Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker may not be the most exciting of poker games – there’s no draw phase or opportunity to bluff – yet it is extremely popular among avid casino gaming crowds. The reason is simple enough. Every Caribbean Stud Poker game carries a progressive jackpot that can be worth as high as $20 million!

Caribbean Stud Poker – Game Setup

Caribbean Stud Poker is played with a single deck of 52 cards. It can be played by 5 or 6 players, plus the dealer. Players’ hands are compared only to the dealer’s, not each other.

Caribbean Stud Poker – Objective

The objective in Caribbean Stud Poker is for your 5-card poker hand to beat the dealer’s 5-card poker hand. It is considered a poker game because the player can raise and fold. If you think your hand will win, you raise 2x your ante. If not, you fold and lose the ante bet only.

Caribbean Stud Poker – How To Play

To play Caribbean Stud Poker, you’ll start by placing an Ante bet. When choosing the size of your Ante, be aware that it is only 1/3 of your total bet should you play out the entire hand. If you want to wager about $15 on the hand, only place an Ante of $5.

Each player, and the dealer, receives 5 cards. One of the dealer’s cards will be exposed. The player then looks at his own hand and decides whether to play on.
If you decide to continue with the hand, you must raise an amount equal to 2x the ante. For example, you bet $1 ante, you would place a $2 raise.

If you decide not to continue, you can fold the hand, losing only the ante bet.

Assuming you’ve played on, the dealer’s hand is then revealed. If the dealer’s hand is stronger than yours, all bets are lost. If your hand is stronger, the payout is based on the dealer’s hand, and your own. The dealer’s hand must qualify to receive a full payout.


The dealer’s hand will only qualify if it contains at least A-K high. A hand of A-Q high would not qualify, nor would K-Q high or anything lower. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, and the player’s hand is stronger, the ante bet is paid even money, but the raise bet is returned.

If the dealer’s hand does qualify, and the player still wins, the ante is paid even money and the raise bet is paid according to the following pay table. Note that not all pay tables are the same. This is a standard Caribbean Stud Poker pay table.

Caribbean Stud Poker: Pay Table

Player Hand Payout Odds
Royal Flush 100 to 1
Straight Flush 50 to 1
4 Of A Kind 20-1
Full House 7 to 1
Flush 5 to 1
Straight 4 to 1
3 Of A Kind 3 to 1
2 Pair 2 to 1
1 Pair 1 to 1
High Card 1 to 1

Caribbean Stud Poker – Progressive Side Bet

Players have the option of placing a $1 side bet on the strength of their upcoming hand. This is where the progressive jackpot comes into play. The hand must rank as a Flush or higher for the side bet to pay off, releasing the entire progressive jackpot for a Royal Flush.

Winning against the dealer has nothing to do with the side bet. You could get a Flush and still win the side bet, even if the dealer actually wins the hand with something like a 4 of a Kind.

The following is a standard Caribbean Stud Poker Progressive Side Bet Pay Table:

Royal Flush: 100% of Progressive Jackpot
Straight Flush: 10% of Progressive Jackpot
4 of a Kind: $500
Full House: $100
Flush: $75

Caribbean Holdem

Caribbean Holdem is a direct descendant of Caribbean Stud, but played “Holdem” style, with community cards. The dealer and player each get two cards, and one community card is dealt face up. Both the player and dealer use community cards, in combination with their own cards, to make a final hand. After seeing these cards, the player decides to fold or raise. Then two more community cards are dealt (3 in all) to make up a complete 5-card hand for the player and dealer.

Caribbean Draw

Caribbean Draw Poker is another casino poker game played in much the same style as Caribbean Stud Poker except that there is an optional draw phase. After seeing his five cards, if the player decides to move on by placing a raise, they may either stand on their current hand or discard up to two cards. Any discarded cards are then replaced with new cards.