Caribbean stud poker was first played on Aruba near a pristine powder white beach not far from a high-class designer jewelry boutique. It was introduced in 1988 at Aruba’s Holiday Inn Hotel and Casino.
Las Vegas quickly took notice because the game is based on Five Card Stud, very popular in the United States that many players easily recognize.
First, players ante up, receive their cards and get to view one of the dealer’s. They just play the hands dealt them. If players believe they can’t beat the dealer, they fold. If they think they have a better hand, they can increase their wager.
If your hand beats the dealer’s, you receive even money for the ante wager while the call bet is paid according to a pay table that ranges from even money for a pair or less to 100-1 for a royal flush. The house edge averages 5 percent.
U.S. casinos made it more attractive by adding a progressive jackpot, providing the opportunity to win huge amounts with a $1 side bet, but the odds range up to 649,000-1.
Players who hold a winning hand wagering on the progressive jackpot can gain a bonus ranging from $50 for a flush to 100 percent of the jackpot for a royal flush. If players can’t beat the dealer’s hand, all bets are lost.
The average house edge for this wager is more than 25 percent. That qualifies as “one of the worst bets,” according to casino gambling guru Bill Burton, author and online columnist who also writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters.
“Luck determines the cards you are dealt,” Burton says. “Knowledge and skill determines how you play them. A lucky person finds a way to use his abilities to come out ahead. This is true in casino games and is also a factor in the game of life.”
But he adds, “This game is slower paced than Blackjack. Many players like the slow pace and relaxed atmosphere (in casinos) of Caribbean stud.”
Simple Caribbean stud poker strategy: Play your hand containing an Ace-King or better. Since players must act before the dealer, there will be times when they fold before the dealer fails to qualify.
This doesn’t mean you should play every hand because that would be very foolish since the dealer qualifies about 12 percent more than not.
When the dealer doesn’t have Ace-King or better, all players who called their bets are paid the amount of their initial ante – even those with hands that don’t qualify.
Consider these useful tips for Caribbean stud:
Read all you can about the rules and limits before playing at any online casino site.
Get the feel of the game by playing free. There are quite a few casino websites that offer such opportunities without having to set up an account.
An Ace-King-Jack-8-3 or better no-pair hand is worth a gamble against any dealer up-card.