Caribbean Stud Poker table at Intertops Casino RED

How to Play and Win at Caribbean Stud Poker

Last time we covered Caribbean Hold’em at Intertops Casino.  Caribbean Stud has a few very important similarities with Caribbean Hold’em but it is really a form of stud poker.

Stud poker itself has two variations: one with five cards and one with seven cards.  If you have played either form of stud poker with your pals, you know that there are no community cards in this variation of poker.  The game is basically the same whether you play at an online casino or at a land based casino.  However, Intertops offers a better payscale than most casinos for winning your call bet.

The General Play

You play against the dealer.  The dealer makes no decisions and there are no “streets” in Caribbean Stud as there are in hold’em.

You place your ante bet and the dealer deals you five cards and she deals herself five cards with one of the dealer’s cards face up.  Now you have to decide if you’ll fold right away and lose your ante bet automatically or if you’ll stay in the hand with the hope of beating the dealer’s hand.

If you decide to stay in the hand, you put down a call bet double your ante bet.

Comparing the Hands

If your hand is better, you win the ante bet paid out at 1-1 and your second bet paid according to a graduated table.  If the dealer’s hand is better, you lose both your ante bet and your call bet.

If you have played poker for any time at all, you know that in stud poker, you can win with a poor hand but your chances of winning go up dramatically if you have a pair.  Because of this, many Caribbean Stud players tend to fold any hand that doesn’t have a pair.  This is a strategy mistake for two reasons.

First, the dealer has to qualify in order for either you the dealer to win your call bet.  That means that the call bet is a push if the dealer doesn’t qualify.  This happens quite often so it is one strong incentive for you to stay in a hand even without a pair.  Second, if you win your call bet, you get paid on an upwardly sliding scale based on the strength of your hand.  Here is the scale.  It shows the rate at which you get paid for your call bet if you win and the dealer qualified.

  • 1-1 for high card.
  • 1-1 for a pair.
  • 2-1 for two pair.
  • 3-1 for three of a kind.
  • 4-1 for a straight.
  • 5-1 for a flush.
  • 7-1 for a full house.
  • 20-1 for four of a kind.
  • 50-1 for a straight flush.
  • 200-1 for a Royal Flush.

We should look at this pay scale for a moment.  First, it gives you a strong incentive to stay in a hand even without a pair.   Now, in video poker, you have a big payout for a Royal Flush that you don’t have here in the regular game.  You do get a big payout for a Royal Flush if you entered the progressive jackpot.  We will discuss that soon.

Also, in video poker, you have as many as ten cards to get a hand since you discard any cards you don’t like and can discard all five of the cards you were dealt.  So, it is much harder to get any hand stronger than three of a kind.

So, your basic strategy is to decide if you should stay in a hand or fold.  These are the possibilities facing you as you decide what to do:

  • You can fold and lose your ante even if you would have beaten the dealer.
  • You can call and the dealer doesn’t qualify.  In this case you win your ante and the call bet is a push.
  • You can call, the dealer qualifies, and you win.  You get paid for the ante bet 1-1 and for your call bet according to the scale above.
  • You can call, the dealer qualifies, and you lose.

When Does the Dealer Qualify?

She has to have at least and ace and a king.  That is not a pair!  But any hand weaker than ace and king is not a qualifying hand for the dealer.

When Should the Player Call?

The rule of thumb in Caribbean Stud is to be aggressive.  The card that the dealer shows you doesn’t give you enough information about whether to fold or call.  Even if the dealer has an ace, she might not qualify!

Always remember, if the dealer doesn’t qualify, you win the ante bet.  There are, however, some hands that all of the statisticians agree you should fold.  The reason is because you have too great a risk of losing and you need to make another bet, double the ante, to call.

Here are the basics of Caribbean Stud strategy:

  • Always call if you have a pair.
  • Always call if you have ace and king without a pair.
  • Always call if you have high cards and one of your cards matches the dealer’s card.  That reduces the chances that the dealer has a pair.
  • Fold if you have a hand weaker than the dealer’s qualifying hand but many say to call if you match the dealer’s up card.

The Progressive Jackpot

Before each hand, you can enter the progressive jackpot pool.  This requires a small side bet.  If you have made that small bet, you qualify for a substantial payout for getting a strong hand.  Here is the progressive jackpot pay scale:

  • You get $75 for a flush,
  • $100 for a full house,
  • $500 for four of a kind,
  • 10% of the progressive jackpot for a straight flush, and
  • 100% of the progressive jackpot for a Royal Flush.

Caribbean Stud at Intertops

The Real Time Gaming version of Caribbean Stud is known for its great graphics.  It is also a faster game than the same game from different providers.  So, try out Caribbean Stud Poker at Intertops!  You’ll have a great time and you can finish your session with a delicious rum based drink!