Caribbean Stud rules and game play

When you play online (and live) Caribbean Stud you play against a house dealer, and the first thing you need to do is to place an obligatory ante. Once the ante is placed, all players and the dealer are dealt five cards. Players get all their five cards dealt face down while the dealer turns over one card.

At this point in the game of Caribbean Stud you may click on your cards and view them, after which you get the option to bet or fold. If you fold, you forfeit the initial ante. If you decide to bet it will cost another amount equal to the obligatory ante.

If you decide to bet you will then reveal your five cards, while the dealer turns over the four remaining cards not yet shown. If you have a pair and the dealer has nothing, you win even money. If neither you nor the dealer has anything, you win if you have a higher high card than the dealer and you lose if you don’t. But if the dealer has Ace or King or better, this is when it gets interesting because now you can win more than amount of the initial bet.

The payouts vary somewhat from casino to casino, but these are the typical amounts you will win depending on what hand you are holding:

  • Royal flush 100 to 1
  • Straight flush 50 to 1
  • Four of a kind 20 to 1
  • Full house 7 to 1
  • Flush 5 to 1
  • Straight 4 to 1
  • Three of a kind 3 to 1
  • Two pair 2 to 1
  • One pair or less 1 to 1

Some casinos also offer a progressive jackpot for a Royal Flush. It will cost you extra though, and I guess the size of the jackpot should dictate whether you should pay up or not.

Caribbean Stud betting strategy

Caribbean Stud betting strategy is quite simple. There may be some minor disagreements, but if you follow these four rules are you at least playing something widely considered to be optimal Caribbean Stud strategy.

  • Raise with a pair or better and fold with worse than ace/king high. Also raise with ace or king high if any of these three scenarios takes place:
  • If the revealed dealer card is not an ace or a king and the same card as one of the cards you are holding.
  • If the revealed dealer card is an ace or a king and you have a queen or jack.
  • If the revealed dealer card is not the same as any of your cards, and if you have a queen and three cards higher than the revealed dealer card.

If you follow these rules you are looking at a house edge of approximately 5.2%. Take advantage of some of the many generous bonuses from online casinos out there and you will suddenly find yourself playing on the right side of the odds.

In the terms and conditions of some casinos it is written that low-risk bets do not count towards the clearing of bonuses, e.g. the red/black roulette bet. In Caribbean Stud all bets must be considered as low-risk. So if the casino offers a bonus with wagering on Caribbean Stud, all bets counts towards the bonus. It’s also worth noticing that Caribbean Stud usually counts 100% towards the contribution rate when you are trying to reach the wagering requirements in order to clear an online casino bonus, which is another big plus.