Caribbean Stud Poker is easy to learn and play, especially with the help of the free online games. To play the game, each player places an ante on the table. Once all players have placed their ante, the dealer deals five cards to each player and to himself. The dealer will then turns over one of his cards and allow the players to look at their cards. Players may not compare hands or exchange information on what they hold, but must decide whether to fold and forfeit their ante or bet. The bet is twice the ante. Once all players have folded or placed their bets, the dealer turns over his cards and compares his hands to the players. Any player who beats the dealer’s qualifying hand wins.
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In order for a player to win a hand at Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer must hold a qualifying hand of Ace/King or better. If the dealer doesn’t at least have an Ace/King hand, then all bets are void and the players receive even money only on their ante bet. This can be a bit disappointing for the player holding a royal flush when the dealer has nothing. The progressive jackpot helps offset that disappointment because by placing a dollar bet on the progressive, a player with a flush or higher will win money regardless of the dealer’s hand.
The basics of the game:
When you sit down at the table for Caribbean Poker, you first have to decide how much to ante. The typical range is between $5 and $500 dollars. But keep in mind that your bet must be double your ante. So, an ante of $5 means a $10 bet, or $15 total on the hand. This can add up quickly, so check your bankroll and decide how much you can afford to bet.
Always fold when you hold nothing. If your cards wouldn’t even be a qualifying hand for the dealer with at least an ace and a king sitting in it, then your best bet is not to bet. This would seem a simple tip, but keep in mind that it can be tempting to bet because if the dealer doesn’t qualify, you’ll at least get your money back. But in the long run, the house will prevail.
Always bet (raise) if you have a pair or higher in your hand. For Caribbean Poker, you don’t have to remember the ranks and odds for all the poker hands. You aren’t playing against the table, just against the house. So your hand only has to beat the house’s hand.
You can win if you have an Ace and King sitting in your hand, but only if the dealer doesn’t have a better hand. So should you raise or fold? General strategy advice is to look at the card the dealer has turned over. If that card matches one of the cards in your hand, the chance of a dealer having a pair is less. So the odds swing slightly in your favor. If none of your cards match the dealer’s cards, the odds are in the house’s favor. So, many players bet if they have an Ace/King and a card matching the dealer’s up card but fold otherwise.
The experts generally recommend against making a bet for the progressive jackpot because the house edge is just too high. They do allow for some leeway if the jackpot is larger. But for me, betting the progressive is part of the fun of Caribbean poker. It’s only a dollar and though the odds are bad, the pay off can be huge. While I’ve never won the big jackpot, I have hit on smaller hands that pay off a fixed amount.
So, while a serious player may not bet the progressive, if you’re making low wagers on each hand and playing more for fun, you might want to consider it part of the fun.