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Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud is a popular casino card game that has migrated from its traditional cruise ship home to become a big game online.

It's a simple game to pick up and if you're familiar with Stud poker easy to grasp: you and the dealer get dealt five cards from a deck. If you think that your hand will beat the dealer's, you make a bet. If you beat his hand, you win.

The beauty of online Caribbean Stud is that you can enjoy games for free, or aim for a special Progressive Jackpot. Let's take a closer look at this fast and furious card game.

Find the best free Caribbean Stud games online:

  • Try out strategies and gameplay for free before you commit with cash
  • Enjoy big-money progressive jackpots and side bets
  • Make your Caribbean Stud play pay with a welcome bonus

History of Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud began life, allegedly, as the brainchild of famous poker pro, David Sklansky. In Sklansky's version, the dealer was given five cards, with two 'face up' cards showing. The aim of the game was to beat the dealer's hand with your own five-card poker hand. Essentially, it was a form of Stud poker but played against the house rather than other players.

A version of the game arrived in Aruba (hence the Caribbean name) and became popular at local casinos and on cruise liners.

Whatever the true story, Caribbean Stud is now popular in resorts and Las Vegas. UK players will usually find the game at online casinos only. However, with online Caribbean Stud the stakes can be much lower than their land-based cousins.

 
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Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker
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How to Play Caribbean Stud Online

The aim of Caribbean Stud Poker is to beat the dealer's 5-card poker hand with a better hand.

Placing Bets: When you sit down at a table or load up an online game, you'll have to start off paying the ante. There is a clear 'ANTE' spot on the table - just drag and drop chips onto the space. Some progressive Caribbean Stud games (see below) will have a slit on the screen where you make your side bets.

By clicking the 'Deal' button, each player, and the dealer, will receive five cards. The players' are face up while the Dealer will show one card face up (for all players to see) and four down.

Based on what you can see face up, it's up to you to remain in the hand or 'fold' (discard) your cards. If you stay in, you double your ante and place it on the 'Call' or 'Bet' space. This is also known as a raise. The dealer reveals his cards, and the highest poker hand wins.

Hands are ranked in classic poker fashion, with a Royal Flush the best hand, going down to the high card:

Royal Flush (10-J-Q-K-A same suit)
Straight Flush (e.g. 3-4-5-6-7 same suit)
Four of a Kind (e.g. 5-5-5-5)
Full House (a pair and a 3-of-a-kind e.g. 2-2-J-J-J)
Flush (five of the same suit)
Straight (five cards in consecutive order)
Three of a Kind (e.g. A-J-6-6-6)
Two Pair (e.g. A-J-J-10-10)
One Pair (e.g. A-A-2-5-9)
High card (e.g. A-4-7-8-10)

Payouts: The house pays out depending on whether your hand beats the dealer. However, you may also win if the dealer's hand doesn't qualify.

Dealer Qualifies and Player Wins: If your hand is higher than the dealer's, you win 1/1 on your ante. Your bet (raise) amount will pay out depending on the quality of your hand. These payouts usually vary between online casinos. This is a typical online casino payout system:

Royal Flush: 1000/1
Straight Flush: 200/1
Four of a Kind: 100/1
Full House: 15/1
Flush: 10/1
Straight: 6/1
Three of a Kind: 4/1
Two pair: 2/1
One Pair: 2/1
A-K or better: 2/1

Dealer Doesn't Qualify: A qualifying hand contains A-K-x-x-x or better. If the dealer doesn't have this, you'll be paid 1/1 (even money) on the ante. The bet is returned to you.

Dealer Qualifies and Beats Your Hand: If the dealer qualifies (has an ace and a king, or higher) and beats your hand, you lose both your ante AND bet.

Dealer and Player Tie: If the dealer and player have the same hand, both the ante and bet 'push', or carry over to the next hand.

Progressive Jackpot Side Bet

Some online versions of Caribbean Stud feature a progressive jackpot. A progressive jackpot is a special pool that you can win if you hit a certain hand. A small 'contribution' of each bet goes into the progressive prizepool. This is built up across multiple sites, so it can often reach huge proportions.

The percentage of the jackpot depends on your hand but typically you'll pick up the whole amount if you get a Royal Flush. Some sites let you win portions of the jackpot if you hit inferior hands like four-of-a-kind or a full house.

Live Dealer Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud is also available as a Live Dealer game. In this version, you play against a human dealer operating a real-life deck of cards. The dealer uses an automatic shuffler to shuffle and deal the cards to spots on the table. Sensors then pick up the cards and display them on the screen.

You place bets in the regular way by dragging chips to the on-screen table. The computer picks up the dealer's cards and assesses whether you've beat their hand or lost.

Caribbean Stud Top Tips

1 - Don't Get Attached to Ace-High

A-K or A-Q can seem a pretty good hand. However, it's mostly junk, particularly if the dealer also shows an ace up. Fold these kinds of hands and save your money. On the flipside, If you have a pair or better, make a raise. You should also raise if the dealer shows any card 2-to-Queen and it matches one of your cards.

2 - Don't Worry About Bluffing

Caribbean Stud is a straight casino game. There's no 'skill' as such, certainly not in the way poker players regard it. You can't bluff the dealer by raising aggressively with a poor hand. The dealer has one move to make - flipping his hand over at the end of the hand.

3 - Take the Progressive

The side bet in Caribbean Stud is great as the progressive jackpot can be really large. While progressives in slots can often not be worth it, in Caribbean Stud it's a good option. Even if you don't hit a Royal Flush and bag the whole amount, you'll still hit a proportion of the progressive if you land another good hand. For instance, you may bag 10 percent of the pool if you hit a Straight Flush and a small percentage for Four-of-a-Kind or a full house.

Caribbean Stud Glossary

Ante - Initial bet that must be placed before a hand starts
Bank - Reload chips into your stack from your account
Bet - A raise made if you want to play your hand. The bet is double the ante
Call - Stay in the hand and double your ante
Clear Bets - Remove chips from the game table
Condition - The set hand you have to hit to win the progressive jackpot
Contribution - Amount of the bet that goes into the progressive
Deal - Cards are dealt to each player and the dealer
Fold - Discard your hand
Hand - Game of Caribbean Stud Poker
Max. Bet - The top stake at an online table
Min. Bet - The lowest antes and bets possible at the table
Progressive Jackpot Bet - Special jackpot made up of contributions of the main bet
Push - Bet carries over to next hand in event of a tie
Raise - Add an additional bet to continue the hand
Rebet - Bet the same amount as previous hand
Seed - The amount the progressive jackpot is reset to after being triggered
Side Bet - Bonus bet featured in some online versions of Caribbean Stud

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