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Caribbean Stud, transplanted to America from the Caribbean islands, is a lot like Let It Ride. You bet against the dealer instead of your opponents, and it can only be found in casinos. It’s not available in poker rooms. Additionally, a winning hand can lead to bonus payouts! The similarities to Let It Ride end there, however.

For one thing, you can take back your bet in Caribbean Stud. Instead, you have the option of increasing your bet if you think you’ve got a good hand. The bonus payout is only available if the dealer’s hand qualifies you for it, and we’ll go over that later.

It is slightly complicated, but don’t get discouraged! The game includes an ever-growing progressive jackpot to make it all worthwhile. One extra dollar wager to play progressive means you could anywhere from $5000 up to whatever the progressive meter above the table states the jackpot has reached if you get a royal flush. It could get you hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on where you play!

Based on five-card stud, Caribbean Stud is played with up to seven players at the table. Each player has three areas in front of them: a betting circle, an ante box, and a spot to make a progressive wager. The betting circle is the first spot on the table in front of you. Betting in the betting circle requires that you wager double the amount in the ante box.

Caribbean Stud Basics

Players place bets on their own ante box at the start of the game. Though you may find a table with a lower limit, the usual ante amount is $5. You should decide whether you want to make a progressive wager when you ante. If you do, place a dollar in the progressive jackpot betting area.

The dealer locks the progressive bets and begins dealing after every player has anted up.

Players are each dealt five cards face down from a standard 52-card deck. The dealer deals themselves four face-down cards, and one face up. Players must decide if they want to stay in the game after they’ve looked at their cards. As listed in the hierarchy below, an Ace-King hand is the lowest-ranking hand available in Caribbean Stud. Players should take into consideration their own hand, as well as the dealer’s up card, when making their decision.

Let’s say you want to keep playing because you think you’ve got a strong hand. To stay in, you’ve got place double the amount in your ante box inside the betting circle. Payouts for this additional bet are calculated according to the bonus schedule, based on the hierarchy of poker hands. If you don’t think your hand is strong enough to beat the dealer’s, you can fold by placing your cards face down on the table in front of you, but you’ll lose the money in your ante box.

Once every player has made their bet, the dealer turns over the rest of their cards and compares hands to determine any winners.

Qualifying the Dealer’s Hand for Bonus Payouts

Bonus payouts, as mentioned earlier, are determined by the quality of the dealer’s hand. A hand including an Ace of any suit as well as a King of any suit, or any higher ranking hand, is necessary to qualify players for a bonus payout.

If the dealer’s hand qualifies…

–The strength of the player’s hand determines whether they win or lose their ante and call bets. To be paid, the player’s hand must have a higher rank according to the hierarchy of winning hands.

–The player is paid even money on their ante bet if their hand beats the dealer’s hand. Provided their hand beats the dealer’s, their call bet is paid out according to its rank and the bonus payout schedule.

–The player loses both their ante and call bets if the dealer’s hand wins.

If the dealer’s hand does not qualify…

–All remaining players win even money on their ante bets. Those players that folded have lost their ante bet.

–All call bets are returned to their respective players.

The Bonus Payout Schedule

If your hand beats the dealer’s qualified hand, you will be paid out according to the following schedule.

Here’s an example: You made a $10 ante bet and were dealt a flush. It’s a strong hand, so you would call by placing $20 (double your ante) in the betting circle. At the end of the game, when your hand beats the dealer’s qualified pair of nines, you would receive $110. That’s $100 for your call bet because a flush pays 5 to 1, plus $10 even money on your ante. You’d only get $10 even money on your ante bet if the dealer’s hand is not qualified, meaning it doesn’t have any pair, or even an Ace and a King.

Casinos often limit the amounts paid out to winners at Caribbean Stud tables, similar to the limits they set on Let It Ride. Take this into account when you’re calculating how much to bet. The best idea is to take the maximum limit, divide it by 100, and keep your call bets under that number. Just remember your ante bets will be half as much as your call bets. This means if the maximum payout is $5000 for your table, you shouldn’t be betting more than $50 on your call bets.

Winning Bonus Payouts and Progressive Jackpots

You can’t even imagine the frustration that creeps in when you’re not paid after you’re dealt a straight, flush, or especially a royal flush! The problem is, Caribbean Stud doesn’t pay if the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify. The dealer has to pass the A-K minimum test in order for you to receive any bonus payouts.

You most certainly would get paid out for that flush, however, if you made a progressive bet at the start of the game; winning progressive bets are paid out of the progressive jackpot. A bet on the progressive jackpot pays out additional sums for winning hands. Regardless of whether the dealer’s hand qualified, or you beat the dealer, one extra dollar on the progressive jackpot will earn you some winnings on the flush you were dealt. Usual progressive jackpot payout schedules look similar to this:

Why Bet the Progressive?

It could win you money, but that extra dollar on the progressive isn’t a very smart bet. Those dollars start to add up if you play long enough, and they only pay out on the really strong (and less likely) hands.

It basically amounts to playing lottery; it could win you hundreds of thousands of dollars and it’s fun, but the odds are stacked against you. If you do want give it shot, always remember that progressive bets are paid at a fixed rate—either a set amount or a set percentage of the jackpot. Betting more won’t get you higher payouts, it’ll just eat away at your bankroll more quickly.

Caribbean Stud Tips

It’s certainly fun to play, but Caribbean Stud is a negative-expectation game. You’re more likely to lose playing this game over the long run. There is a basic strategy that can help you enjoy the game a little longer, though.

–You’ll want to find Caribbean Stud tables with progressive jackpots of $200,000 or higher.

–Search out casinos that offer progressive schedules that will pay out more for flushes, full houses, and four of a kinds.

–If you hold a pair or higher in your hand, make a call bet.

–Fold your hand if the dealer’s up card is an Ace or a King and you’re holding an Ace-King combination, unless you’ve also got a Jack or Queen. If you do, place a call bet.

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