Caribbean Stud Poker is an entertaining and straightforward table game that is popular in land-based casinos as well as online casinos.
At the start, the player places his Ante Bet. It needs to be at least $€ 1 (the minimum bet) and cannot exceed $€ 1,000 (the maximum bet).
Besides the Ante Bet, he can choose to bet on the side bet. Nowadays, side bets usually have a very high House Edge.
It is for a good reason side bets are often called “sucker bets”. The 5+1 side bet of Caribbean Stud Poker is no exception. The House Edge is an astonishing 9%: we can ensure you that casinos love you to play this bet.
We advise you to stay well away from the side bet.
After the player has placed hit Ante Bet, five cards are dealt to the player and five cards to the dealer, of which one is open-faced.
Now, you, as the player, have to decide if you want to continue to play or stop.
- If you stop, the game is over for you, and you lose your bet.
- If you choose to continue, you must wager your Ante Bet twice.
For example: Your Ante Bet was $€ 5, and you want to continue to play. In that case, you need to add another $€ 10 to your bet. The total bet (excluding any sidebets) is now $€ 5 + $€ 10 = $€ 15.
Now it’s the dealer’s turn to show the remaining four cards.
When all cards have been turned open, the dealers’ and players’ hands are compared.
Dependent on your and the dealers’ combination, you can win up to 100 x your Ante Bet.
What is the House Edge of Caribbean Stud Poker?
Caribbean Stud Poker has a house edge of 3.7%. So in the longer run, fo every $€ 100 you wager, you will lose $€3.70. Fo that, you have to apply the perfect strategy (see further below).
Beware that you do not play the side bets. The House Edge of the side bets is much higher: 8.56%.
What are the payouts of Caribbean Stud Poker?
First, it is checked whether the dealer has qualified with his hand.
If the dealer has an Ace plus a King OR a higher combination (e.g. one pair), he is qualified. Otherwise, he is not qualified.
The dealer has qualified. What do you win?
Do you have a higher card than the dealer? Then you win the Ante Bet, and the payout is according to the table below:
|Four of a Kind||25:1|
|Three of a Kind||3:1|
|One Pair or less||1:1|
For example: Your Ante Bet was $€ 5 and decided to continue to play, and therefore added another $€ 10 to your bet. Your total stake was $€ 15.
Now you have a 4-of-a-kind. The good news is that the dealer has qualified.
You get paid out: 25 x 5 = $€ 125. In addition, your stake of $€ 15 is returned. You receive in total: $€ 125 + $€ 15 = $€ 140.
The dealer has not qualified. So what happens now?
If the dealer has not qualified and your hand is higher, what happens? In that case, you only receive the Ante Bet as a profit. Besides, you will get your bets back.
For example, Your Ante Bet was $€ 5, and you decided to continue to play, and therefore added another $€ 10 to your bet. Your total stake was $€ 15.
Now your hand is higher (maybe you have a 4-of-a-kind), but the dealer has not managed to qualify. You only get paid out a mere $€ 20.
When you win the hand but the dealer does not qualify, you only win your stake
If you have a beautiful combination such as a full house or a flush or even higher, then it is very relevant to see if the dealer can qualify.
If the dealer’s card is too low, any large payout is gone with the wind. It makes Caribbean Stud Poker exciting but sometimes definitely frustrating!
A tie is also possible (your combination is equally high as that of the dealer). In that case, all bets are refunded.
What is the best strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker?
Determining the best strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker depends on many factors (not only your cards but also those of the dealer’s open card), and therefore it is not so straightforward.
If you have a pair or higher – always play
Every expert agrees that you should always play with a pair or higher, no matter what the dealer’s open card is.
So, if you, for example, have a couple of 3’s against an Ace of the bank, you should always play.
If you have an Ace plus King – look at the cards of the dealer
It is less straightforward when you have a lower card. If you have an Ace plus King, you only play in the following scenarios:
- The open card of the dealer is a Queen or less. At least 1 of your 5 cards is at least as high as the open card of the dealer.
- The open card of the dealer is an Ace or King, and you have a Queen or Jack in your hand.
- The bank’s face-up card is less than 4 of your cards and 1 of your cards is a Queen.
If your combination is lower than an Ace plus King
In this case, the optimal strategy is to fold and accept that you lose your Ante Bet.
The 5+1 Side Bet – an indeed Sucker bet
With the Evolution Gaming variant of Caribbean Stud Poker, a Side Bet is possible: the 5+1 Bet.
You win the Side Bet if you can make a 3-of-a-kind or higher with your 5 cards and the open card of the bank (5 + 1 cards).
If you succeed, you will receive a payout of 7 x the Side Bet. In determining whether you have a winning side bet, it doesn’t matter if you have played or folded in the basic game.
The 5+1 Side Bet has a house edge of 8.56%, which corresponds to a payout percentage of 91.44%. That is, regardless of how you look at it, way too low.
Our advice: keep a safe distance at all times from the Side Bet.