Caribbean Stud Poker is often seen as the best way to introduce a new player to poker. The gam doesn’t require bluffing or competition against other players — it’s just you versus the dealer.
And this guide will show you how to play Caribbean Stud Poker at Unibet Live Casino so you can master the game easily and quickly.
Caribbean Stud Poker is one of the various number of Stud games, which means some cards are dealt face up and some face down. The game emerged in the 1980s and quickly became popular due to its simplicity. What players also like about Caribbean Stud Poker is they are in control of how much they bet — something we shall explore later.
If you want to know how to win at Caribbean Stud Poker, how to play Caribbean Stud Poker hands and when the fold, then this guide will help you tackle the intricacies of the game.
Caribbean Stud Poker - the basics
Caribbean Stud Poker works like all poker games. The idea is to bet on the strength of your hand and hope it beats another’s. In doing this, you win your bet back and their bet as well. Most newcomers to poker will expect Texas Hold’em to be the most straight-forward game. But if you want to learn about card strengths then Caribbean Stud Poker is a much better way forward.
In Caribbean Stud Poker, you will receive five cards facing upwards. You play against the dealer, who will have only one of their five cards facing upwards. Your task is to make a judgement on if you think your hand will be stronger than the dealer’s, or weaker.
This principle makes Caribbean Stud Poker feel more like blackjack, where you’re also trying to beat the dealer and guess what one of their hidden cards is.
In Caribbean Stud Poker players pay an ‘ante’ bet to enter the round and must place a ‘call’ bet at twice the ‘ante’ amount if they want to challenge the dealer and see what cards they have. Therefore, your overall bet will be three times the size of the ‘ante’.
If you decide to call, the dealer will reveal their four face-down cards, and whoever has the strongest hand of five cards wins!
Let’s take you through an example hand to show you how the game plays out…
Pay the Ante
Before you even receive your cards you must pay an ante bet. This can be found at the bottom of your screen and you can choose how big the ante is. This means you newcomers to Caribbean Stud Poker can start low and make their way up as they get more familiar with the game.
Example: You pay a $1 ante bet in order to play a round.
The dealer will draw out five cards for you (and whoever else is playing) and five cards for themselves. You cards are dealt face-up — but don’t worry, there is no bluffing in Caribbean Stud Poker so it doesn’t matter if others can see your cards. Only one of the dealer’s five cards are drawn face-up.
Example: You are dealt 4H 6H 6C QC KD. The one dealer card you can see if JH.
This is the only betting stage of Caribbean Stud Poker. You will be asked to either fold or call the bet. By folding, you forfeit the ante you paid to receive your cards — but sometimes folding is a good idea to avoid paying out even more later in the game! By calling, you pay twice the amount of the ante again and wait for the dealer to show their cards.
Example: You decide to call, adding $2 to the ‘call’ pot. You have now staked $3 overall.
If you call, the dealer will reveal their four turned-down cards to complete their hand of five. If you beat the dealer’s hand, you win! However, in Caribbean Stud Poker the ante and call pots are not necessarily the same and sometimes you won’t win on both.
Example: The dealer reveals their hand and has 3D 6H 7H 8D QS KS. Their hand qualifies and you win thanks to your pair 6!
How Caribbean Stud Poker payouts work
There are four payout types available in Caribbean Stud Poker. They are:
Dealer doesn’t qualify
The dealer’s hand must qualify to play, in order for the game to go ahead as normal. A qualifying dealer hand in Caribbean Stud Poker is when they have at least an Ace or a King high card in their hand of five. If they don’t, the dealer folds. If the dealer doesn’t qualify, then the player only wins on the ante bet, and the call bet is returned to them.
Dealer qualifies and beats the player
Both the ante and the call bets are lost by the player if the dealer’s hand qualifies and outranks the player’s.
Player wins both bets
If the dealer qualifies but the player has the stronger hand, the player will win even money on their ante bet and a multiplier payout on their call bet. We will explain Caribbean Stud Poker call bet multipliers later in this guide.
Dealer and player hands the same
If the player’s and the dealer’s hands are the same, then the ante and call bets are simply returned to the player.
How to Caribbean Stud Poker call bet multipliers work
As mentioned earlier, Caribbean Stud Poker payouts consist of multipliers. This is because your call bet is rewarded based on the strength of your hand.
Firstly, the ante bet is match 1:1. So if you placed $1 on the ante, you will receive $2 overall. But the call bet has many variations and offers the potential of some big payouts.
The Caribbean Stud Poker call bet has a multiplier depending on the strength of your winning hand. If you win with a pair, for example, you will win on a ratio of 1:1, like the ante. But anything higher than that and the payouts are multiplied.
Check out the Caribbean Stud Poker payout multiplier chart below:
Royal Flush at 100 to 1
Straight Flush at 50 to 1
Four of a Kind at 20 to 1
Full House at 7 to 1
Flush at 5 to 1
Straight at 4 to 1
Three of a Kind at 3 to 1
Two Pairs at 2 to 1
Pair at 1 to 1
Ace/King at 1 to 1
As you can see, landing anything more than a pair can suddenly greatly increase your winnings from the call bet.
Example: You bet a $1 ante and a $4 call bet. You receive 5C 5D 5H 9S KH and beat the dealer with a Three of a Kind. Your ante return is $1 plus your $1 stake, while your call return is $12 plus your $4 stake. You win $18!
Basic Caribbean Stud Poker strategy
There are many strategies players use in Caribbean Stud Poker and a bit of smart thinking can win you big money — and also save you from heavy losses. Remember, Caribbean Stud Poker is not like other forms of poker such as Five Card Draw or Texas Hold’em. There is no bluffing in this game, so you don’t have to worry about that strategy.
Instead, you’ll have to use your cunning to predict if you have a better hand than the dealer. And you get plenty of clues to help make up your mind.
The obvious first thing to look when assessing your Caribbean Stud Poker strategy is your own cards. Do you have a strong hand? Banking on a high card is tough as the dealer needs an Ace or King to have a playable hand. You therefore want a minimum of a pair — but even then this could be risky.
The risk comes when you know what that one face-up card of the dealer’s is. If it’s an Ace or a King, there’s a very real risk they could have a high pair. If they have either an Ace or a King, the dealer is halfway to qualifying for the game.
In general, players of Caribbean Stud Poker usually call on a hand that is a pair or stronger, while folding on anything lower. The stipulation that the dealer must have a King or Ace works in their favour when you have a weak hand.
Caribbean Stud Poker in the live casino
Here at Unibet we offered Caribbean Stud Poker in our Live Casino! This means you can interact with the dealer and chat along with other players. It’s a great way to bring the real life casino from the hall to your living room.
And remember, you can play Caribbean Stud Poker on the Unibet app, via your smartphone or tablet. You can also download the Unibet poker player if you are playing on your desktop!