Caribbean Stud Poker Strategies: Advanced Lesson

by John Grochowski

Before moving to Caribbean stud poker advanced strategies, this lesson provides the history of the game plus a review of rules/basic strategy at Learn Poker.

Caribbean Stud Poker: History
Caribbean is a variant of poker, a card game with a long and mysterious history. The French introduced the game of poker to Louisiana in 1830 whereupon it reached the West in a short period of time.
Caribbean Poker can trace its roots to Aruba, the island country whose closest neighbor is Venezuela. Similar to five-card stud poker, the rules for Caribbean take a turn in that players bet against the house instead of other players.

Caribbean Stud was originally played at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Casino, Aruba in 1988 and is now known as the Excelsior Casino. The Casino has been in existence for 30 years and offers a full compliment of poker games including Caribbean Stud Poker Tournaments to include players from the US, South America and Europe. The Casino hosted the World Poker Tour in September 2005.
In the late 1980s, Caribbean Stud Poker was a standard poker option throughout the islands of the Caribbean and at cruise ship casinos anchored in the area. It was a foregone conclusion that the game would head to Vegas and indeed, this poker option was on the table in 1992.

As often happens, Nevada changed the rules and added a progressive jackpot to the delight of poker players. The result was a surge in popularity that attracted players worldwide.
Currently, Caribbean Stud Poker is offered at the vast majority of land-based and online casinos. The game is also known online as CyberStud.
If Caribbean poker is your choice, it’s easy to get in the game online or off.

Caribbean Stud Rules
Players make an ante bet that may include a second progressive side-bet followed by 5 cards dealt face down. Dealer receives 4 cards down and 1 up.
Players decide to fold and lose their original wager or bet an amount equal to twice the value of the ante.
Dealer then shows his/her hand. Dealer must have a minimum hand of Ace/King to qualify.  If the dealer does not qualify, players will win even money on their ante and push with their bet.
Should the dealer’s hand qualify and loses to the player, the ante will pay even money and the bet will pay according to the table’s established schedules.
Optional progressive side bet will be based on the poker value of the player’s hand.

Caribbean Stud Poker: Basic Strategy
Players should bet the following hands:
1) A pair or better.
2) Ace-King-Queen and the player's next highest card outrank the dealer's up card.
3) An Ace and a King, and one of the other three cards matching the dealer's up card.
4) Ace-King-Queen or Ace-King-Jack, and any of the five cards matching the dealer's up card.
The player strategy behind numbers 3 and 4 is that matching the dealer’s up card decreases the chances that the dealer will have a pair that will beat your Ace-King.

Caribbean stud poker: Advanced level
Advanced level requires additional effort, with dozens of exceptions to the basic strategy of drawing to hands with no pairs.
The best hands to hold are in this order: 4-card royal, 4-card straight flush, 4-card straight, 4-card open straight, 3-card royal, 3-card straight flush to include inside and double-inside draws, 3-card flush or 4-card inside straight. Or hold 3 highest cards.
  • Queen-Jack-10, don’t play 10-8-7 or 10-7-6 double inside straight flushes.
  • Q-J-low is the only playable three-card flush.
  • Queen-Jack-9, don’t play 9-8-low, Jack-low-low or 9-low-low 3-card flushes.
  • Queen-10-9-8 and a low card, the only playable double-inside straight flushes are Queen-10-8 and Queen-9-8, and the only playable three-card flush is Queen-10-low for caribbean stud poker.
  • Queen-10-9 and two low cards, three-card flushes are not playable.
  • Jack-10-9 and two low cards, Jack-10-low and Jack-9-low are the only playable three-card flushes.
  • Jack-10-8 and two low cards, do not play 8-high three-card flushes.
  • Jack-9-8 and two low cards, the Jack-low-low three-card flush is stronger than a 9-8-6-5 inside straight. Four-card inside straights are stronger than 9-or 8-high 3-card flushes.
  • 10-9-8 and two low cards, a three-card flush with 10, 9 and a low card is stronger than a four-card inside straight. Other three-card flushes are weaker than inside straights.
  • 10-9 and three low cards, three-card flushes with no straight flush possibilities are not playable unless they include both the 10 and the 9.
  • 10-8 and three low cards, three-card flushes that do not include the 10 are weaker than four-card inside straights.
  • 9-8 and three low cards, three-card flushes that do not include both the 9 and the 8 are weaker than four-card inside straights.
  • 9 and four low cards, three-card flushes are weaker than four-card inside straights.
  • 8 and four low cards, three-card flushes are weaker than four-card inside straights that include the 8.
Player advantage: if the house draws to inside draws, the house edge is 1.5% of the ante, or 0.5% of all bets.
If no draw to inside straights, the house edge is 2.4% of the ante, or 0.8% percent of all bets.

Caribbean Stud Poker Progressive Payouts may vary from casinos online and off, however, usually it’s-- Royal Flush wins the progressive jackpot, $5,000 for a straight flush, $500 for quads, $100 for a full house and $50 for a flush.

From Caribbean Stud Poker Strategies, go to Poker Games Online
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