player’s hands. The players who have a better hand than the dealer will win and get a suitable payout. The players who have a worse hand than the dealer will lose the ante and raise. In case of a tie with the dealer, there is no money lost or won, and the bets are returned to the players.

✅ Side Bets

Some online casinos allow side bets in Caribbean Stud poker, and one of these is the progressive jackpot bet. The progressive jackpot bet is appealing, but to win it, you need to be dealt a royal flush, where you will win 100% of the jackpot. However, if you get dealt a straight flush, you only get 10% of the jackpot amount and any lower hand wins a negligible amount, hence the name progressive jackpot.

Another side bet in Caribbean Stud poker is the 5+1 bet, where the player bets that they can use their five hole cards and the dealer’s face-up card to make a poker hand of Three-of-a-kind or better. The 5+1 side bet in Caribbean Stud poker is placed after the ante bet, and it is not affected by the other action. The 5+1 side bet has the following payout:

  • Royal Flush – 1,000 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 200 to 1
  • Four-of-a-kind – 100 to 1
  • Full House – 20 to 1
  • Flush – 15 to 1
  • Straight – 10 to 1
  • Three-of-a-kind – 7 to 1

Caribbean Stud Poker Hand Rankings

Because Caribbean Stud poker is a game where you play with five cards, the winning poker hand rankings are the same as in the other five-card poker games like Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, and 5-Card Stud. We’ve outlined these in the table here:

Hand name Cards
Royal Flush 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit
Straight Flush J-10-9-8-7 – any five consecutive cards in the same suit
Four of a Kind Four of the same card plus a fifth card
Full House Three cards of one rank and two cards in another rank
Flush Five cards in the same suit, no matter the sequence
Straight Five cards in a sequence, no matter the suit
Three-of-a-Kind Any three cards of the same rank plus two other cards
Two Pair A hand with two distinct pairs plus a fifth card
Pair A hand with a pair of cards and three other cards
High Card A five-card hand that does not fit any of the hands above

Caribbean Stud Poker Payouts

The payout table in Caribbean Stud poker depends on the actual casino you play at, but we’ve compiled the usually found payouts you will encounter at the best online casinos:

  • Royal Flush – 100 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 50 to 1
  • Four-of-a-kind – 25 to 1
  • Full House – 10 to 1
  • Flush – 7 to 1
  • Straight – 5 to 1
  • Three-of-a-kind – 3 to 1
  • Two Pair – 2 to 1
  • Pair & High Card – 1 to 1

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy & Tips

When you play Caribbean Stud poker, you can apply some poker strategies that will help you pay better. Thus, here we share some poker tips to help you when you play Caribbean Stud poker online:

  • Play a hand that has a pair or better
  • Raise when you have a pair or higher hand
  • Fold a hand that is weaker than the dealer’s A-K
  • Play when the dealer’s up card is lower than your fourth-highest card
  • No point in bluffing, as you only play against the house


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What is the payout in Caribbean Stud poker?

The payout in Caribbean Stud poker is impressive, especially if you have a high winning hand. You can expect to win the following payouts: Royal Flush – 100 to 1, Straight Flush – 50 to 1, Four-of-a-kind – 25 to 1, Full House – 10 to 1, Flush – 7 to 1, Straight – 5 to 1, Three-of-a-kind – 3 to 1, Two Pair – 2 to 1 and for a Pair & High Card the payout is 1 to 1.

What are the best starting hands in Caribbean Stud poker?

Because there is no option to change your cards in Caribbean Stud poker, you are stuck with the hand you’re dealt, so the best starting hand is a royal flush.

What hands should I play in Caribbean Stud poker?

Because of the rule of the dealer’s hand qualifying with an A and K, you should play any starting hand that has strong pocket pairs or any strong hand that you believe has the potential to beat the dealer’s hand. If your hand is lesser than the dealer’s qualifying hand, you should fold instantly.

Where can I play Caribbean Stud poker online?

You can find many online casinos where you can play Caribbean Stud poker, as this is one of the most popular online casino games. However, we recommend you join a reputable, licensed online casino like 20Bet, Betway, Wazamba, Karamba, Nomini, Casinia, or 888Casino, where you’ll find excellent Caribbean Stud poker options.

How many players play Caribbean Stud poker?

Caribbean Stud poker is a casino table game, and it can be played by up to 8 players and the dealer.

What happens if I fold in Caribbean Stud poker?

If you fold in Caribbean Stud poker, you automatically forfeit your ante and raise bets.

What happens if the dealer does not qualify for Caribbean Stud poker?

If the dealer’s hand does not qualify in Caribbean Stud poker, then you’ll receive a flat payout of 1 to 1 on your ante bet, and you’ll get your raise bet returned to you.

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