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Caribbean Stud Rules


Caribbean Stud was originally introduced at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Casino in Aruba and the game is a relatively new poker variation. In the 1980s, Caribbean Stud started making its way on to cruise ships that sailed to the region.

As the popularity of this game grew on the cruises, the demand for Caribbean Stud in casinos increased. By the 1990s, Caribbean Stud wasn't just confined to the open seas.

The game made its way to Vegas, and instantly became very popular. Today it’s part of every casino’s game portfolio – online and offline.

The Basics of Caribbean Stud

Online Caribbean Stud is played on a table similar to a blackjack table. The table can accommodate up to seven players.

Like in most casino games, players battle the dealer directly and there is no competition among the players sitting at the table.

In front of each player there are two places at the table that are marked for wagers: a bet circle and an ante box. Above both of these betting spots, each player has a slot for side bets.

How the Game Begins

Before the game starts players place an ante. The size is set by the table limits but in online casinos you can usually wager anything between a few cents and a couple of hundred dollars.

When players put in their ante, they also have the option of placing an additional side bet on the progressive jackpot. In fact, Caribbean Stud was the first table game to include a progressive bonus jackpot as a side bet.

When all bets are in place, you are dealt five cards face-up and the dealer get’s five cards – four face-down and one face-up.

The Play of a Caribbean Stud Hand

You now have two options:

  • Fold and lose your original ante

  • Raise, twice the size of the original ante, and continue with the hand

If you go for the second option, the dealer's four remaining cards are revealed.

What happens next all depends on whether or not the dealer holds a qualifying hand. A qualifying hand must at least be A-K high.

These are the possible scenarios:

  • The dealer fails to qualify. The ante bet is paid even money and the raise is returned to the player.
  • The dealer qualifies and holds a better five-card poker hand than the player. The player loses both the ante and the raise.
  • The dealer qualifies but has a worse hand than the player. The player wins even money on his ante and the raise is paid according to the pay table below.


Payout Schedule

One Pair (or lower): 1 to 1
Two Pairs: 2 to 1
Three of a Kind: 3 to 1
Straight: 4 to 1
Flush: 5 to 1
Full House: 7 to 1
Four of a Kind: 20 to 1
Straight Flush: 50 to 1
Royal Flush: 100 to 1

But How about the Jackpot?

Before the hand begins, players have the opportunity to post a $1 side bet and compete for the progressive jackpot.

To win the entire jackpot you usually need a royal straight flush, a straight flush pays 10% of the jackpot and four of a kind, full house and flush pay $250, $150 and $100.

I doesn’t matter what happens in the main hand, you just need any of these strong hands to win.

In our article about Caribbean Stud strategy we will go through if this is a good bet to make.

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