A Guide to playing Caribbean Stud Poker Online
Live online casino has brought back the feel of being in a real casino to online casinos. It uses a live stream to enable the player to interact with the dealer as if they had visited a brick-and-mortar casino.
For that reason, playing live Caribbean Stud Poker online is in many ways similar to the ordinary house game. Here’s a guide on how to go about the game and tips one can use in trying to increase wins in the game.
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What is Caribbean Stud?
Caribbean Stud is a version of poker that was specifically designed to be played in casinos. For this reason, it is also popularly known as ‘casino stud poker.’ The variant was derived from the previously existing 5-card stud poker, hence shares a lot of similarities in its rules. The main contrast of this variant to other forms of poker is that in Caribbean Stud, the player plays against the house rather than against other players. Its origins can be dated back to around 1982, with David Sklansky, himself a poker player, laying claim to its invention. The game entered casinos a few years after its invention, with the rules changing marginally to create the modern version of the game. It was modified to suit the fast-moving model of casino games. The same version and rules that were used in brick-and-mortar casinos still apply when the game is played in a live online casino model today.
Caribbean Stud Rules
To play, a player begins by placing a mandatory ante wager. This is deemed an expression of their intention to participate in the round.
The player may also place an optional side bet on the progressive jackpot.
Both the ante wager and the side bet must be placed before the dealer closes the betting window by announcing ‘no more bets.’
Once all wagers are placed, both the player and the dealer receive five cards each. All player cards are dealt face-down, while one of the dealer’s cards is dealt face-up. The player is free to look at his/her cards once they are dealt.
At that point, the player decides to fold or raise. To fold means to forfeit the bet while to raise is a commitment to continue playing.
To raise, a player must make another bet worth double the amount of their ante bet.
The dealer then turns over his four face-down cards. To qualify, the dealer will need a king and an ace or a higher total. If the dealer does not qualify, the player wins on the ante wager and the raise is refunded (pushed).
In the event the dealer qualifies and has a better total than the player, the ante and raise are lost.
If the dealer qualifies but is beaten by the player, the house pays out to both the ante and the raise according to the pay rates. Different casinos and/or regions have slight variations in payout rates. If a tie between the dealer and the player happens, a push happens for both the ante and raise wagers The side progressive bet will depend on the value of the hand and the payout rates. When playing a progressive jackpot, the player will need to show their hand if the dealer does not show an ace or king.
Players receive payouts for any of the following card combinations: Royal Flush, Straight flush, Four-of-a-kind, Full house, Three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, and two pair. The Royal flush (a combination of ace, king, queen, jack and a ten in a single suit) has the highest payout of up to 1 to 100 in some houses.
The straight flush is the second-highest while four-of-a-kind and full house round up the four best combinations.
Some houses include a maximum ante and raise amount, with £100 being a popular ante cap.
How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker
A live online casino is similar to a brick-and-mortar casino. The only difference is that the online player accesses the house through a video stream, making the experience virtual. Since the player is playing against the house, s/he does not get to interact with other players. Some casinos, however, allow interaction with the dealer through a chat option.
The rules of the game remain the same, however. The player initiates the action by selecting ‘Caribbean Stud’ from the live casino menu, just as s/he would walk to the table in a physical house. This prompts a video connection which uses the player’s internet signal. A strong signal is necessary for a gratifying playing experience.
The player then places the ante and side bet (optional) by clicking respective buttons. The selection appears on their screen and the amount wagered is deducted from their betting account. These bets are placed before betting is closed. The session then proceeds according to the rules explained above.
Caribbean Stud Online Strategy
Like all other poker games, understanding a Caribbean Stud strategy fully is an intricate issue. The basic strategy, however, revolves around two general rules: Raising whenever a player’s hand has a pair or higher and folding whenever a player’s hand is less than the qualifying dealer hand (ace/king).
The purpose of a strategy is to reduce the house edge. Even if the edge is brought down by 0.00001%, that’s a positive impact for the player. Besides the two basic rules, a player should also employ the following strategy.
- If the dealer face-up card is two through Queen, and is similar to any player card, RAISE
- If the dealer qualifies with an Ace/King and player hand has a jack or queen, RAISE
- If the dealer’s card does not match any player card and its value is less than that of the player’s fourth-highest card, RAISE
As a fast-moving game, Caribbean stud does not give the player the luxury of a lot of time to make decisions. As such, the above strategy must be properly memorised so that it becomes second nature. It is best to master it away from the betting table. As one progresses playing, the skills will come more naturally. Then, a more advanced strategy can be explored.
Although showing players to other players is not allowed in regular Caribbean Stud games, there are players who have tried to take advantage of playing remotely to bend this rule. They either play from the same location or use calls to communicate with each other in a bid to lower the dealer’s chances.
The question is whether this strategy pays off. The answer is ‘barely.’ Even if six players teamed up against the house, the dealer would still have 12 options to better their collusion. Now, six people communicating in one session of a casino game is no mean feat, yet the house retains a 0.4% edge. In short, this strategy is too much effort for too little; not worth it.