Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

Although it is relatively new invention that is less than 30 years old, the history of Caribbean Stud Poker is unclear, with several different stories of its origin. However, one thing that is known is that this game quickly became extremely popular among a large group of fans. Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the slowest casino table games in existence and has a very high house edge of more than 5 percent. Its appeal lies in its progressive jackpots, which are paid out not only for royal flushes but also in smaller amounts for lower winning combinations.

How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The object of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand. The player and the dealer are dealt 5 cards each, in face down position. The dealer turns over one of his cards – the remaining cards are referred to as “hole cards.” The player, after examining his own cards, may choose to either “play” (pit his cards against the dealer’s) or “fold” (drop out of the round). Then the dealer reveals his hole cards. The dealer’s hand only “qualifies” (is eligible to compete) if it contains both a King and an Ace, or a pair or other poker hand. A qualifying hand is compared to the player’s to see which of the two has a higher value.

Rules of Caribbean Stud Poker

A player begins the game by making a bet called an ante. He then receives and looks at his cards. If after checking his cards and the dealer’s “up” card, the player decides to fold, he will lose his ante. However, should he opt to continue, he must double his initial bet. The dealer’s cards are then turned over face up. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify and is worth less than the player’s, the player will receive an even money payout based only on his ante bet. If the dealer’s hand fails to qualify yet is worth more than the player’s, the player’s ante will be returned to him but he will lose the second wager. The player wins if his hand is worth more than a qualifying dealer’s hand. In this case, the payout will be made according to the value of the player’s hand.


Hand values in Caribbean Stud Poker are the same as in standard poker and pay out accordingly. A royal flush is the highest winning hand, with a 100:1 payout. A straight flush, pays 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 pairs 2:1 and one pair 1:1. When playing a game with a progressive jackpot, you must place a jackpot bet at the same time as your ante bet to be eligible for this gigantic payout.