It's not quite fun in the sun, but Caribbean Stud is a fascinating Poker variation - get the lowdown with our complete guide.
Caribbean Stud Poker online is the marriage of a 5-card poker game with a casino game, as you play against the dealer and not the other players like in traditional poker. Think of the online Caribbean Stud Poker game as like a table version of video poker.
Read through our online Caribbean Stud Poker guide, and once you've got the rules and strategy nailed, play at one of our recommended Caribbean Stud Poker casinos below!
Best Caribbean Stud Poker Online Casinos
Making the right decision on what Caribbean Stud Poker online casino to play at can be crucial to your overall game-playing experience, so make use of the work we have done for you and read through the information we provide on the different casinos in order to make sure your experience is the best it can be.
We have listed the best online Caribbean Stud Poker casinos on where to play above, based on their betting limits, customer service, expert reviews and generous signup bonuses. We also consider the payment options that are available to you at each casino; CasinoGuide recommends using a casino with PayPal deposit feature, as these are typically more secure and pay out winnings more quickly.
We have done the hard work so you don't have to - just sign up, collect your bonus, and start playing!
Caribbean Stud Poker Online: How To Play
When you play Caribbean Stud online you can choose to play alone with the dealer or with other players at the table as well. As Caribbean Stud Poker is a game made to be played at the casino table, it migrates perfectly to the online game environment.
The rules to playing Caribbean Stud Poker online are very straightforward. The only decisions you have to make is whether to play and double your ante, or fold once your cards have been dealt.
Online Caribbean Stud Poker Gameplay
- First, you place your bet in the ‘ante’ box on the table. Found out the table limits and place a bet within that range.
- Then you have the option to play the progressive jackpot - you can read more about this below.
- Once all players that want to go for the jackpot have placed their bets, the dealer then gives each player five cards face down. He deals himself four cards face down and one face up. This is when you have to make your first play decision.
- Based on the potential hands indicated by the dealer's face-up card compared to yours, you can decide to play the hand or fold.
- If you fold you lose your bet. If you decide to play then you double the amount of your ante. For example, if your ante was $20, then your bet will be doubled to $40 – this is your ‘call’ bet.
- The dealer reveals his cards and a winner is announced depending on the standard poker hand rankings and another couple of criteria – if you need a reminder of these you can find them further down the page.
The house edge is a bit higher for this game, so you may want to practise on our free online Caribbean Stud Poker game below to get used to it.
Once you are feeling comfortable, take your pick from our recommended Caribbean Stud Poker online casinos listed above, cash in your exclusive bonus, and get in on the fun!
Caribbean Stud Poker Online: Losing And Winning Bets
Once you have decided whether you want to fold or call, then the dealer’s four face-down cards are turned over.
What happens to your ante and progressive bet depends on whether the dealer holds a qualifying hand. In order for the dealer to qualify, their hand must have an Ace-King or higher. The lowest possible qualifying hand would then be an A-K-4-3-2, with the highest being A-K-Q-J-10.
Depending on the dealer’s cards there are a few possible outcomes:
- If this dealer doesn’t qualify then the players are paid even money (1-1) on their ante and raise.
- If the dealer’s hand qualifies, you compare your hand to the dealer’s hand.
- If the dealer’s hand is higher than your poker hand, then you lose both the ante and the raise.
- If your poker hand is higher than the dealer’s hand, then you get your ante back (1 to1) and the bet payout, which depends on your winning hand.
- If your hand ties with the dealer’s hand, you don’t win or lose anything.
Caribbean Stud Poker Online: Payouts
If you beat the dealer’s qualifying hand, then the raise bet payout depends upon the value of your winning hand. The payouts are as follows:
- A-K or one Pair - 1:1
- Two Pair - 2:1
- Three of a Kind - 3:1
- Straight - 4:1
- Flush - 5:1
- Full House - 7:1
- Four of a Kind - 20:1
- Straight Flush - 50:1
- Royal Flush - 100:1
Make sure you check with your casino first, as these payouts may change depending on where you decide to play.
Optional Progressive Jackpot Side Bet
Apart from the required ante, you need to place before you play, in online Caribbean Stud Poker there is the added anticipation of playing for a progressive jackpot.
So how does the progressive jackpot actually work? When you place your ante before a game begins, you have the option of placing a side progressive bet of £1 in the drop slot marked on the table. This money goes into a collective pool of money which is awarded to the players with a Flush or higher hand. You are typically paid according to the payouts of the cards you have, for example:
- Royal Flush: 100% of the jackpot
- Straight Flush: 100% of the jackpot
- Four of a Kind: £250
- Full House: £150
- Flush: £100
If you are fortunate enough to have a Royal Flush or Straight Flush, your payout will be determined by what the total amount is at that time in the progressive jackpot, so check this with the casino you’re playing at.
Progressive Jackpots are more of a side game within the game itself. Keep in mind that the house edge is normally exceedingly high, so play this bet only if you feel like an added thrill to the game.
As mentioned in the game rules, the Progressive Jackpot is the third bet available in the game, and you need to be handed some pretty favourable cards in order to receive a payout. Check with the online casino you’re playing with if you want to know what the exact payouts as they differ from casino to casino.
Play a Hand of Online Caribbean Stud Poker
As you can see, practically anyone is able to play this game as it’s so straightforward with minimal decision making involved. Reading through the Caribbean Stud Poker rules is more than enough to get you into the game, and you can find the best casinos to play right here.
If you really want to increase your chances of winning then you should also have a read of our Caribbean Stud Poker strategy guide further down the page, so keep on scrolling if you’re feeling strategic!
Online Caribbean Stud Poker Rules
Caribbean Stud Poker is a game that transitions seamlessly from the land-based casino to the online world due to the fact that you play against the dealer and not the other players.
This poker variation which, as the name suggests, originated in the Caribbean, is easy to play once you learn the basics of online Caribbean Stud Poker rules. There are several similarities between these and the rules of other poker-based games like Pai Gow and online Video Poker.
Online Caribbean Stud Poker Basics
In this simple poker variation, you play only against the dealer’s hand. You are dealt only one hand, and, using the hand rankings of normal poker you bet on whether you will have a better hand than the dealer.
Each player and the dealer are dealt five cards each from a standard 52-card deck. The winning hands are the same as normal poker hands – here they are in order if you need a refresher:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- High card
In a land-based casino, up to 7 players can be at the table, which is very similar to the table used for Blackjack. It’s normally grouped together with online Blackjack and Craps rather than with poker, despite being a poker variation.
The House Edge
The first thing you need to understand before you start playing is the house edge you’re working with. The house edge can vary from casino to casino depending on the size of the progressive jackpot, so the first thing you should do is check this before you start playing - it should be at around 5.2-5.3%, similar to Roulette.
The house edge comes from the way you bet in Caribbean Stud Poker online as approximately 44% of the time the dealer won’t qualify and as a result you will only win your ante. The other 56% of the time the dealer will qualify, and then you have an equal opportunity of beating the dealer’s hand.
House Edge Compared With Other Games
If you are familiar with playing other casino games online, then you will know that some bets give you better odds than others. In Craps for example, proposition bets in Craps, can be some of the worst you can find.
Even though the house edge isn’t too great in Caribbean Stud, it is not the worst either. If you use a Caribbean Stud Poker strategy then you will be playing at a 5.3% house edge.
If you are into a game which is a bit more social, less competitive, and not as fast-paced as other table games then this is the game for you.
Caribbean Stud Poker Online Strategy
As with any poker-based game, there are countless different strategies you can employ, varying greatly in complexity. knowing the various strategies that can be employed will help you to maximise your odds of beating the dealer and taking home some winnings. For those who want to keep it simple, we have the following advice.
Make a bet if you have a Pair or better, or if you have an Ace, King, Jack or a card matching the dealer’s card which is face up on the table. Any other cards you should fold, unless you want to take a larger risk with your bets.
Even though the odds are low for the Progressive Jackpot win, if you are dealt some good, powerful cards you could potentially be earning big bucks in a short amount of time. Check out our in-depth game guides to find out how best to increase your odds of winning at Caribbean Stud Poker online.
Basic Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
There are a few simple rules to remember, particularly for the beginner player, which you should always keep in mind when determining whether to call or fold your cards:
- Call when you’re holding a Pair or higher, even if you have a low Pair. It may seem counterintuitive to call when your pair is low, but they are the most common cards in online Caribbean Stud Poker so you’d be losing out not to play them.
- Always call if your hand is an A-K-Q-J-X – where X is any other card in the deck.
- If the dealer’s hand contains an Ace or a King and your cards are lower than this, then fold.
If you are relatively new to the game stick to this strategy, as you will only give up a minute percentage to the house edge.
If it all seems a bit too complicated to remember, then just remember this one rule: only bet if you have an A-K-J-8-3 or better, if not, then fold. This will keep the house edge at a tiny amount higher than using the strategy listed above, and is easier to remember.
Advanced Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
You can also implement some of the following more advanced guidelines to lower the house edge a little bit more:
- If you don’t have a Pair, but one of your cards matches one of the dealer’s cards then call, as this will make it less likely that the dealer will have a Pair.
- If you have an Ace, King, Queen, and two other cards, then call if the highest of the other cards is higher than the dealer’s visible card.
- If you have an Ace, King, Jack, and two other cards, call if the dealer’s visible card matches any card in your hand.
- If you have an Ace, King, 10, and two other cards, call if the dealer’s visible card matches any card in your hand.
Another Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
- If the dealer's visible card is any card between a two and Queen, and your card matches the dealer’s visible card then call the bet.
- If the dealer’s visible card is an Ace or a King, and you have either a Queen or a Jack, then call the bet.
- If the dealer’s visible card is less than your fourth highest card, doesn't match any of your cards and you have a Queen in your hand, then call the bet.
Try not to get carried away and call with any other hand that isn’t listed; you will be giving away a percentage to the house and your odds of winning are lowered.
When to Bet in the Progressive Jackpot
Looking at the huge numbers that make up the total of the Progressive Jackpot may make you dream of yourself diving into a pool of cash and swimming in it, but before you allow your imagination to convince you to throw your money into the Progressive Jackpot, remember that this bet has one of the worst house advantages of all casino bets, normally at around 25%.
This isn’t a bet to make if you’re looking at a smart, cost-effective way to win money, but it can add some excitement to a round if you’re feeling like stepping out of your comfort zone. Try not to make a habit of if as you will end up losing most of the time.
Ideally, you want the Progressive Jackpot total to be quite large in order to make this bet worthwhile, if not you will never have an edge over the casino.
Use The Best Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy For You
The best thing you can do is try out the strategies to find out what works for you. Here's a quick guide to help you choose:
- Stick to the single rule strategy if you have the memory of a goldfish
- Use basic strategy if you just want to have fun with it and not analyse the dealer’s cards too much
- Experiment with more advanced strategy if you are serious about increasing your bankroll and lowering the house edge as much as possible.
Caribbean Stud Poker History
Caribbean Stud Poker is a mere child in comparison to other casino games such as Backgammon and Baccarat, yet despite its young age Caribbean Stud Poker history is undocumented and riddled with rumours.
Caribbean Stud derived from the regular poker game which dates back to the turn of the 19th century, and it is played with the exact same card values. The player’s decision to either continue playing to beat the dealer’s hand, or to fold and leave the game, remains identical to poker.
However there are some changes to the rules and gameplay, it incorporates elements similar to when you play Blackjack, such as playing at a casino table, and the players playing against the dealer as opposed to each other.
Caribbean Stud Poker History - The Aruban Heritage
Even though poker has been played for centuries, Caribbean Stud poker is one of the newest variants of poker, dating back only a few decades to the 1980s. Although the stories vary, most trace Caribbean Stud Poker History to the Caribbean island of Aruba, a popular tourist holiday spot off the coast of Venezuela.
Although the geographical location where the game was born is clear, it is believed that either the game started in the hotels and was then picked up by the cruise ship casinos in the region, or that it originated in one of the cruise ships itself. Regardless of whether the game was born on the land or sea, it is clear that in the late 1980s the game spread rapidly throughout the islands in the region.
The international clientele of the cruise ship casinos very astutely took note of the popularity of the game on the ships and wisely took the game back to the United States, where it was then popularised in the Las Vegas casinos in the early 1990s.
The Introduction of the Progressive Jackpot to Caribbean Stud Poker
As the game initially didn’t pick up quite as quickly as the casinos had hoped, the progressive jackpot was introduced to players as an added incentive for players. Players were enticed to try out the new game by placing only an additional single dollar bet to a communal jackpot, with the possibility to earn up to 10% to 100% of the jackpot total.
The casino bosses knew what they were doing, as this small fun addition was all that Caribbean Stud needed for the game to soar in popularity in both the United States and eventually in Europe.
Caribbean Stud Poker History Rumours
Nobody really knows for sure who the person is who came up with the game, but one of the more accepted stories is that a man called James Suttle learnt of the new poker game through another player at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in the 80s in Vegas, and he then sold the game to the owner of the King International Casino Danny Jones in Aruba, now called the Grand Holiday Casino.
Jones then introduced the game to cruise ship casinos in the region, and added the progressive jackpot aided by computer programmer and poker player Michael Titus who developed the progressive network for the game with the company Progressive Games, Inc.
However this company very quickly dissolved as a result of some licencing issues and moved, and he attempted to distribute the game from Florida, and the fees from the distributor were allegedly never paid. Finally, the rights were bought by Mikhon gaming.
Another name that is vaguely associated to the beginnings of Caribbean Stud Poker is David Sklansky, the reputable gambling expert and author of well-respected books on game strategy, who attempted to claim that Caribbean Stud came to being because of him.
He revealed that he came up with Caribbean Stud Poker on a well-known poker forum stating that he invented the game in 1982 under the name ‘Casino Poker’. His version had the dealer exposing two cards instead of one and had no progressive jackpot, but the rules were otherwise identical.
According to Sklansky, as a result of patent laws in the period he was unable to patent the game, but he did trademark it and due to unknown circumstances he didn’t end up carrying this project through.
Sklansky then claimed that a few years after this he was approached by a casino player from Aruba who took the game to the Caribbean, changed it slightly and popularised it, and then it travelled back to the United States and Europe where the progressive jackpot was added and it was patented under Caribbean Stud Poker and eventually sold to a company called Mikohn for above $30 million.
A lesser known story is that the game was invented by a hotel and entertainment mogul in Aruba known as Dennis King, however there is no proper evidence to verify his claims to the origins of the game. The true origins of the game still cause controversy today with multiple versions pointing to different people and places.
Going Global: Caribbean Stud Poker Online Casinos
Even though the Progressive Jackpot gave the game an excitement level boost, playing Caribbean Stud at a land-based casino still doesn’t give you very good odds. Online casinos made the game far more attractive by not only having the Progressive Jackpot but also better odds.
Today Caribbean Stud Poker is immensely popular online as not only are the Caribbean Stud rules straightforward but due to the higher number of players who play in online casinos the progressive jackpot can really be enormously high, making this an alluring feature of the game.
Now you can enjoy this relatively easy and exciting game and join with players from all around the globe to attempt to win the jackpot.
Play Caribbean Stud Online Now!
Caribbean Stud Poker is ideally suited to the online gaming environment. It is immensely entertaining while at the same time giving you the opportunity to earn some very large sums of money, which will be deposited directly into your account swiftly and securely.
You will only play against the dealer so for those who aren’t as confident in bluffing in traditional poker games, online Caribbean Stud Poker is perfect for you. It’s a slower game which is more relaxing as you don’t have to compete against the other players as you play only with the dealer.
By choosing to play Caribbean Stud Poker online you can play anywhere and anytime you want to, from the comfort of your home, on the train, or even in the office. All you need to do is sign up, have some fun and watch the cash roll in - try it today!