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Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

The game of Caribbean stud poker has a built-in house advantage of 5.26%. So for every $100 a player wagers, in the long run they should lose $5.26. Here is a simple yet sound strategy that will keep the house edge to a minimum and at the same time help control the amount of bankroll fluctuation a player encounters.

Caribbean Stud Poker Progressive


The most critical decision a player faces is whether to fold or raise their bet once the cards are dealt. There are four possible outcomes that result from this decision:

  1. - Player folds and loses their ante bet

  2. - Player raises and wins only the ante bet because the dealer does not qualify

  3. - Player raises and wins both the ante and the raise bet because the dealer qualified and the players hand beats the dealer's hand

  4. - Player raises and loses both the ante bet and the raise bet because the dealer qualified and the dealer's hand beats the player's hand
     

Some of the time the decision to raise is a "no-brainer". If the player has a flush for instance, they will raise and hope the dealer qualifies. And there are times when it's obvious that the player must fold. For instance, when the player does not have a pair and no Ace or King in their hand. It's the times when a player's decision is not cut and dried that will determine whether or not they hold onto as much of their money as possible.

Let's start with pairs. Players should ALWAYS play ALL pairs regardless of the dealer's up card.  Pairs are dealt out a little more then 42% of the time. Of the thirteen possible pairs, seven of them have a positive expectation, meaning they should win more times than they lose in the long run. Three of the possible pairs have a positive expectation when the dealer's up card is equal to or lower than the player's pair. Lastly, there are only three pairs that are expected to lose in the long run (2's, 3's and 4's). Therefore, ten of the thirteen possible pair combinations should show a profit and three should not.

So why not just avoid playing the small pairs? If a player folds these pairs and forfeits their ante bet, the house advantage jumps to 7%!  Since any player or the dealer can expect to be dealt a hand containing a pair over 42% of the time, that means the dealer will have a non-paired hand over 50% of the time. Also the dealer will actually qualify with an Ace-King hand around 6 percent of the time. During these times, the player will win both their ante bet and their raise bet.

Now let's look at non-paired hands. Players should fold all non-paired hands that do not contain an Ace and a King. Players should raise when they hold an Ace and a King under the following conditions:

 

Players Hand

Dealers Up Card

A-K-Q-J-x

Any

A-K-Q-x-x

Must match one of players cards

A-K-J-x-x

Must match one of players cards

A-K-10-x-x

Must match one of players cards

 

The reason the dealer's up card must match one of the player's cards is to reduce the chance of the dealer having a pair.

Here is the complete chart of when the player should make the raise bet:
 

Players Hand

Dealers Up Card

Any Pair

Any Upcard

A-K-Q-J-x

Any Upcard

A-K-Q-x-x

Must match one of players cards

A-K-J-x-x

Must match one of players cards

A-K-10-x-x

Must match one of players cards

 

Also note, that the $1 Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot wager is a sucker bet and should not be made until the jackpot meter exceeds $263,000. Use this strategy the next time you play Caribbean Stud Poker and you will improve your chances of winning.

 

Caribbean Stud Poker | Caribbean Stud Hands | Frequency of Hands | Glossary | Caribbean Stud Jackpot | Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy | Raise Bet Payout Schedule

 

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