Caribbean Stud is a casino card game based loosely on poker. The goal of the game is to win money by getting a better 5-card poker hand than the dealer. If you are successful, you will receive a payout based on the strength of your final hand. The better your hand is, the more you get paid.
The basic rules of Caribbean Stud are fairly simple. The most important thing to know is how various poker hands rank (explained below). When you play real money Caribbean Stud, you also have an option to place a side-bet for a progressive jackpot. The side bet qualifies you for large cash prizes if you end up with a particularly strong poker hand.
But first, let’s begin with a list of gambling sites at which you can play Caribbean Stud for real money:
The Best US Caribbean Stud Casinos for 2016
|Rank||Gambling Site||New Player Bonus||Review||Visit Site|
|1.||Bovada Casino||100% up to $250||Read Review||Visit Now|
How to Play Caribbean Stud
In a game of Caribbean Stud, you place an “ante” wager and then receive five cards face up. The dealer also receives five cards, but only one of these is dealt face up. Then, you are given the option to either continue or fold.
If you decide to continue, you will need to place a second bet equal to twice the size of your original wager. So if your original bet was $5, you will now need to bet $10 to continue. This is important to keep in mind for bankroll considerations. Multiply your first bet by 3 to see how much money you will risk over a full round of play.
So anyways, if you place the second bet, the dealer’s cards will now be revealed. You will receive a payout if your final hand is stronger than the dealer’s hand. The amount you win is determined by the strength of your hand.
Note: the dealer must qualify with an Ace and King or better for you to receive a full payout. If the dealer does not qualify, you will only be paid 1:1 on your original wager. Your raise wager will be returned to you without any winnings.
If your hand is stronger than the dealer, your ante bet will be paid 1:1 and your raise bet will receive one of the following payouts:
|4 of a Kind||4d-4s-4h-4c-9h||20:1|
|3 of a Kind||4d-4s-4h-Ac-Kd||3:1|
The rules look a little long on paper, but you’ll see that it’s actually a pretty simple game. The only real decisions you have to make are how much to bet and when to fold. The rest of the game plays itself.
The Progressive Jackpot
You have the option to place a $1 side bet at the beginning of every hand. The side bet is completely optional and it offers additional payouts for certain hands. If you hit a Royal Flush, you’ll win a significant jackpot.
It is called a “progressive” jackpot because it grows over time as players make the optional side bet. A portion of every side-bet wager goes straight to the jackpot. So as you and all the other people at the casino play, the jackpot grows larger and larger.
Six figure jackpots are not uncommon and that prospect makes the bet temping. However, it is not the best bet from a strategic point of view. Unless the jackpot is worth an extraordinary amount of money (I’m talking closer to a million than to a hundred thousand), it has a high house advantage.
From a pure strategy standpoint, the progressive jackpot side bet should never be made. On the other hand, I understand if you don’t care and you just want to gamble. We all do sometimes. The one thing I would recommend is, at the very least, not to place the side bet every single time. That $1 bet adds up over time.
The exact payouts from the side-bet vary from one casino to the next, but the following chart is pretty standard. I got this chart from the Caribbean Stud game at Bovada Casino.
|Royal Flush||100% of Jackpot|
|Straight Flush||10% of Jackpot|
|4 of a Kind||$500|
Caribbean Stud comes with a house advantage of roughly 5.2% when played with solid strategy. What this means is that if you wager $100 at the game in a night, you can expect to lose $5.20. It won’t always work out like (anything can happen over the short term), but it does work out that way over the long run.
There are a couple of ways you can implement strategy in your game. Absolutely perfect Caribbean Stud strategy is too complex to be of any use, but the following rules will get you pretty close to optimal strategy:
- Raise with all pairs or better
- Fold whenever you have anything less than AK
The strategy gets more complicated when you have an AK. You can visit this Wizard of Odds page to see a more in-depth strategy guide for Caribbean Stud. My suggestion for casual gamblers is to just stick with the two rules above.
If you’re that serious about reducing the house advantage, blackjack may be a better fit for you. Even if you take the time to learn perfect Caribbean Stud strategy, you will still only get the house edge down to about 5%. It would make more sense to spend all that time learning how to play blackjack with a house advantage of about 0.5%.
Caribbean Stud Bonuses
Most real money gambling sites offer at least one welcome bonus that works with Caribbean Stud. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions before you get any particular bonus. Or in the case of the casinos mentioned near the top of this page, make sure to use the bonus code that specifies the table games bonus.
Something else to keep in mind is that the house advantage of Caribbean Stud is too high for you to make any profit grinding out bonuses. If you want to try to make money with bonuses, Caribbean Stud is best avoided. Look at this as a pure gambling-for-fun game.
I don’t say this to discourage you, but it’s important to understand how various casino games work. Caribbean Stud is quite a bit of fun so enjoy it for what it is. If luck is on your side, you there’s some quick money to be made with this game.