Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy & Tips

Caribbean stud poker is a popular version of the much-loved card game, specifically designed for casino audiences. It is usually played against the dealer in a head-to-head format, with players having to better the hand that the dealer is holding. It has fewer instances of skill than strains like Texas Hold’em, but players still need to use strategy when playing.

Here at, we offer a live version of stud poker that you will find in our extensive live dealer casino, and you will also find it in video poker format. This title offers some unique twists on traditional video poker, so it’s important to read up on the rules and optimal strategies before you start playing.

If you want to start playing Caribbean stud poker today, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What is Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean stud poker is a variant of five-card stud that emerged in the 1980s. Unlike five-card stud, it is played against the house and not other players around a table. It’s less skill-based because there’s no bluffing or attempting to out-bet your opponents. Instead, you simply wager if you want to play. Then, after the draw, it’s a showdown to see whether the player or the dealer’s hand has won.

This concept is transported to the video poker version of the game, with players having to make the strongest five-card hand possible. You’ll find yourself facing off against a virtual dealer, and the aim of the game is to beat their hand. If you win, you’ll receive a payout on your stake based on the value of your hand. The lowest payouts are for pairs, with royal flush being the best hand. If you place the side bet along with your ante before the round starts and hit a royal flush, you’ll win the game’s progressive jackpot.

How do you Play Caribbean Stud Poker?

Playing Caribbean stud poker is simple. Follow the steps below to start playing this popular video poker option today:

  • Open an account with and deposit some funds
  • Use the tab in the top left-hand corner and select casino games – video poker
  • Find Caribbean Stud Poker and click “Play for real”
  • Enter a stake between 0.01 and 300 as your ante. You also need to select whether to place the side bet or not
  • Press deal to receive your initial five-card hand
  • Decide whether to call or fold. If you fold, you lose your ante bet
  • Hold the cards that you want to keep
  • Press deal again to swap the cards you didn’t hold
  • Your final hand will then face off against the dealer
  • If you win, you will receive a return on your stake based on the value of the hand

What’s the Best Strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean stud poker is essentially a game of chance, and you don’t have much control over the outcome. However, there are some strategies that you can implement to try to tip the scales in your favour.

There are a few decisions that you need to make during the game:

  • The bet size
  • Whether to place the side bet
  • Whether to call or fold
  • What cards to hold

The amount you decide to bet will depend on your bankroll and what you want from the game. If you want the chance to win high amounts, you need to bet larger stakes. On the other hand, if you are mainly playing for fun, you can select lower wagers.

You need to place the side bet if you want to have a chance of winning the progressive jackpot. This comes in if you hit a royal flush. However, the chances of this happening are slim. The odds of hitting a royal flush are usually around one in 40,000 on the initial deal.

These odds are shortened after you’ve held cards, but it gives you an idea of how unlikely it is. Therefore, it would make more sense to eschew the side bet. However, if you like playing because of the opportunity for the progressive jackpot, you should place it.

You need to choose whether to call or fold after looking at your initial hand and the dealer’s upcard. If the dealer is showing a strong card and your weak hand is drawing dead, you might want to cut your losses and fold.

Choose what cards to hold based on the likelihood of the hand coming to fruition. Remember that a royal flush is much less likely than a straight or a flush, so it may be wiser to hold for outcomes that could conceivably occur.

What Other Tips are There for the Game?

There are a few other tips that we think you should know before you start playing Caribbean stud poker. By taking this advice, you should be able to maximise your enjoyment of the game. Remember, it should always be about having fun, and playing responsibly is key.

Manage Bankroll Effectively

Something that all casino players should do is set a specific bankroll and stick to it. You can decide how much you are prepared to wager each week or month, and walk away once you have exceeded that. It is arguably better to stay true to this even if you win, as it will allow you to pocket any profits you might make.

Know Your Hand Values

The most important thing about video poker is knowing the values of the various hands. You should also be able to identify when you have a draw for a particular hand. For example, if your initial cards include three hearts, you’re on a flush draw. Therefore, you should hold the hearts and hope for two more on the next deal. There is plenty of information online to help you understand hand values and their likelihood.

Caribbean stud poker is a simple game that can be a lot of fun. If you follow these tips, you will be able to maximise your enjoyment of the game. blog
Wayne “D22-soso” Chiang is a StarCraft World Champion, the “Live at the Bike” Poker Stream Producer and one of the top Global Poker Tournament winners.

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