Rules of the Game
If you’re about to sit down and play Caribbean Stud Poker, then you’re one of three things: intimately familiar with Five Card Stud rules, extremely wealthy and unafraid to lose your money, or certifiably out of your mind. Don’t fool yourself. This is not a game of Go Fish and you are not in preschool. You are at a casino, playing with real money, for high stakes, with the odds stacked against you, in an insanely complex game. Discouraged yet? You had better be. This is not a game for the meek. And it’s certainly not a game for the uninformed. If you’re a casual player just walk past the Caribbean Stud table and find something like Pokies to waste your money with. Leave Caribbean Stud Poker to the big boys and girls; make yourself familar with some of the terms at ouur glossary page.
If you know how to play Five Card Stud, then you’re well on your way—now picture it in your mind combined with Blackjack. The game is played with a fifty two card deck. This is a table game at the casino, so it’s just you versus the house. You play with Poker hands, but bluffing will get you nowhere fast. The other big difference you will find, as compared with Poker, is that there is a Progressive Jackpot. This is the big lure of the game. It is the chance to win unimaginable riches. And people do indeed win despite the incredible house advantage.
To start to play, as in Five Card Stud, you and the other players place the ante. Then the dealer will deal out five cards to every player seated at the table. The dealer will also deal five cards to himself (or, as is more often the case, herself). One of the dealer’s cards will be dealt face up. At this point you can choose to either continue playing or just fold (I’m laying out the basic rules here). If you didn’t fold then you can add to your bet. Careful—your second bet must match the ante. Once you’ve placed your second bet, the dealer will reveal all her cards. If she doesn’t hold at least an Ace and a King (the lowest hand in the game), players are paid out even money on the ante. The second bet is null and voided. So far, so good, right? You’ve just won easy. Not so fast.
Play continues if the dealer has the King and Ace showing. This is when the player must reveal his hand to the dealer. You win if you beat the dealer hand. It’s that simple. Nothing will get you out of showing your cards if you’re not holding anything of value. You can’t bluff your way out of this one. There is only one thing that can help you in a game of Caribbean Stud Poker: knowing the stats. A good place to start is knowing the payout odds for each hand:
- Royal Flush 100:1
- Straight Flush 50:1
- Four of a Kind 20:1
- Full House 7:1
- Flush 5:1
- Straight 4:1
- Three of a Kind 3:1
- Two Pair 2:1
- Ace and King 1:1
Don’t forget that there is a Progressive Jackpot as well. This does not figure into your basic odds, and it’s actually just a side bet. To try to win the Progressive Jackpot you place the side wager on a bet that you will be dealt a Flush or better hand. Then you actually have to win the hand to win the jackpot. If you’ve ever played Poker in your life you know how rare it is to be dealt a Flush off the bat. To win the entire jackpot, you have to be dealt a Royal Flush. It might be hard to get that Flush, but a Royal Flush is ridiculous. If it happens, you will become a millionaire (unless the jackpot is low, in which case you wait before betting). If you’re going for the big win, you should always take a look at the rules, as they change from online casino to to online casino.