For anyone venturing into the world of online casinos the range of choice can be extraordinarily wide ranging and varied.
The gut instinct when faced with this kind of paralysing width of choice is to either dabble at random, wasting time on dull or overly expensive games, or else to stick with what you know and miss out on the refreshment of a novel game.
READ: Our guide to Caribbean Stud.
What is Caribbean Stud?
Borrowing the hand rankings and some of the playing procedure from poker, Caribbean stud is played one-on-one against the house.
Each player then gets five cards face down, and the house gets five, with one card face up.
If the house has less than A-K-x-x-x they fail to qualify and the player wins even money on their ante with the raise being a push. If the house qualifies, then the hands are turned face up and compared.
If the house’s hand is higher – according to poker rankings – than the players then the house takes both ante and raise.
If the player wins then the payout is determined by what hand they win with. These can vary from casino to casino but the default payouts* can be seen at the bottom of this article.
The nice thing about this is that while the bets remain relatively small, there are opportunities to hit it really big.
One of the appeals of a game like this is, like blackjack, there is a strategy to winning a given hand.
You can back out if the odds look bad or double down if you like your hand. Perfect strategy against the house can reduce the vig to as low as 2.5% depending on payouts but to get it that low you need to make sure you’re not giving away huge value.
The most common leak in Caribbean stud players games is folding too much. High hand may not look like much, but remember that it is the most common hand for both you and the house.
So, always fold if you can’t beat the qualifying hand of Ace-King high but raise with any pair or better. With the A-K-x-x-x hands it can be tricky, but that is where the house’s up-card can help.
If you match the up card with any of your cards then you reduce the odds of them having a pair, and if you have A-K-Q-x-x you beat all their qualifying high-card hands.
The more of your cards that beat their up-card the better. With a 7 showing A-K-9-8-6 is a much, much stronger hand than A-K-9-6-5.
Where to play
If you fancy giving Caribbean poker a try Betway offers a live play version with a bonus, but no plain online version.
And Casumo offers a very flash app only version for those of you who like their gamble on the go.
Playing at your local brick and mortar can be a trickier proposition and will depend on their table line up but their websites should tell you.
*A standard payout table looks like this:
Royal Flush – 100/1
Straight Flush – 50/1
Four of a Kind – 20/1
Full House – 7/1
Flush – 5/1
Straight – 4/1
Three of a kind – 3/1
Two pair – 2/1
Pairs and High Hands – 1/1
You may well see much higher payouts near the top (as high as 200/1 for a straight flush, but they are usually paid for by lower odds on the vastly more common two pair hands).
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