Caribbean Stud

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Caribban Stud Poker Casinos

Online casinos are only listed here when their bonus terms allow for the player to clear the bonus while playing this game.

Because Caribbean Stud has a relative low house edge, and is not one of the most popular casino games, not many casinos actually allow the game to be played as part of the wagering requirements.

How to Play Caribbean Stud

We’re living in an age in which the word poker is basically used to mean its Texas Hold’em variant that’s become incredibly popular thanks to the boom of online poker rooms. However, poker is a game of many facets and it’d be wrong to think that its other variants don’t really deserve our attention.

They do – and that’s why we’ve decided to write an article about the so-called Caribbean Stud poker, which is actually one of the more popular poker variants that can be enjoyed in casinos all around the world. Players that like poker for all the bluffs and player-against-player interactions will be disappointed by the fact that there are no such things in Caribbean Stud, but many others will like the game for its simplicity and swift gameplay.


The story of how Caribbean Stud came to exist is almost as convoluted as the histories of games like blackjack or roulette, with there being at least three contrasting tales that one can pick from. We’d love to be able to say which one is the most accurate, but it’s simply impossible to say, especially since it’s entirely possible that the true story is a convoluted mixture of all three tales. You may be interested in a brief rundown of them, however – and that’s something that we can indeed give you.

The first story maintains that the origins of Caribbean Stud date back to 1987, which is the year in which a gambler named James Suttle discovered the game while enjoying Texas Hold’em in a certain Las Vegas casino. Suttle then shared the game with the casino owner Danny Jones, who took it from there. The rules still needed some work and the game wasn’t very popular at first, but it slowly made its way to the mainstream, which is where it’s found now.

The second story says that the rules of the game were conceived by the gambling expert David Sklansky, who himself claims that he invented the game in 1982. The rules that he came up with were slightly different to the ones that are used nowadays, but the basics were the same. Apparently, Sklansky wasn’t able to patent the game for himself due to certain patent laws. The rules did spread around a bit, however, and someone was eventually able to patent them for himself over in Aruba.

Finally, there’s also the story of the game being fairly common on cruise ships in the Caribbean area before it was finally given the name of Caribbean Stud by someone who learned about the game during a cruise. Although there isn’t any firm evidence of this being true, it must be said that many enthusiasts travel to the island of Aruba to play the game in what they consider to be its home.


The play begins with the player making an Ante bet. Once the bet is placed, both the player and the dealer get five cards. While the player will always keep all the cards face down (although he or she can naturally examine them freely), the dealer has to reveal one of them before the player is asked to make a decision about what to do next.

The decision is quite simple – the player can either fold or raise. If he or she folds, all bets are forfeited and a new hand can begin as soon as the player decides to place another Ante bet. If the player raises, on the other hand, he or she will have to make an additional bet that’s twice the original Ante bet.

Once such a bet is placed, the dealer will turn over his remaining cards. He or she must have at least an ace and a king to qualify for the showdown (just to give you an example – a hand consisting of A,K,2,3,5 would qualify, but a hand consisting of A,Q,J,10,7 wouldn’t). If that condition isn’t met, the player wins even money on the Ante wager, while the Raise bet will be returned.

If the condition is met, however, it all depends on how the hands do against each other. If the dealer has the better hand, all bets are lost. If the players has the better hand, the Ante bet will be paid out at even money, while the Raise bet will be paid out according to the Raise pay table.

While these may differ depending on the casino you’re playing at, there is a certain standard that’s typically used and it goes as follows: one pairs and less are paid out at 1:1, two pairs at 2:1, threes of a kind at 3:1, straights at 4:1, flushes at 5:1, full houses at 7:1, fours of a kind at 20:1, straight flushes at 50:1 and royal flushes at 100:1.

Many casinos also allow players to place a progressive jackpot side bet in addition to the original Ante bet. If you place such a bet, you’ll be rewarded if you get a flush or better – flushes, full houses and fours of a kind will typically net you firmly set values, while straight flushes will get you a chunk of the progressive jackpot. Finally, you’ll be rewarded with the entire jackpot if you’re lucky enough to hit a royal flush.

The Mathematics

From the mathematical point of view, Caribbean Stud is one of the most complex casino games as far as optimal strategies are concerned. In fact, some go as far as to say that there’s nobody who knows the optimal strategy by heart – not only is it fairly convoluted, but it’s also impossible to gain the upper hand by learning it, as Caribbean Stud is simply unbeatable by normal means (the typical house edge is somewhere around 5% if you play somewhat optimally).

If you don’t want to learn any complicated rules, however, there are two simple guidelines that will get you on the right track and allow you to play reasonably well. The first one says that you should always fold unless you have at least a qualifying hand (an ace and a king or better), while the second one says that you should always raise with a pair or better.

Those of you who want to take that strategy to the next – although not the highest – level can then learn how to play hands that have an ace and a king (but not more) by memorizing the three following rules:

1) If the dealer’s face up card is smaller than a six, you should be raising hands with A,K,Q and A,K,J.

2) If the dealer’s face up card is less than a king and you have the very same card in your hand, you should be raising all hands with A,K.

3) If the dealer’s face up card is a king or an ace, you should be raising hands with A,K,Q and A,K,J.

Where to Play

Although many players believe that Caribbean Stud is best enjoyed in a real brick-and-mortar casino, it goes without saying that this particular options remains out of reach for many – not only is the game not particularly popular in many parts of the world, but some of us simply don’t want to visit a real casino just a get a quick fix of Caribbean Stud.

Thankfully, there are many online casinos that are offering the game, so its fans don’t even have to leave their sofas – and the good news is that even American players don’t have to feel left out, as some of those casinos are US-friendly. If you’re looking for a recommendation in this department, we’d be happy to point you towards one of the newer kids on the block, the modern Ignition Casino.

Not only do these guys have everything that you would expect to see at an online casino, but they also know how tough it can be to play from the United States, so they’ve taken plenty of measures to make deposits, withdrawals and other transactions as simple as they could possibly be. In fact, they’ve even already started to accept Bitcoin payments!

Players that are located outside the United States can naturally choose from a large range of online casinos that have Caribbean Stud in their games catalogues, but we guess that the most exciting option is to choose a casino that also offers live Caribbean Stud tables. What does this mean? Well – put simply – you can get a realistic casino action streamed to your computer or mobile device, allowing you to get as close to the real thing as possible without having to get up from the bed.

On this front, provided that you are not playing for a bonus, we’re basically obliged to recommend the excellent BetVictor online casino, which is unique in that it gets its live games from more than just a single provider. The crucial thing is that it’s getting some of the tables it’s offering from Evolution Gaming, who were the first to get a truly good Caribbean Stud tables out there. We aren’t going to lie and say that the experience is indistinguishable from the real thing, because that simply isn’t true – at the same time, it’s undoubtedly the best possible Caribbean Stud experience that you can currently get online, so we urge you to give it a go once you get the opportunity to do so. And yes – BetVictor will make your stay even more pleasant with their vast range of bonuses and promotional offers.

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