Online Casino Games - Caribbean Stud Poker Rules & Strategy

How to play & Win at Caribbean Poker:
Below you will find Caribbean Poker rules, analysis, strategies, play system, poker techniques, winning and bonus payouts, Caribbean Poker hand rankings, Caribbean Poker progressive jackpot bonus payouts, and more.

Caribbean Poker analysis of the basic game:

  • Raise if the dealer's card is a 2 through queen and matches one of yours.
  • Raise if the dealer's card is an ace or king and you have a queen or jack in your hand.
  • Raise if the dealer's rank does not match any of yours and you have a queen in your hand and the dealer's card is less than your fourth highest card.

Caribbean Poker Common Mistakes

  • Folding pairs under 5
    The call bet is twice the amount of the ante, so some players are reluctant to play low pairs. Too risky, they think. Statistically, however, 44% of all hands will not even contain a qualifying set - no pair, no ace-king, nothing. Another 6.08% of the time, the dealer will be holding an (A,K,X,X,X), where X represents unpaired, non-suited, non-sequential cards. Conclusion: even the WEAKEST pair will beat the dealer 50.08% of the time!
  • Calling on an ace-king, but folding on a pair of twos
    This method of playing is based on the misguided notion that if the player doesn't have a pair, then neither does the dealer. This is a bad move! As I've already shown a pair of twos will beat the dealer 50.08% of the time, while ace-king hands will fall within the range of 44% to 50.08%, depending on the strength of the remaining cards in the hand.
  • Playing (A,Q,X,X,X) hands
    Novice players call on this hand because under the right circumstances it can look powerful. For example, the hand A,Q,J,10,9 (unsuited) looks pretty strong, but is actually worthless. Since the only way this hand can win is for the dealer to have nothing, there is absolutely no reason why this play should ever be made.
  • Betting all hands
    Some players try to "bluff" the dealer, regardless of the strength of their hand. Since the dealer will have a qualifying hand 56% of the time, even a large bankroll will not last the constant draws.

Now that you know what NOT to do, it's time to see exactly what you must do to get the edge down to the lowest amount. The following table lists the rules for making a call bet.

Basic Playing Strategy: Call Bet Strategy

Hand Dealer's Card Call Bet
8's-A's Any Yes
7's 7,6,5,4,3,2 Yes
6's 6,5,4,3,2 Yes
5's 5,4,3,2 Yes
4's Any Yes
3's Any Yes
2's Any Yes
A-K-Q-J-X Any Yes
A-K-Q-X-X A,K,Q,X,X Depends
A-K-J-X-X A,K,J,X,X Depends
A-K-10-X-X A,K,10,X,X Depends
X represents any unpaired, non-sequential, and non-suited cards.

From the table above you can see that a pair of 8's or higher has a statistical expectation for winning regardless of the dealer's exposed card. With 5's, 6's or 7's, however, the strength of the hand is directly related to that card. Since the dealer has a greater chance for exposing one of his paired cards (40% of the hand makes up the pair) players have a greater chance of winning when the dealer exposes a card of equal or lesser value then their pair. If the dealer doesn't qualify the player's bet wins the ante and the dealer's payoff on the ante. In other words, if the dealer doesn't qualify the player is paid even money on the bet. In the long run, however, the dealer will qualify 56.3% of the time. A bluff is always a bad bet. Even the best possible bluff - where the player holds an Ace or King, another card which matches the dealer's upcard, and a four-flush of the same suit as the dealer's upcard - is unfavorable. This means that a player who always folds hands lower than Ace-King will lose less in the long run than a player who bluffs. Having said that, regardless of the dealer's card, you must still make the call bet on any pair.

A pair or better should always be bet. A bet on even the worst possible pair - deuces, with no Ace nor King, no card matching the dealer's upcard, and no card of the same suit as the dealer's upcard - yields an expected profit. This means that a player who always bets a pair of deuces or better will lose less in the long run than a player who folds such hands.

The dealer will fail to qualify exactly 43.7% of the time, and will qualify with an Ace-King (no pair) 6.4% of the time. A player with an Ace-King that makes a bet will win even money more than 43.7% of the time (because a player holding Ace-King reduces the dealer's chances of qualifying), and will be paid two to one (1:1 bet payoff plus 0.5:1 ante plus 0.5:1 ante payoff) when the player's Ace-King beats the dealer's. Therefore, there are some player Ace-King hands which should be bet, depending on what other cards the player holds. For example, if the player holds a card having the same value as the dealer's upcard, the chance of the dealer having a pair is reduced

Hands like (A,K,Q,X,X), (A,K,J,X,X), and (A,K,10,X,X), are the weakest playable hands, with a very low win expectation. For these hands, the call bet is made only when the dealer's exposed card matches any card in your hand. Any other hand that you are dealt is considered garbage and should be folded.

This is the optimal strategy for making call bets in Caribbean Stud Poker. There aren't as many rules as there are with games such as blackjack, but there are very important rules nonetheless. Knowing these rules will help reduce the casino edge down to it's lowest value and help you to make a profit, instead of wasting your time and money.