All About Caribbean Stud Poker
Stud Poker features as a wildly popular casino version of poker, where many players can participate at one table. Like blackjack, the players don’t compete against one another; they are competing against the house.
The beauty of Caribbean Poker is that it’s a fairly easy game to learn, and lots of fun to play. Each player is dealt 5 cards and their bets are based on what they know about their hand and the dealer’s upcard. Unlike traditional games of poker, there’s no ability to bluff in this game.
The commonality between this game and other poker variants is the fact that the 5 card hand system is used. Cards are ranked the same way too. That’s where the similarities end however. The game is actually played in a manner similar to blackjack.
Caribbean Stud Poker is a fairly new casino card game – the name of the inventor of the game is unknown, but it first started to appear in the Caribbean in the 1980s, with games being played in Aruba, and on cruise ships taking tours around the Caribbean islands. It has since come to be known as an island-style casino game.
Unlike blackjack, this game has a strong house edge – even perfect play tactics, which are difficult to achieve under casino conditions, offer a 5.224% house edge. A simpler strategy of raising when you have Ace-King-Jack-8-3 or better gives the house an edge of 5.316% on the player's ante bet.
If players collaborate (which is not allowed), it is possible for them to gain a slight advantage over the house. The rules of the game expressly state that sharing information about the contents of your hand with other players is forbidden, so it is unlikely that this could ever be achieved under casino conditions.
In spite of the favourable house edge, Caribbean Poker is still a popular game. It’s not the big house edge that players are drawn to, it’s the addition of a progressive jackpot in some casinos that really reels players in. The progressive jackpot offers payouts ranging from $50 for a Flush to $500 for a 4-of-a-kind, 10% of the contents of the meter for a Straight Flush, and 100% of the meter for a Royal Flush.
Caribbean Stud players who wish to play in the progressive jackpot games should remember to do this after placing the ante on each hand. If their hand qualifies for a progressive payout, they will win, regardless of the outcome of the rest of the hand.
Caribbean Stud Poker progressive is now the most widely played variant – in both American casinos, and internationally. In the UK, this variation of the game is called Casino Jackpot Five Card Stud Poker.