Live Caribbean Stud Rules
Caribbean Stud Poker is a fairly simple online casino game to play. Players are seated across the table from the dealer (in a live casino) or take their virtual seats at the real table (in an online casino). They place their initial bet, known as the ante. The minimum ante is usually CAD 1. Players can also opt to place a bet on the progressive jackpot if they want a shot at the big payday (explained further in the text).
Once the players have placed all the bets, the dealer will deal out the cards, with every player and the dealer receiving five cards each. All cards are dealt face down except for one dealer’s card, which is dealt face up for everyone to see.
Players will then proceed to pick up their hands from the table to see what they’ve got. Possible hand combinations are standard poker hands, ranging from a high card and one pair to royal flush. Based on the dealer’s up-card and their own holdings, player then have two options:
- Fold: give up their hand, surrendering the ante, or
- Bet: placing double the ante amount next to the ante
After all bets have been placed, the dealer will turn over the remaining four cards to expose his holdings. The following important rules apply:
- Dealer must have at least an Ace-King high hand to qualify
- If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, players will only win the ante, while the bet will become a push (tie)
If the dealer holds a qualifying hand, players will then turn over their respective hands and compare them to the dealer’s holdings. If the player has a stronger hand than the dealer, he will win both ante and the bet. Otherwise, the player loses.
Progressive Jackpot Bet
Progressive bet is entirely optional in Caribbean Stud Poker and it will pay according to the paytable displayed at the casino. These paytables can vary, so make sure to check the payouts before playing. Also, by playing a progressive bet you stand a chance to win a progressive jackpot if you make a royal flush (100% of the amount) or straight flush (10% of the total amount).
It is important to understand, however, that the casino takes around 25-35% of the side bet, while the remainder goes into the jackpot. This is because the casino will always seed the initial jackpot with a fixed amount (like $10,000), so they need to make up for the difference and possibly earn as well.
Live Caribbean Stud Poker Tips
Although it may appear like mostly a luck based game, there are certain strategic elements to Caribbean Stud. The house edge is around 5% to being with, but this number can be reduced quite significantly by playing a solid strategy.
While the full strategy for the game is overly complex to be analyzed in this article, here are a few tips to help you find your way around the tables.
- Always raise with a hand containing a pair or better, regardless of the dealer’s hand
- Fold if you have a hand weaker than Ace King
- If the dealer is showing a card between a 2 and a queen, which matches one of your cards, raise regardless
- If the dealer is showing an ace or a king and you have a jack or a queen, raise regardless
- Don’t pay $1 for the progressive jackpot. It’s the sucker’s bet as the house edge is 26%+
Applying these strategy rules, you should be able to bring the house edge down to about 2.5%, which is not that bad for a live casino game.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Live Caribbean Stud
Live Caribbean Stud is a lot of fun to play, especially if you love poker in general. Revolving around poker rules, it is the closest thing to sitting down in an actual game of poker. Mind you, it is not the same by a long shot, but it is a decent substitute to pass some time.
Progressive jackpot bet is a losing proposition, as explained above, but it also makes the game much more exciting. If you are playing primarily for fun, you will probably not want to miss on that one, especially since you will never be able to get over the fact that you were dealt a royal and didn’t win fifty or sixty grand because you failed to put in a measly $1.
For experienced gamblers, however, Caribbean Stud Poker will not be the game of choice. Since there is no way to reduce the house edge under 2.5% no matter what strategy you apply, Caribbean Stud is not what you want to play to make profit.
Our recommended Canadian casinos offer live Caribbean Stud Poker, so if you are interested in passing some time playing this mega popular casino game in an old-new environment, feel free to give it a go.