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What Is Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean Stud Poker, or Casino Stud Poker, is another fairly straightforward table based casino poker game with few options for winning - you'll either raise and win back your ante plus extra,  draw with the dealer, or lose. It definitely doesn't have the really deep appeal of a real poker game, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun to play, and in fact is a good alternative to anyone who's is keen on to play games in a casino but who doesn't necessarily want to play blackjack.

Just as a warning, you may find Caribbean Stud Poker is a frustrating game to play. But similarly to blackjack and 3 card poker it does offer the opportunity to grow short term profits, with the added incentive of the possibility of hitting a big hand and a juicy win.

The game was first seen in action in the late 1980s at the King International Casino on a Caribbean ialand known as Aruba, and rapidly - perhaps surprisingly - became a crowd puller in various land based casinos. Las Vegas casinos soon picked up on its popularity, and now its rare to find any online or bricks and mortar casino that doesn't show it in their lists of casino games.


How To Play Caribbean Stud Poker

When you sit down for a session, the first thing you'll notice is the table looks very similar to a blackjack table. There are usually seven player positions, each showing boxes in front marked either ante or raise. These are where you'll place your bets. There's no obvious advantage in any seating position.

There's often a third option for adding a bet towards the progressive jackpot - a jackpot that builds up over time until one player hits a top hand. You certainly wouldn't want to hit that top hand when you didn't have the progressive bet covered!

First you make an ante bet, normally the lowest bet you can make is 1 unit, and you are dealt 5 cards. You can look at your own cards, but not show them to other players. After all players have their 5 cards, the dealer then takes 5 - four of these face down and one face up.

There are two options - either you raise (by placing another bet) or fold. All players do this, and the dealer turns over his unseen cards. If your hand beats the dealer, you win. If you folded, you lost your ante bet to the dealer.

The dealer has to have at least an ace-king in his hand to 'qualify'. On average this will happen around 55% of the time. If he doesn't, your ante bets pay even money, and all raises become a push - they're returned to you.

The best hand wins, but depending on what you're holding, you can receive anywhere up to 100 times the value of your raise bet (examples are 100 times for a Royal Flush, 50 times for a straight flush, and so on down to evens for a pair or A-K high).

But remember these are examples. They may vary from casino to casino. The payouts that vay the most are those for a flush and a full house. You really want to be looking for a casino that pays out at least 6-1 and 8-1 respectively to keep the house edge as low as possible.

The normal house edge in Caribbean poker is 5.2% based on the amount of ante lost, if you play perfect strategy this reduces to around 2.5%.

The frustration of the game comes when you have a hot hand - and the dealer doesn't qualify! That can make a significant dent in your overall winnings.