In Caribbean Stud, the player plays his/her five card hand heads up versus the dealer. Although the player is only playing against the dealer, there may be up to seven other players in the game (live Caribbean Stud mainly).
In other words, the dealer plays his hand individually versus all the players sitting at the table. For more detailed rules on Caribbean Stud take a look at our detailed Caribbean Stud rules page.
Being a house game, the casino will always have a small edge. However, like in any casino game where the odds favor the house, there are best practice strategies in place that can be utilized to minimize the house edge and provide the best opportunity to make a profit. Players that read our Caribbean Stud strategy have also found our Top 10 Caribbean Stud Poker Tips helpful. We have also noted that to somewhat reduce the house edge in Caribbean Stud, we recommend that a player takes advantage of a Caribbean Stud poker bonus as it can offset losses and show a greater return on action.
Caribbean Stud Strategy – The Basics
Before presenting a strategy on playing Caribbean Stud, we will look at a few factors in the game which will influence your strategy.
- Where standard rules apply, the house has a 5.25 edge over any player.
- Players cannot bluff as such; the dealer has to play A-K (Ace King high) or better and your hand is showdown regardless.
- The dealer will be dealt a pair or better about 42% of the time
- The dealer has one card face up which gives away information about his hand.
The general strategy we recommend is to raise with any pair or greater, and fold with anything less than A-K. Some strategies will recommend folding small pairs and A-K hands, which means that when you play a hand you are more likely to win, but it is still not optimal strategy, as there is value in playing small pairs and A-K vs. the dealer’s hands. Basically, playing the more conservative strategy does not mean you will win more in the long run.
Caribbean Stud Strategy – Advanced
There are arguments for playing A-K when certain conditions are present.
- If the dealer’s face up card is an Ace or King, you should raise if you have a A-K-Q or A-K-J in your hand as statistically, you are more likely to have the best A-K hand.
- Raise if the dealers face up card is a deuce through to a Queen and you have that card in your hand as he is less likely to make a pair with that card due to card removal.
- If the dealer is showing a low card, deuce through five, and you have A-K-Q, raise as you are ahead of his A-K hands a lot and also beat his non qualifying hands.
Playing A-K hands in Caribbean Stud is the most complicated part of optimal strategy. By playing A-K hands correctly, the house edge can be significantly reduced. Overall, it is estimated that the house edge is lowered by up to 2.5% using the strategy outlined above.
Caribbean Stud Progressive Jackpots Strategy
Caribbean Stud progressive jackpots are one of the biggest attractions to playing at an online casino. Remember, with a progressive jackpot, players have historically won over seven figure sums. Yes, that is correct! Players have won over $1 million dollars after being dealt that sweet hand in Caribbean Stud. The progressive jackpot is an optional side bet of $1 that is placed every hand and the maximum payout is distributed to a player if he/she is dealt a royal flush. There is also a payout for players who get dealt straight flushes and quads and sometimes more hands depending on the casino.
We have a page specifically dealing with Caribbean Stud progressive jackpots that will teach you all you need to know about this side bet. If you would also like to find out a full list of payouts at different Caribbean Stud poker progressive jackpots, check out our Caribbean Stud poker payout odds page.