Caribbean Stud Poker

Step into the world of Caribbean Stud Poker with our handpicked selection of the best online casinos. Dive into detailed game rules, expert strategies, and playing guides to maximize your enjoyment and success in this exciting poker variant.

Most casinos offer a minimum ante of $15 per hand so you can either win a lot or lose a lot depending on the cards you’re dealt. You’re not playing against any other players in Caribbean Stud Poker instead you play against the dealer or banker.

To start each hand of Caribbean poker the players at the table will need to ante, the ante will be listed at the table with the minimum amount allowed. Typically the minimum bet is $15 and then the maximum varies depending on the casino you’re playing in. Once you put your ante into the pot the dealer will deal you five cards, which you’ll be able to look at. You need to determine if your hand is good enough to beat the dealer’s hand. You also get to see the dealer’s first card before you make your decision.

If you don’t like what you see then you can surrender the hand and forfeit your ante, this can cost you $15 per hand though so you need to be careful not to play too tight. There are no draws in Caribbean Stud Poker so what you see in your hand is what you get. If you want to play the hand out and go to a showdown then you need to place another bet behind your ante of twice the value of your ante.

If you make the call then it goes down to a showdown and you both flip your hands over. If the dealer doesn’t have a minimum of A/K high then you automatically win the hand, but if they have better then that you need to beat their hand.

The casinos will payout the following on your ante and follow-up bet based on your hand ranking.

  • Pair or High Card – Pays 1 to 1
  • Two Pairs – Pays 2 to 1
  • Three of a Kind – Pays 3 to 1
  • Straight – Pays 4 to 1
  • Flush – Pays 5 to 1
  • Full house – Pays 7 to 1
  • Four of a Kind – Pays 20 to 1
  • Straight Flush – Pays 50 to 1
  • Royal Flush – Pays 100 to 1

If you can’t beat the dealer’s hand and you’ve paid to see a standoff then you lose your bet and your ante. The payouts are massive when you do win and you’ll easily win some $100+ pots. You need to be fairly loose when calling because there is a chance that any pair could beat the dealer’s hand. It will cost you $45 per hand when the ante is $15, but if you win then you’re getting some cold hard cash.

It’s easy to walk away from a day’s worth of Caribbean Stud Poker as a winner and possibly a huge winner depending on how well the cards fall for you. It can cost a lot to play, but it’s worth it and you have the chance of taking home a lot of money. Make sure you have the bankroll ready to play though in case things don’t go so well in the beginning.


Caribbean Stud Poker is a five card poker game that has become quite popular over the last ten years due mainly in part to the large jackpot available. The object of the game is to make a five card hand that is better than the dealers. At the beginning of each hand all players put up an ante bet and the optional jackpot bet and then will be dealt five face down cards while the dealer will get five cards and turn one face up. At this point each player can either fold (giving up their ante) or raise, where they must place a new bet double the size of their initial ante. If the player beats the dealers hand they win even money on both their ante and their raise. Note however that the dealer must qualify or only the ante is paid. A qualifying hand for dealer’s at most online casinos is at least an ace and a king in the hand.

Strategy for Caribbean Stud poker is much like Pai Gow Poker in that it will take lots of time and practice to truly develop an optimal strategy that minimizes the house advantage the most. For starters there are two rules that should always be followed to maximize winnings. The first is that if you are dealt at least a pair, you should always raise your ante. The second is that you should always fold if you cannot beat a hand containing and ace and a king, which is usually the dealers qualifying hand. These two rules alone will give you a sound beginning strategy. They will help you make the most of your potentially winning hands and minimize your loses on your poor hands.

Playing the Jackpot

In Caribbean Stud players have the option of making a side bet on each hand. The side bet is so that the player has a chance at the jackpot. The jackpot is paid out whenever a player gets a royal flush or a straight flush. Usually a royal flush pays 100% of the jackpot and a straight flush pays 10% of the jackpot. In general these are bad bets to make as the house edge is extremely high. There is however a general rule you can follow in that when the jackpot breaks the $250,000 mark it usually becomes an okay bet to make. Keep in mind however that when you play Caribbean Stud the house already has an edge of over five percent, playing the jackpot bet at the wrong time will only increase their odds.

Playing hands with an Ace and a King

These hands are tricky to play in that it is also what the dealer needs to qualify in a given hand. In general when you hold and Ace and a King, the following strategy will give you the best chance of success:

  • Raise if the dealers card is an ace or a king but you have at least a ten, jack or queen in your hand
  • Raise if the dealers card is a two through a queen
  • Raise if the dealers card is lower than your fourth ranked card and you hold a queen

Once again, optimal strategy in Caribbean Stud takes some time to learn and master. It is much like Blackjack in that there are certain rules to follow and decisions to make in each situation. Start with the above rules and you’ll be off to a good start. Click here to see our advanced Caribbean Stud optimal strategy tables.