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Learn to Play Caribbean Poker: Rules, Mechanics and More


$30 flat membership

The basics

Also known as Caribbean Stud Poker, Caribbean Poker is just like Blackjack in that the primary objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand instead of those of all the other active players on the table – well, that and the fact that both games are played on a Blackjack-sized table. Although there is more to the story…

The similarities between the two games, however, end there. Caribbean Poker is more like classic five-card poker games like Texas Holdem and Omaha when it comes to the hand rankings used.

To learn more about five-card hand rankings, click here.

Pre-deal bets

Before dealing begins, each player is required to place an ante bet that meets the table minimum. These bets are placed in the designated ante spots in front of each player.

In addition to the ante bet, however, players may also choose to put in an additional side bet worth $1 to qualify for the bonus progressive jackpot. Just like the ante bet, side bets also have designated spots on the table.

The deal

Everyone at the table, including the dealer, is given five cards each. All five player cards are dealt face down, while the dealer gets four face-down cards and one face-up card.

Each player may then choose either fold (i.e., take themselves out of play and lose their ante bet) or call (i.e., stay in the game by placing an additional bet worth twice the ante’s value) depending on how promising their respective hands look.

The showdown

After all active players have taken action, the dealer’s hand is revealed, which should at least have an ace-king to qualify. In cases where the dealer’s hand does not qualify, each player is paid 1:1 for their ante bets. Call bets, on the other hand, neither win nor lose in this case.

Now, if the dealer’s hand qualifies, then it gets compared to that of each active player. Anyone with a winning hand gets paid based on the following table:

Straight Flush50:1
Four of a Kind20:1
Full House7:1
Three of a Kind3:1
Two Pair2:1
Pair or lower1:1

Those with hands that are unable to beat the dealer’s, on the other hand, lose their ante bets.

Basic strategy

As a general rule, you should only fold if your hand does not contain at least an ace-king (i.e., the minimum requirement for the dealer’s hand to qualify). By playing all hands with an ace-king or higher, you put yourself in the perfect position to capitalize whenever the dealer’s hand does not end up qualifying.

Watch this video for a more in-depth explanation and some additional tips.

Progressive jackpot: to bet or not to bet?

It’s generally a bad idea to play for the progressive jackpot in Caribbean Poker simply because your odds of winning are extremely low. First of all, you’d need at least a flush – which you have a 508 to 1 odds of getting – to qualify. Second, if you ever do get a flush, you’ll only get paid a measly $50.

Unfortunately, your chances of winning bigger money are even lower:

Full House693 to 1$75
Four of a Kind4,164 to 1$100
Straight Flush64,973 to 110% of progressive jackpot
Royal Flush649,740 to 1100% of progressive jackpot

Now, if after seeing these odds you still want to shoot for the progressive jackpot, then you’d be happy to know that you’d still qualify even if the dealer’s hand doesn’t – at least you have that going for you.

Time to practice Caribbean Poker!

You can read all you want about Caribbean Poker but nothing beats actually playing a lot of games if you want to get good at it. Fortunately, you no longer have to drive all the way to an actual casino to get your real money poker fix. Just sign up for a SafeClub account and you can start enjoying all the online poker action you could ever want anytime, anywhere using a computer or smart mobile device.

But pretty much all modern poker websites offer the exact same thing SafeClub does, right? Why should you choose SafeClub over them? Well, SafeClub gives you exclusive access to:

  • Percentage – and split pot-free gaming, which means you get to keep 100% of your winnings every time
  • A 100% cheat-free playing environment kept safe by proprietary security software
  • Free poker tools specially designed to provide you with valuable insights to help you play better
  • An opportunity to help the community because SafeClub donates 100% of its earnings to charity

Convinced yet? Sign up for an account today!


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