Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker is a casino poker game. You play against the house – not against the other players at the table.

Caribbean Stud Poker

The basics

  • Caribbean Stud Poker is played with one 52 card deck. No cards are wild.
  • Each player who has made the initial wager gets a five card hand, dealt face-down. The dealer also gets a five card hand: four cards are dealt face-down and a fifth one face-up.
  • After privately looking at your hand, you decide if you want to remain in the game. If so, you must place a new wager. If you instead decide to leave the game at this stage, you lose your initial wager.
  • At the end of the game, the dealer will reveal her hand. If it’s below a certain benchmark, all player hands that are still in the game gets paid regardless of how poor there are. If the dealer’s hand is at or above the benchmark, she will check each remaining player hand. If your hand is better than hers, you win. If it’s equal, its a tie. If it’s poorer, you lose.

The progessive jackpot

When Caribbean Stud Poker was first introduced to live casinos, it didn’t become very popular. To boost interest in the game, a progressive jackpot was added. This proved to be a big hit with the players, who flocked to play the new game.

Today, Caribbean Stud Poker is strongly associated with progressive jackpots. In many casinos, all the tables are linked to a joint progressive jackpot, since that makes the jackpot grow quicker. Some casino chains even have a progressive jackpot fed jointly by players in numerous casinos.

To win the full progressive jackpot, you need a Royal Straight Flush, but certain other high-ranking poker hands can give you a part of the jackpot. Typically, a Straight Flush gives you 10% of the progressive jackpot, while the Four-of-a-kind, Full House and Flush are hands that pay a fixed sum from the jackpot (in most casinos).

Important: You are not automatically eligible to win money from the progressive jackpot when playing Caribbean Stud Poker. Only players who have made a special jackpot sidebet are eligible, and it is these sidebets that feed the progressive jackpot. The sidebet is a small fixed sum; in many offline casinos, it is €1, £1 or $1. You don’t have to make this sidebet when playing Caribbean Stud Poker, but most players do, since they fear getting a Royal Straight Flush and not being eligible for the jackpot win.

Playing a round of Caribbean Stud Poker

  1. The players place their initial wager, which is called the ante. Those who want to also make the progressive jackpot sidebet.
  2. Each player, and the dealer, gets five cards dealt face-down.
  3. The dealer displays one of her five cards.
  4. Each player looks at all their own five cards, but must keep them secret from other players.
  5. Each player decides if they want to stay in the game. Those who leave will lose their ante. Those who stay must make a second wager, exactly twice the size of their ante. This second wager is called bet.
  6. The dealer collects the antes and cards from players who have left the game.
  7. The dealer display her five card hand.
  8. What happens next depends on how good the dealer’s hand is. In Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer’s hand must reach a certain benchmark in order to to qualify. In most casinos, the benchmark is ace + king. Anything worse than that means that the dealer doesn’t qualify.

    For more information, see below.

What happens if the dealer’s hand is too poor to qualify?

If the dealer’s hand fails to reach the benchmark, it doesn’t qualify.

When the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, all players get paid 1:1 on their ante. They also get to keep their bet.

Example: Your ante is €50 and your bet is €100. You get paid €50 on your ante. In front of you, you now have €50 (ante) + €50 (win) + €100 (bet).

Important: If your hand is good enough to get paid from the progressive jackpot, you must tell the dealer, because standard procedure for the dealer is to simply collect all player cards without looking at them when the dealer hand doesn’t qualify.

What happens if the dealer’s hand is good enough to qualify?

If the dealer’s hand is good enough to qualify, she will open up each player hand and compare it to her own hand.

  • If your hand ranks lower than the dealer’s hand, you lose your ante and your bet.
  • If there is a tie, you get to keep your ante and your bet, but doesn’t win anything.
  • If your hand ranks higher than the dealer’s hand, you get paid 1:1 on your ante. You also get paid on your bet, and how well you get paid on the bet depends on how good your hand is.

This is an exampel of a commonly used payout schedule for the bet:

Your poker hand Pay
Royal flush 100 to 1
Straight flush 50 to 1
Four of a kind 20 to 1
Full house 7 to 1
Flush 5 to 1
Straight 4 to 1
Three of a kind 3 to 1
Two pair 2 to 1
All other 1 to 1

Example #1: The dealer has a pair of fours, while you have a straight. Your ante is €50 and your bet is €100. You get paid 1:1 on the ante (€50) and 4:1 on the bet (€400). You now have €50 + €50 + €100 + €400 in front of you. You have made a €450 profit.

Example #2: The dealer has a pair of fours, while you have a straight flush. Your ante is €50 and your bet is €100. You get paid 1:1 on the ante (€50) and 50:1 on the bet (€5,000). You now have €50 + €50 + €100 + €5,000 in front of you. You ALSO get paid 10% of the progressive jackpot, IF you have made the jackpot side bet.