Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

/assets/images/inner/caribbeanpoker.gif Here, we will give you some practical tips and advice to help you become a more intelligent and successful player in this popular casino game. One of the reasons for its popularity is the simplicity of the game which leads a lot of people to assume that there is very little strategy involved.

Caribbean Stud Poker has a built-in house edge of 5.26%. So for every $100 a player wagers, in the long run they should lose $5.26.

Below we present a simple yet sound strategy, which will lower the house's advantage as much as possible and at the same time help control the amount of bankroll fluctuation you may face.

A Common Mistake in Caribbean Stud

The first thing we want to highlight is a few of the common mistakes that are made by the amateur player.

Many players employ the strategy of folding on all pairs less than 5, based on the assumption that it is not worth the risk on a weak hand. However, if you consider the odds and probabilities that the dealer also faces, you will see that any pair will consistently defeat the dealer over time.

In fact, the weakest pair beats the dealer 50.08% of the time. Check out our Caribbean Stud Poker probabilities for more information about the numbers.

Now, to some basic strategy and what you should do.

Good Caribbean Stud Strategy

In this game, the most important decision a player must make is whether to fold or raise your bet once the cards have been dealt. There are four possible outcomes once the decision has been made:

  • The player folds and loses the ante bet.

  • The player raises and wins only the ante bet because the dealer fails to qualify.

  • The player raises and wins both the ante bet and the raise bet because the dealer qualified and the player's hand beat the dealer's hand.

  • The player raises and loses both the ante bet and the raise bet because the dealer qualified and the dealer's hand beat the player's hand.

Of course, sometimes the decision to fold or raise is easy.

For example, if you have a flush or a full house, you should raise and hope that the dealer also qualifies. However, as stated above, there are times when you must fold: for example, when you are dealt a hand without a pair or an A-K.

Don't Forget: The odds are in your favor if you are dealt a pair, so you should always raise. But what about non-paired hands? The player should fold a non-paired hand that does not have an A-K.

Have a look at the chart below to see when the player should make the raise bet.

Player's Hand Dealer's Showing
Any Pair Any Card
A-K-Q-J-x Any Card
A-K-Q-x-x *Must match one of player's cards
A-K-J-x-x *Must match one of player's cards
A-K-10-x-x *Must match one of player's cards

*The reason the dealer's upcard must match one of the player's cards is to reduce the chance of the dealer having a pair.