The design of Caribbean Poker tables actually helps make the game easier to understand and play for new players of the game. The game is generally played on a semi-circular table with three to five players. Since the games is played against the dealer (house) rather than against the other players, the players sit facing the dealer, not each other.
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In front of the players are spot outline, often as circles. One is for the player’s ante and the other for the bet. Usually the smaller space is for the ante and the larger for the bet, since the bet is twice the player’s ante amount, but I have seen this sizing reversed.
To play the game, players place an ante on the ante spot. This signals the dealer that they are in the game and he should deal cards to them. Once all players receive their five cards, the dealer reveals one of his cards. Player must then decide whether they want to fold and lose their ante or bet. The amount of the bet is always twice the ante amount. So, if a player placed an ante of five dollars, the bet is ten dollars. Once the bets are placed, the dealer reveals his cards. Any hand that beats the dealers qualifying hand wins.
It is important to keep in mind that in Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer must hold a qualifying hand of at least Ace/King high. If the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, then the players get their money back, plus even money on the ante. So, if a player antes five dollars, then bets ten dollars, their total wager is fifteen dollars. If the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, they receive twenty dollars back.
There will also be a spot on the table to bet the progressive jackpot. Often this is a slot that the player inserts a dollar chip into and then the slot lights up. If you want to play for the progressive jackpot, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for remembering to place your progressive bet each round and making sure that the slot indicator light is on.
Poker experts often recommend not to bet the Progressive Jackpot because the odds are not in the player’s favor. But for casual players, the progressive may be the fun of the game.