Important Rules for Caribbean Stud Poker

Nevertheless, we tried to present some of the Golden rules that will have players stay out of harm’s way when playing this game and increase their chances at the poker table.

The first and most important thing is to base your decisions on cold numbers rather than hunches and never try to bluff. The dealer is not going to fold and if you try to outplay him in any way, you are already half way to losing your money. If you decide that your hand is worth playing, then don't be scared of the consequences that your actions might have and raise. A pair or better should trigger this reaction because in most cases such a hand will be enough to beat what the dealer holds.

Just like they should when playing Texas hold’em, Caribbean poker players should remember not to overplay their aces. Ace high hands are very tricky ones because even though they look good on paper most of them are not going to have players win more than the antes. The reason is that the dealer will only pay with AK, in which case he will take your money, otherwise he would have to fold his hand.

Those who decide that they are going to play for the jackpots, should keep in mind to wager the additional dollar required. The last thing that they need is to be dealt a Royal flush and receive nothing because they forgot to pay the dollar that qualifies them for a jackpot win. Forsake any emotion when at the poker table, because it will do you no good and they will only change your game for the worse.

Know when to fold your hand

Unlike Texas hold 'em and other variants of poker, where it is good to have the initiative, when playing Caribbean Stud Poker being the first to act translates into a lot of pressure. The reason is that players need to make a critical decision after the ante bet was placed, namely to keep or fold their hands depending on the cards that they were dealt. While some hands are self evident, others need to be carefully analyzed, and understanding the chances to win with a particular set of cards is what will make the difference between profits and losses.

Statistics tell us that a pair is dealt roughly 40% of the time, which makes it the most and to be dealt at a Caribbean Stud Poker table. If its rank is higher than the dealer’s face up card, the player should keep playing and not discard his hand because he’s favorites to win. Placing an additional wager when the rank of your pair is lower than the card the dealer shows, you must stay away and forfeit your ante bet. Much more difficult is to decide whether to call or fold with a King or an Ace, when there is no hand ranking.

The decision should be made depending on the third highest card, with Queens and Jacks being suitable for a call regardless of what is the dealer's face up card. The most likely scenario is for the dealer's hand not to qualify, in which case the ante is returned, so there is no reason to give up without a fight. Another possible outcome is for the dealer to qualify for a hand, but still lose it because the third highest card is lower than a Jack. A compromise situation is when the dealer’s face up card matches one of the cards that the player holds, because calling in such a situation, decreases their chance for the dealer to make a pair.