Caribbean stud poker – there’s never been a better time to learn

Caribbean stud poker - there's never been a better time to learn

One of the great things about poker is that there are so many variations and nuances. From a simple game of Jacks or Better video poker to no-limits Texas Holdem, there’s a variation of poker to suit every level of expertise from absolute beginners to seasoned pros. 

Of course, the real beauty is in progressing up through the different variations of the game. At present, gaming in general, and poker in particular, is enjoying a surge in popularity among home-based gamers. Video poker and 3-card poker are the usual starting points, but if you want to progress onto the next rung of the ladder, Caribbean stud is the obvious choice.

Rules of Caribbean stud poker

Like three card poker, Caribbean stud is a variation of the game that is just you against the dealer. This makes it ideal for those playing from home, and it’s commonly available at casino sites like Comeon, where you can either play against the computer or a live dealer. They will deal five cards face down to the player and five for the dealer. The difference is that they will flip one of the five dealer cards face up. 

When they do so, that is the signal to look at your own five-card hand. You must then decide whether to raise your bet to take on the dealer’s hand or to fold and hope for a better hand next time. 

The hand is ranked according to usual poker rules as follows:

Royal flush

Straight flush

Four of a kind

Full house



Three of a kind

Two pair


High card 

Payouts vary according to the table, but are usually from 100/1 for a royal flush to even money for a pair or high card. 

Some additional points about Caribbean stud poker to keep in mind are as follows:

  • In order for the game to proceed, the dealer’s hand must be Ace-King or better. This is known as “opening” the dealer’s hand. If the dealer’s hand cannot be opened, all bets are returned and you start again. 
  • Like blackjack, you might play Caribbean stud poker alongside other players. However, each of you is only playing against the dealer’s hand, not against each other.
  • If you and the dealer have exactly the same hand, the bet is a “push” and your wager is returned. 
  • Most games also offer a progressive jackpot option, where you can place an additional wager such that if you have a flush or better, you automatically win a progressive jackpot, regardless of the dealer’s hand. 

Caribbean stud poker strategy

The house edge in Caribbean stud is around five percent if you play blindly, but you can reduce this to less than one percent by playing strategically. Here are some guidelines to set you on your way:

  1. Don’t be tempted with the progressive jackpot. It looks tempting, but the house edge is around 25 percent.
  2. Always play if you have a pair or better, even if it’s just a pair of twos. 
  3. If you only have a high card, you should usually fold. The exception is if you have Ace-King and the dealer’s upcard is queen or lower.

The above tips will more than enough to get you started in your Caribbean poker journey. Good luck! 

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