The Ultimate Guide To Caribbean Stud Poker

For fast-paced poker, there's no better game than Caribbean Stud. Learn the rules of the game, the potential payouts and if there are winning strategies from this ultimate guide to Caribbean Stud Poker.

In our ultimate guide to Caribbean Stud Poker you’ll learn how to play the game, the differences between it and other types of poker and how much you stand to win from your bets.

Caribbean Stud Poker has some similarities to all types of poker: the aim of the game is to finish the game a higher value hand than your opponents. And the card combinations for winning hands is the same as any other game of poker. The difference with Caribbean Stud Poker is that you’re playing against the dealer.

The Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker

The game begins with an “Ante” bet. This is your opening bet and must be placed in order to receive your cards. In some versions of Caribbean Stud Poker, once you’ve placed your ante bet you can make a side bet. The side bet works as a kind of bonus based on your hand and the dealer's up card, if these cards make a hand in the payout table, you're paid accordingly. If it’s available, like in our Caribbean Stud Live Casino table, you’ll see the payout percentages on your screen. Like with any poker game, the better your hand, the better your payout on the side bet.

After the ante and the side bets are made, you’re dealt five cards facing down. The dealer will then place four of his cards faced down on the table with one facing up. Once the cards are dealt you have two options: Call or Fold. Here's what happens:


In order to call and progress, you must place a bet that’s double your original ante.


You forfeit your bet, and side bet if you made one, and return your cards to the dealer.

If you choose to call, the dealer reveals his cards. There are three possible outcomes:

  • The Dealer does not qualify: The dealer must have at least an Ace and a King in their hand in order to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, you’ll win the hand. In this instance the payout is 1:1 your ante bet.
  • The Dealer qualifies but your hand is better: In this case, you win 1:1 of your ante bet and your call bet is paid out according to the payout table below.
  • The Dealer qualifies and you have a worse hand: You lose your ante and call bets. But if you’ve made a side bet and you have three of a kind or higher, you’ll still win based on our second table.

Payout Table - Call

Hand Payout
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
Pair 1:1

Payout table - Side bet

Hand Player’s Payout
Royal Flush 1000:1
Straight Flush 200:1
Four of a Kind 100:1
Full House 20:1
Flush 15:1
Straight 10:1
Three of a Kind 7:1

Guide to Poker Hands

Winning Caribbean Stud Poker Strategies

Familiarise yourself with staking strategies and progressive betting systems to begin with. They’re effective ways to manage your bankroll. Surprisingly, going all in isn’t always the best way to go for long term profit.

So how to ensure long term returns in Caribbean Stud Poker? You can’t bluff in Caribbean Stud so it’s important to know when to fold and when to play.

A good beginner strategy is to fold if you have less than A-K and play if you have at least a pair. Even a small pair (twos and threes) could win, remember the dealer must qualify to play.

Pay attention to the dealer’s up card. It won’t give you an edge over the casino but it can help to inform you whether to bet or fold.

If you have and Ace and King in your hand and the following conditions are met, then you should consider raising:

  • If the dealer’s up card is an Ace or King and you’re dealt high value face cards.
  • If you have the same value card in your hand as the dealer’s up card.
  • If the dealer’s up card is five or below.

Compared to Five Card Stud or Texas Hold ‘em, there are virtually no wider studies into how to gain an advantage. Even James Grosjean’s seminal book, Beyond Counting only really states that you need to know information on at least seven hands as well as the dealer’s up card in order to gain an edge over the house.

That leads us to believe that there’s no hard and fast way to guarantee long term returns when you play Caribbean Stud, the best strategy is to become familiar with the game and take a long term view to profits and losses. So there you have it, remember you can play Caribbean Stud Poker for free in our Casino to hone your strategies and get used to the game before hitting up our Live Casino and playing for real.

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