Bullet Bob's Best Shot! Casino Game Strategies

Caribbean Stud Poker

The Caribbean Stud Poker rules and best strategy are easy to remember. Free games are available at some of the online casinos for practice. Caribbean Stud odds are a little heavy in favor of the house (about 5.2%), so look for the payouts that are shown below. If you play the optional jackpot and catch a few more big poker hands than usual, you can win quite a bit of money in a short time. This is one of the more exciting table games.

Caribbean Stud Poker Table LayoutCaribbean Stud is a five card stud poker game played on a blackjack type table with a standard 52 card deck. The cards are normally dealt from a multi-deck "shoe" or by an automatic shuffling machine that deals in groups of five card hands. Players try to beat the dealer with the best poker hand.

Each seat at the Caribbean Stud table has a player's layout and chip slot like the drawing at the right. The slot fixture has small lights that light up when a chip that has been placed in the slot is allowed to fall through for collection by the dealer. Always watch the lights to make sure your jackpot bet is indicated, before the hand is dealt. Sometimes they don't work properly and that could cost you a lot of money.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules and How to Play Procedure

Before any cards are dealt, you place a bet in the "ante" box in your table layout. This ante bet can be any amount within the posted table limits.

With each hand you may also play for the optional progressive jackpot. If you want to do this, you place a $1.00 chip in the chip slot in front of you. When all the players that want to play for the jackpot have theirCaribbean Stud Poker Bets bets down, the dealer presses a button allowing all the $1.00 chips to drop through the slots for collection. The lights on your slot fixture are activated by the chip drop and stay illuminated until the hand is over to show that you made the jackpot bet.

The dealer then gives five cards, face down, to all the players and gives himself four down and one up. You then look at your cards and decide to either play or fold. If you choose to fold, you lose your ante bet. If you choose to play, you place double the amount of your ante in the "bet" box. This is your "call" bet.

Poker HandFull Pay Call
Bonus Table
Full Pay
Jackpot Table
Royal Flush100 to 1100% Total
Straight Flush50 to 110% Total
4 of a Kind20 to 1$500
Full House7 to 1$100
Flush5 to 1$50
Straight4 to 1-
Three of a Kind3 to 1-
2 Pair2 to 1-
Pair or less1 to 1-
After all the players have acted, the dealer reveals his four hole cards. If he has an ace with a king or higher hand, he qualifies to compete with the players. If he does not qualify with the A-K or higher required, he pays all the bettors even money on their ante bets. Each call bet, in this case, is a "push". If the dealer does qualify with A-K or higher, he then compares his hand to each of the player's hands. If the dealer's hand is higher, the player loses both the ante bet and call bet. If the player's hand is higher than the dealer's, then he or she wins even money on the ante bet and the bonus amount on the call bet, in accordance with the call bet bonus schedule. A common mistake that many Caribbean Stud Poker players make is to refuse to bet on low pairs like twos, threes and fours, and strong ace highs because they seem to lose a lot more often than they win. They're right! They do. But what they don't realize is that not betting those hands and forfeiting the ante bet every time, is more costly in the long term than betting them. It's like splitting a pair of eights vs. a dealer ten in blackjack. Costly, but not splitting is even more so.

If the player made the $1.00 jackpot bet and has a flush or higher, he or she receives payment for the hand, in accordance with the jackpot payout schedule. When players are eligible for jackpot payouts they must announce that they have a jackpot hand to the dealer, as soon as they see it and before the hand is over. This is to protect your hand from the dealer accidentally scooping it up and mixing it in with the dead cards. Protect this hand and never take it off the table or out of overhead camera sight. If you do, the casino has the right to enforce the game rules and not pay you for it. The progressive jackpot bet is a separate side game. The player wins whether he or she beats the dealer or not.

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy and Tips

The percentage crunching experts will advise you not to play the jackpot game because the house advantage is too high. But I'll bet that even they will slip a coin in the jackpot slot when they think nobody is looking. Without the jackpot bet feature, the game of Caribbean Stud would soon be history. Just about everyone plays for the big progressive jackpot payouts.

Progressive MeterThe Progressive Jackpot

Actually the experts are sort of right when they complain about the jackpot odds, especially when the player is getting the common 50/75/100 payout and the progressive starts out at $5,000. But when you factor in a full pay schedule with some progressives reaching over $600,000 the picture starts to look pretty good for the player. With an average or near to average run of cards, you probably won't win at Caribbean Stud. However, if you are playing the progressive when the poker gods bless you with some unusually powerful hands or an unusually good run you can win a lot!

Optimal Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
Always call bet when you have:

  • A-K-J x x or higher
  • A-K and the dealer's up-card denomination (for example you hold A-K-2-9-5 and the dealer's up card is a 5)
All other hands should be folded.

So to give you the best shot at some nice winnings follow these tips: look for full pay games, large progressive jackpots and always play the optimal strategy.