How to Play and Win at Online Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker is a simplified version of five-card stud poker that can be found at most online casinos as both an RNG-based and a live dealer game. It is particularly appealing due to the fact that it is faster and easier to play than standard poker games, largely because you're only playing against the dealer, rather than other players. But how does the game work?
This detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to play and win at Caribbean Stud Poker, from the rules of the game and its various bets to some strategies you can try to improve your chances of winning. Let's dive right in!
How to Play Online Caribbean Stud Poker
The best way to start learning to play Caribbean Stud Poker is to familiarise yourself with the various aspects of the game that you need to know about. In this section, we'll take a closer look at the table itself, which will look slightly different depending on whether you're playing an RNG-based or live dealer version of the game. We'll then move on to the different bets that you can make at the table, including the additional side bets that are offered in live dealer Caribbean Stud Poker. Since poker is all about those hands, we'll also focus on what they are in this particular version of the game before taking you through around step by step so you know what to expect.
The Caribbean Stud Poker Table
The Caribbean Stud Poker table can look a little different between the various RNG-based and live dealer versions, but they generally feature the same basic format. The RNG-based game tends to be based on a green felt effect table that can be rectangular, oval or semi-circular. You as the player will be seated at the bottom and the dealer will be at the top. To one side you'll see the various poker hands and their payouts written on the table surface. Somewhere in the centre, you'll see an Ante and a Bet position, which is where your bets will be placed.
In the live dealer version of the game, available in the newest online casinos, the table tends to be semi-circular, with the live dealer sitting along the flat edge and the player at the curved edge. Directly in front of you will be the betting positions of Ante and Call, plus additional positions for the 5+1 Bonus and Jackpot side bets.
The Caribbean Stud Poker Bets
As mentioned above, there are two main bets in Caribbean Stud Poker: the Ante and the Bet. There are also additional side bets that you have the option to place in every round of the live dealer version of the game, called the 5+1 Bonus and Jackpot side bets. The Ante bet is the one that must be played to start the game. Its importance is highlighted by the fact that it's the most central of the betting positions, as in the RNG-based games, or it features a money chest image on it, as in the live dealer game.
The Bet option is the one that's played next in the game and as such tends to be located close to the Ante bet. You may see it under another name such as Call or Raise, but it amounts to the same thing. This bet is played if you're confident that your hand will beat the live casino dealers. The 5+1 Bonus side bet is only available in the live dealer version of Caribbean Stud Poker and tends to be off to one side of the table. It is completely separate from the main game, giving you a chance to win even if you don't beat the dealer.
You may also find a progressive Jackpot side bet that gives you the chance to win additional payouts based on your poker hand value.
The Caribbean Stud Poker Hands
The aim of the game is to get a better poker hand than the dealer, so it's a good idea to learn what the various poker hand values actually are, so you know what to look out for with your dealt cards. Here are the poker hand values in order from lowest to highest:
- Pair: Two cards of the same value, eg. two 3s;
- Two Pair: Two cards of the same value and another two cards of the same value, eg. two 3s and two 4s;
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value, eg. three 5s;
- Straight: Five cards in consecutive order, eg. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6;
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit, eg. 2h, 4h, 6h, 7h, Jh;
- Full House: Two cards of the same value and three cards of the same value, eg. two 6s and three 8s;
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value, eg. four 10s;
- Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in consecutive order, eg. 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d;
- Royal Flush: The five highest cards of the same suit, ie. 10c, Jc, Qc, Kc, Ac.
Step by Step
Before you hit the table, let's take you through a round of Caribbean Stud Poker step by step so you know what to expect at each stage of the game:
- Place your Ante bet: This bet is essential as it starts the game. Choose your chip value and click on the Ante bet position to place your bet;
- Place a 5+1 Bonus/Jackpot side bet: If you're playing the live dealer version of the game, you can choose to place these side bets at this stage too;
- Click play or wait for a deal: In the RNG-based game, you can click the Play button when you're ready. In the live dealer game, the cards will be dealt with once the betting time has expired;
- Cards are dealt: Five upturned cards will be dealt with you and five cards will be dealt with the dealer, four of which will be face down and one of which will be face up;
- Bet or fold: Once you've had a look at your cards, you can choose whether to Bet to see the dealer's cards or fold if you don't think your hand has a chance of winning. The bet amount may be one or two times your Ante depending on the game you're playing;
- Enjoy your winnings: Once the dealer's hand is revealed, any winnings are paid based on your bet amounts and your poker hand value.
How to Win Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker is an interesting game in that your winnings depend on a few factors. Firstly, the value of your individual Ante and Bet amounts is used to work out your payout, but what you get back from these two bets depends on specific rules. You also have to take into account whether or not you bet on the 5+1 Bonus or Jackpot side bets and what they payout if you win. Then of course it comes down to what poker hand you won with.
If that all sounds complicated, don't worry! It will all become clear in the next section as we break things down to show you what you get back when you win for each of the individual bets.
The Ante bet will only ever pay out a maximum of even money as the poker hand values don't apply here. This is simply a bet for a shot against the dealer that will result in either a win, a loss or a tie.
- If the dealer does not qualify (ie. doesn't have at least an A and a K), you will get even money on your Ante bet.
- If the dealer qualifies and your hand beats the dealer's, you will get even money on your Ante bet.
- If there's a tie, your Ante bet is a push and will be returned to you.
- If you fold or the dealer qualifies and beats you, you will lose your Ante bet.
The Bet option gives you the chance to win much more as it is based on your poker hand value. Again, what you get back depends on whether or not the dealer qualifies and what your poker hand is.
- If the dealer does not qualify or the result is a tie, your Bet is a push and will be returned to you.
- If the dealer qualifies and your hand beats the dealer's, you will get a payout based on your poker hand value according to the paytable below.
- If the dealer qualifies and beats you, you will lose your Bet.
5+1 Bonus Win
This bet is a bit different in that it still pays out even if you don't beat the dealer. It's usually only available in live dealer versions of the game. With this bet, you're predicting that your five dealt cards plus the dealer's single upturned card will form a poker hand of Three of a Kind or better. Your payout depends on the poker hand value, as detailed below.
Jackpot Side Bet Win
Another side bet that's usually only found in live dealer Caribbean Stud Poker, this one offers additional payouts up to a progressive jackpot amount depending on your poker hand value. Again, this side bet can still be won regardless of whether or not you beat the dealer.
In the case of wins on the main Bet, 5+1 Bonus and Jackpot Side Bet, the payouts vary depending on the poker hand value you won with at the best online casinos. These also tend to vary depending on what game you're playing. Your stake is multiplied by the typical payout odds as shown below:
|Poker Hand Value||Main Bet Payouts||5+1 Payouts||Jackpot Side Bet Payouts|
|Three of a Kind||3/1||7/1||3/1|
|Four of a Kind||20/1||100/1||250/1|
|Royal Flush||100/1||1,000/1||Progressive jackpot|
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategies
So is there any way you can gain an advantage when it comes to Caribbean Stud Poker to boost your chances of winning? Though it's true that you can't influence what cards you will be dealt, there are a few ways you can actually increase your chances of winning, either directly by knowing when you should and shouldn't play that Bet option, or by knowing what to do with those side bets. Let's look at a few ways in which you can slim down that house edge for a slightly improved chance of winning at Caribbean Stud Poker.
Since the Ante bet is required in order to play, there isn't much you can do in that respect to influence the outcome. However, you can choose whether or not to play the main Bet in the game and doing so wisely can shear down that house edge for a better chance of winning. Here are two basic tips for an optimal play of the Bet option:
- Always play if you have a pair or better;
- Always fold if you don't meet the dealer's qualifying criteria, ie. holding an A and K or better.
Reducing the House Edge Further
You can whittle down that house edge by another few fractions of a percentage point by following these rules when you only hold an A and a K:
- Play if the dealer's upcard is 2 to Q and matches one of yours;
- Play if the dealer's upcard is A or K and you have a Q or J;
- Play if the dealer's upcard doesn't match any of yours, is less than your second lowest card and you hold a Q.
Side Bet or Not?
While those side bet payouts may look attractive, particularly that juicy progressive jackpot, they are large in size due to the fact that you're extremely unlikely to win, so best to play these side bets occasionally for a bit of fun.
Do You Want to Play Caribbean Stud Poker?
Keen to give Caribbean Stud Poker a shot? You are literally a couple of minutes away from being seated at the table looking at your first dealt cards! Simply sign up and deposit at any of the thoroughly reviewed online casinos featured on our site, claiming any available welcome bonuses, then open the game and start playing and winning for real at Caribbean Stud Poker online.
Is Caribbean Stud actually poker?
It’s a casino game that is formed from the basic rules and hand ranking of poker games. Technically it’s not poker, but they are linked in terms of these hand rankings. It's a good idea to look up the full rules for Caribbean Stud poker, especially if you're used to Texas Hold'em, before playing.
Can I get a Caribbean Stud Poker Bonus Online?
Dedicated bonuses just for Caribbean Stud Poker are quite rare. However, most online welcome offers will allow you to clear the bonus by playing Caribbean Stud Poker. If there are any casinos that do offer such bonuses, we'll be sure to list them on this page for your convenience.
How much can I win at Caribbean Stud Poker online?
Some of the games have massive progressive jackpots that work their way up into the millions. Most of the standard games will payout at 100 to 1 for a Royal Flush, but this has been known to vary. When playing online there will be clear instructions as to the payout rates.