caribbean stud poker


NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1 to 7 players





caribbean stud poker

Caribbean Poker or Caribbean Stud Poker is not a true poker game since the dealer and the player are pitted against each other, rather than players playing against each other. The descriptor “Stud,” which is commonly used when referring to the game, is also misleading. It is not a true stud poker game because players are dealt their five-card hand prior to betting, not betting in between each card. This game is played on a special Blackjack table in American casinos. So, this game is actually far more similar to Blackjack than most other poker games.

If you’ve been wanting to up your poker game a bit, Caribbean stud poker is a great game to add to your repertoire. Even if you’re new to the game; no worries, we’ve got you. Here are the official and easy-to-understand rules so that you’ll be playing Caribbean stud poker at your new casino night out!


First things first, let’s set up the game for Caribbean Stud Poker. To do so, you’ll need an understanding of hand rankings and betting limits.


Hand Rankings in Caribbean Stud Poker work the same way as they do in other standard Poker games. Here are the card hand rankings, from best to worst:

  • Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, and 10 in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: Any straight in the same suit. Ex) Q, J, 10, 9, 8
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value, plus another card. Ex) 4, 4, 4, 4, K
  • Full House: Three cards of the same value, plus a pair. Ex) K, K, K, 9, 9
  • Flush: All cards in the same suit, regardless of value.
  • Straight: 5 cards of consecutive value but different suits.
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value, plus two random cards. Ex) J, J, J, 4, K
  • Two Pair: Two pairs and one random card. Ex) 10, 10, 5, 5, J
  • Pair: One pair of cards of equal value, plus three random cards. Ex) 10, 10, K, Q, 4
  • High Card: The highest value card since the five cards do not interact with each other in any way.

If you’d like a more in-depth look at poker hand rankings, we have a full beginner-friendly guide for you to peruse!


In Caribbean Stud Poker, betting limits typically refer to the minimum and maximum amounts that players can wager on each hand. The betting limits Caribbean Stud Poker depends on where you play. In a casino, generally, the smallest bet minimum is around $3 to $5. Online Caribbean Stud Poker ante limits can be even lower.

Since the betting limits often change, always make sure to double-check the limits before you play.

Here’s a breakdown of how betting limits generally work in Caribbean Stud Poker:

  • Minimum Bet: This is the smallest amount of money that a player must bet to participate in a hand.
  • Maximum Bet: The maximum bet represents the largest amount of money that a player can bet on a single hand. This limit is set by the casino and may vary.
  • Ante Bet and Optional Side Bets: In addition to the main bet, which is the ante, some Caribbean Stud Poker tables offer optional side bets. These side bets often have their own minimum and maximum limits.
  • Betting Rounds: In Caribbean Stud Poker, there is typically only one betting round, which occurs before the dealer reveals their hand. During this round, players have the option to either fold and forfeit their ante bet or raise by placing an additional bet equal to twice the amount of the ante.

Head over to our guide on poker betting if you are still a bit lost when it comes to betting in poker.


how to play caribbean stud poker

Before we get started, if you’re new to poker, I would highly recommend reading our poker for beginners guide before you jump back in!


Prior to the deal, players place their ante. This is where the game begins.

An ante is a forced bet required to play. Interestingly, unlike other poker games, the Ante amount does not have to be equal for each players. But with that said, most tables will have set rules regarding minimum or maximum bets, so keep those in mind!


Once all the antes are in the pot, or the marked spot on the table, the dealer deals each player five cards face-down. Players may look at their own cards only. The dealer deals themselves five cards and turns one of these cards face-up for the players to see.

This revealed card gives a glimpse of what the dealer’s hand might be. To determine this, take a look at your own hand. For example, if you happen to have two 6s, and the flipped over card is a 6, the dealer can’t have more than a pair, since you have the other two 6s.


At this point, look at your hands and compare using the Poker Hand Rankings guide above. Decide to fold or stay.

  • Fold: If you fold, you surrender your ante to the dealer and are revealing that you do not believe you have a stronger hand than the dealer. By folding, you forfeit all rights to win a payout even if you would have won.
  • Call/Play: Depending on the casino, your other opion is to call or play. In this cse, you will need to double your original ante. In other words, if you paid a $10 ante in the beginning, you’ll double that and pay an additional $30. Stay if you believe you have a chance of beating the dealer’s hand.


Once all the players have had a chance to fold or call, the players will reveal their hands one-by-one. Generally, players will go in order clockwise or counterclockwise from the dealer. Then, when it’s the dealer’s turn to reveal their hand, they will do so. And the round of Caribbean Stud Poker is over!


Here’s the important next step: Does the dealer qualify?

In order for the dealer to qualify, they must have at least an Ace or King or higher in their hand. In other words, the Dealer must have an Ace or King, a pair, or better.

If the dealer does not qualify, as their hand has the highest of 10, all players’ wagers are returned with no additional payment.

However, if a player beat the dealer, even if the dealer did not qualify, their initial antes will be paid out at 1:1.

For example, if a player places $50 for their initial ante, and then $100 in their call, and the dealer doesn’t qualify. In this case, the player gets back $200 total, which is made up of the original $100 + the initial ante is paid out 1:1, so that’s an additional $100.

On the other hand, if the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses their ante and call.

And finally, if the dealer does qualify and loses to a player, you’ll find the pay out table below.


Here’s the payout table for Caribbean stud poker.

  • Pair or High Card: 1:1
  • Two Pairs: 2:1
  • Three of a Kind: 3:1
  • Straight: 4:1
  • Flush: 5:1
  • Full House: 7:1
  • Four of a Kind: 20:1
  • Straight Flush: 50:1
  • Royal Flush: 100:1


Once you have the Caribbean Stud Poker rules down, you’ll need to start employing some strategy in order to better your chances of winning.

Here are some of our top tips and poker strategies for Caribbean Stud.

  • Always raise with a Pair or higher.
  • Fold if you have worse than Ace-King.
  • Raise if the dealer’s card is a between a 2 and queen and matches one of yours.
  • If the dealer’s up-card is an Ace or King, raise if you also have a Jack or Queen.


What Is the House Edge in Caribbean Stud?

The house edge in Caribbean stud is 5.224%, when referring to standard US rules. Of course, this number may not be entirely accurate, especially when considering poker strategy.

What Is the Best Hand in Caribbean Stud?

As with other types of standard poker games, the best hand in Caribbean Stud Poker is the coveted Royal Flush, which is made of the top five cards in a deck (10 to K) in a single suit.

What Is the 5+1 Bonus in Caribbean Stud Poker?

The 5+1 bonus is a side bet you can play during the game. You with the bet if your five cards plus the dealer’s first face-up card make up a five-card poker hand of Three-of-a-Kind or better. Players can only make this side bet after paying the initial ante.

Mia Kim

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