Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the few table games that has been able to keep its share of the increasingly smaller amount of space casinos give to table games. Casinos prefer slots because they don’t require dealers and pit boss supervision. Caribbean Stud is modeled after the classic American poker game, 5 card studs. If you know poker hand values, you can play Caribbean Stud at a casino.
When you begin playing, you will be asked to make an ante bet. This favors the house because you haven’t been able to see any cards before you wager. You’re also given the option to partake in a progressive jackpot. This progressive jackpot gives the house a further edge. For the progressive jackpot to be a good wager, it should be valued at around $400,000, but this is extremely rare.
Still, just like with Let It Ride, many players participate anyway thinking that it’s only $1 and fearing they will lose out if they draw a five-card royal flush. If you were to play 4 hrs a day, five days a week, your odds of drawing a five-card royal are still minimal. Our advice is to pass on the progressive jackpot.
Assuming you do resist the urge to play the progressive jackpot, now all you need to do is resist playing unless you’re starting hand is A-K-J-8-3 or better and you are halfway home. So if you have any pair or if your hand is A-K-J-9-2 you SHOULD continue. Do not play if your hand is A-K-J-7-6 or A-Q-J-10-0. If you do bet, then you should wager twice your original ante and if you draw something like 5-5-5-3-3, then you happily wager because you have a full house and will be paid a multiple of your bet.
Another problem with Caribbean Stud and the reason why many players prefer Let It Ride follows. If the dealer does not qualify (take a hand that is at least A-K or better, you don’t win anything other than your ante bet. The multiple you expected from your full house doesn’t get paid if the dealer turns over something like K-Q-6-5-3. In this case, you just win the ante bet and the other money is returned. Since you always win the ante when the dealer fails to qualify and you have stayed in the game by making the double ante bet, many poor Caribbean Stud players will make the double ante wager with a weak hand in the hopes that they will collect if the dealer fails to qualify.
Because you have to risk double your original bet in an attempt to win the ante, this is a dangerous way to play Caribbean Stud. It’s much better to wait for another hand to be dealt when you don’t have the minimum as shown above. The next hand comes very fast, unlike traditional poker where you may have to wait for the next hand. Play the decent hands and fold the losers in order to have a decent chance. Though you will still be the underdog, at least you won’t be another casino casualty.