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Caribbean Stud Poker Guide

Having only been around since the late 1980s, Caribbean stud poker is one of the newest mainstream casino games.


    Having only been around since the late 1980s, Caribbean stud poker is one of the newest mainstream casino games.

    The object of the game is to have a higher ranking poker hand than the dealer’s. However, the skill is in judging whether to fold or treble your original bet after you see your cards and the dealer’s one up card.

    The progressive jackpot is a side bet that will usually only cost one credit to play. High ranking hands receive extra payouts with a Royal Flush triggering the jackpot.

    New To Caribbean Stud Poker? These Are For You…

    • Caribbean stud poker is one of the few games combining luck and skill.
    • The objective of the game is to get a higher-ranking hand than the dealer.
    • The player’s options, once being dealt their cards are to either fold or raise.
    • Side bet prizes start paying out with a flush and increase according to how good your hand is.
    • A key aspect of Caribbean stud poker is the progressive jackpot, which features in the vast majority of games.
    • Officially the house edge is around 5.24% but the fact that you have the choice to make a second bet or not reduces it to 2.54%
    • Always play the progressive jackpot side bet – if you like money that is.

    Online Caribbean Stud Poker

    Caribbean stud poker only became popular in the US after the progressive jackpot was added to it. However, in land based European and UK casinos it has remained unappreciated. This has meant that for anyone in Europe looking to play Caribbean stud, there’s only one place to go – online.

    The biggest benefit of playing the game online is the fact that the progressives get much bigger than those in land based casinos. This is because more people are able to play at a time and as a result the jackpot increases quicker.

    A Jackpot Makes All the Difference

    Unlike many of the casino games that are featured on Jackpot.co.uk, Caribbean stud poker doesn’t date back centuries. For that reason we almost definitively can say how the game started out – sort of.

    Binion's Horseshoe Casino

    The story starts with a mystery poker player in Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. Having lost a lot of money, this man offered to teach a fellow gambler named James Suttle a new casino game in exchange for a loan of $5,000.

    Suttle was good friends with casino owner and game developer Danny Jones and made the deal with the poker player with the intention of selling the game on to Jones. He did this and Jones began to offer the game out to cruise boats and other casinos in the Caribbean (hence the game’s name).

    Initially, Caribbean stud poker was met with an average amount of enthusiasm, with players enjoying the game but finding the payouts a bit mundane. Fortunately a solution to this problem came courtesy of software engineer Michael Titus.

    Titus had played the game before and happened to be at Jones’ poker table in Binion’s Horseshoe when they got to discussing the game. He recommended that the way to keep people interested was to introduce an extra benefit for the player. As we all know, this extra benefit came in the form of a progressive jackpot.

    Since then the game’s profile has continued to increase and Caribbean stud poker can now be found in many Las Vegas casinos and others across North America. Unfortunately, it’s yet to really catch on in European casinos but at least everyone in the UK now has access to it through the internet.

    Caribbean Stud Poker Rules and Tips

    Caribbean stud poker is a pretty simple game so once you’ve read through the rules and started playing there should be no problems with getting the hang of it.

    The basic object of the game is to get a five card hand of cards that has a superior poker hand ranking to the dealer’s. There are three stages of the game:

    1. You place an ante bet and click deal. The dealer and the player are both drawn five cards each. You’re able to see all of the player’s cards but only one of the dealer’s.
    2. You must decide whether to fold and lose the ante bet or to raise. Raising requires a bet worth two times the original bet. For example, if your ante is £10 then you would place an extra £20 leaving your total bet at £30.
    3. If you fold, then all of the cards will disappear along with your bet. Raising will reveal the dealer’s cards. Your set of cards will then be compared against the dealer’s and the set with the best poker hand ranking will win.

    Show me the Money

    The basic payouts range from 1:1 up to 100:1. The payouts of 1:1 are handed out if you win with a pair, a high card hand or if the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify (to qualify a hand must have be a king + ace, or better). The rest of the standard payouts are listed below although they can vary slightly:

    • High Card – 1:1
    • One Pair – 1:1
    • Two Pairs – 2:1
    • Three of a Kind – 3:1
    • Straight – 4:1
    • Flush – 5:1
    • Full House – 7:1
    • Four of a Kind – 20:1
    • Straight Flush – 50:1
    • Royal Flush – 100:1

    The progressive jackpot payouts tend to start at a flush and work all the way up to the much-coveted royal flush. These payouts can be a multiplication of the side bet, a set figure or a percentage of the jackpot. However, the prize for a royal flush will always be the full amount of the progressive jackpot.

    Caribbean Stud Poker Tips

    We must stress that you should always play the progressive jackpot side bet. Without it, the game has a much higher house edge than the 5.24% that applies when you play the side bet.

    In fact, that house edge isn’t as bad as it sounds. Your ability to choose whether to raise or not brings it down to a much more manageable 2.54%.

    There are some strategies for Caribbean stud poker but most can prove to be extremely complicated and work only marginally better than using the rules below. So, in an effort to keep it simple we’ve laid down a few laws here:

    Always fold unless:

    • You have a pair or better
    • You have ace, king, queen, jack and any other card
    • You have ace, king, queen and the dealer’s up card matches one of yours.
    • You have ace, king, jack and the dealer’s up card matches one of yours.
    • You have ace, king, 10 and the dealer’s up card matches one of yours.

    Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpots

    All hail Michael Titus – without him there would be no Caribbean stud poker jackpots.

    Titus introduced the idea of adding a progressive jackpot to the game after deciding that players needed a better chance of winning. He shared his ideas with the game’s owner Danny Jones and since then the game hasn’t looked back.

    Now, few people would recognise Caribbean stud poker without its jackpot and even fewer people would play it. Fortunately Caribbean stud poker jackpots are part and parcel of pretty much every online casino offering.

    Get the Jackpot lowdown

    • Caribbean stud jackpots are offered in practically every online casino.
    • Being dealt a royal flush will trigger the jackpot and other good hands can win you a percentage of the jackpot.
    • Jackpots often exceed £250,000 and some start at £50,000.
    • Popular Caribbean stud poker jackpots include Microgaming Progressive Cyberstud, Playtech Caribbean Stud Poker and Net Entertainment Caribbean Stud

    Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpot Games

    Adding a progressive jackpot to Caribbean stud poker doesn’t really change the way that you play the game at all. In fact, all it does is mean that you win more when you get good hands.

    Obviously a royal flush is the ideal hand and this is where most Caribbean stud poker jackpot games will pay out on the big prize. However, other top hands are often also increased by the jackpot.

    These hands can be worked out as a percentage of the jackpot total or they may just be a high set amount. Either way, winning the top prize isn’t the only way to win big when playing progressive jackpot Caribbean stud poker.

    Payouts can range from 2:1 for a pair all the way up to 1000:1 on your raise, meaning that Caribbean stud poker is a game that can be very profitable as well as fun.

    As almost every online casino has some form of Caribbean stud poker game, there are obviously quite a few around. But frustratingly they aren’t always named as simply as you might like. So to save you the trouble of what isn’t and more importantly what is a Caribbean stud poker jackpot game we’ve listed a few of the most popular versions below.

    Microgaming Progressive Cyberstud

    The obvious headline when it comes to Microgaming Caribbean Poker is that the progressive jackpot starts at an impressive £50,000. But believe us; it grows much, much bigger than that.

    Unfortunately it does have a bit of a silly name but Progressive Cyberstud still keeps the players coming in as it offers everything that you would expect from a jackpot Caribbean stud game.

    Microgaming Progressive Cyberstud
    The message that greets you as you enter the game informing you of the way the progressive bet works

    The paytable

    • Flush – 50x side bet
    • Full House – 100x side bet
    • 4 of a Kind – 500x side bet
    • Straight Flush – 20,000x side bet
    • Royal Flush – Jackpot

    Playtech Caribbean Stud Poker

    Playtech make use of a side bet to allow you to be eligible for the Caribbean stud poker progressive jackpot. Of course we thoroughly recommend that you play the side bet.

    As with most games, to win the jackpot here you must raise and draw a royal flush, however if you aren’t that lucky then there’s other prizes to be had as well. Namely this comes in the form of a straight flush which provides you with a win of 10% of the progressive jackpot.

    Microgaming Progressive Cyberstud Screenshot

    The jackpot paytable as seen at bet365 Casino

    The paytable

    • Flush – 50x side bet
    • Full House – 100x side bet
    • 4 of a Kind – 500x side bet
    • Straight Flush – 10% of jackpot
    • Royal Flush – 100% of jackpot

    Net Entertainment Caribbean Stud

    Similarly to the Playtech version, the Net Entertainment Caribbean Stud game requires you to place a side bet in order to stand a chance of winning the progressive jackpot.

    Again the royal flush is your ticket to the big money as it provides you with 100% of the jackpot which increases steadily and is often found at £250,000+. If you don’t happen to get that lucky, then there are still extra payouts which start at 5:1 for a three of a kind and work their way up to a generous 2,500:1 for a straight flush.

    The larger side bet payouts make this game look much more enticing than the other games listed here. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a cap of £50,000 on all wins except for the jackpot. We would suggest as the payouts are so much bigger, it’s likely that they are sparser than in the other games.

    Net Entertainment Caribbean Stud Screenshot
    Progressive Caribbean stud poker at Mr Green

    The paytable

    Three of a Kind 5:1
    Flush 25:1
    Full House 100:1
    Four of a Kind 250:1
    Straight Flush 2,500:1
    Royal Flush Jackpot