The Caribbean Stud Poker Guide


Over recent years, we have seen a dramatic boost in casino-style games both online and in physical land-based casinos.

Casino style games have always been a favourite around the world as games of chance and skill where the player stands a chance of winning top money and having some fun along the way.

One of the most popular and traditional of these games has been the game of poker and all of the variations that are available to gamblers with nerves of steel and a face to match.

One variation of poker that is enjoyed today is Caribbean Stud Poker, and in this guide, we will explore the origin of this exciting game, the rules involved and some strategies designed to help you beat the house and put some money in your pocket.

stud poker table

In the beginning

The origins of Caribbean Stud poker are not very well documented but from several accounts that are documented, the games beginning goes back to 1987 where a poker player named

James Suttle lent a washed-up poker player $5,000 in exchange for the teachings of a new and exciting version of poker which was destined to be huge in the right hands.

Equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how the game works, James Suttle then sold the rights to the game to a close friend who owned a casino in Aruba.

This friend was a man named Danny Jones, and he went on to market the games with bigger players in this industry with little success. It only once Danny Jones introduced a progressive linked Jackpot that the game truly took off.

The game of Caribbean Stud poker that we know and love today came from these humble beginnings, and through the suggestions of close personal friends and other poker players, the game has taken on a new and exciting shape.

How is Caribbean Stud Poker played?

Caribbean Stud Poker is very similar to standard five card stud poker with the main difference being that players are betting against the house as opposed to each other.

This style of play requires the players to compete against the house, so the need for deception or bluffing is non-existent. Caribbean stud poker also benefits from a set payout structure, and the odds are fixed to keep the game interesting and fair.


Caribbean Stud Poker gameplay and rules

The overall layout is the same as five card-stud with a few exceptions. When the game begins, all players are encouraged to make an initial wager or “ante” on the marked spots of the table.

Wagers are made until the dealer notifies the players that bets are off by saying “no more bets”.

Players also have an opportunity to take part in a progressive jackpot as laid out in Caribbean stud poker rules and if the players wish to be included, they simply place a chip in the slot to activate the progressive jackpot.

Players, including the dealer, will receive five cards all dealt face down and the dealer will turn over one care and push the reminder towards the players.

From there, communication is not allowed between players and the players can only look at their cards.

Much like in five card stud poker, players can choose to play by doubling their initial ante or folding which will forfeit that players initial ante.

The dealer can only play if there is both an Ace and a King in their hard or if the dealer forms a pair of any higher valued cards.

The dealer starts from the right and compares their hand to each player and if that player has a better combination; the player receives the bet and the ante. 

If the player beats the dealer, you receive even odds on the ante and will receive set odds on the winning hand according to the level of card you have in your hand.

Beyond the above gameplay as listed above, there are some rules that must be observed when playing Caribbean Stud Poker:

  • Players are only entitled to one hand per game. You cannot bet on multiple hands or additional cards
  • These are zero communication allowed between players at any time. Hands cannot be discussed, and players are not allowed to strategize with each other
  • Any decisions made by the casino or floor supervisor are final and cannot be contested
  • All players must keep their cards in full view at all times
stud poker seat

Once you have the basics down, it’s time to start thinking about strategies and ways to improve your odds when at the Caribbean Stud Poker table.

Below are some suggestions that will help to give you an added edge when going up against the house.

As a player, you should be looking to reduce the houses winning percentage, and this simple strategy should help to swing the odds in your favour.

A basic Caribbean stud poker strategy involves folding any hand that is less than Ace/King and always keeping any higher ranked pairs.

This way you will stand a better chance of beating the dealer and staying in the game for longer.

There are some added strategies you can use to increase your profitability and players should look to exploit any of the following when they present themselves.

  1. If the dealer reveals either an Ace or a King and you have Ace/King/Queen or Ace/King/Jack, raise your bet because there is a good chance that you have a blocking card to the dealers’ pair and will have a better hand as a result.
  2. Raise if you have an Ace/ King, and the dealer reveals anything from a 2 to a Queen, and you have the same card in your hand as this is also a blocker.
  3. If the dealer reveals anything from 2-5, raise on Ace/King/Queen or Ace/King/Jack because chances are good that you will have the better hand.


Caribbean five stud poker is a fantastic game and is enjoyed by people from around the world for a good reason.

It is a twist on a classic game that pits you against one other person as opposed to playing a full table simultaneously and the odds of winning come down to pure maths and chance not trying to play off another player ability to bluff or deceive you.

Have fun and enjoy your game.

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