Guide to CARRIBEAN-STUD POKER
Unlike both of the games of 21 and regular stud poker, there is no draw or extra cards awarded - each player and the dealer is dealt five cards, with the last card of the dealer being a flop, or a card which is exposed to the players - the players also see all five of their cards at once.
Caribbean poker obviously began in the Caribbean (hence the name) but is quickly gaining in popularity throughout the world because of the ease of play, better than average odds and potentially high payouts.
The action is quick, and the ante is not optional - it will depend on the table, and vary in size, and subsequent bets must be twice what the ante is. This is a banking game, with a single stroke action - you look at your cards and the dealer's flop, and you bet on who has the higher hand. All bets are against the house, not against other players, and this helps make the game very fast paced and exciting.
The ante is, of course, made before starting the game, as is the side bet (usually a dollar). The side bet enables you to win one of the progressive jackpots, which is a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush. Obviously, the chances of this happening are very small - about 4 in 2.5 million and not much less for a straight flush - hence the obvious tip, leave the side bet alone.
The bet takes place after the cards have been dealt; if you decide to continue playing the hand you must make a bet which doubles the ante, so if your ante were 5 dollars, your bet would be 10 dollars, with the entire stake being 15 dollars. Depending on what you win with, the payoff is larger - for instance, if the dealer has a pair and you have two pairs, you will win a larger purse than if you win with an ace and a king over a nil hand.
The play is fast, and the slimmer the deck gets towards the end of the shoe the more interesting it can get - take your time, and bet in small increments for the best chance of bringing home the pots!
Obviously, it is impossible to bluff in this game - unlike 21 (which you also can't bluff in), there is only the one deal - you see all your cards, and one of the dealers and you decide to make another bet or not, and then the dealer flips his over. The dealer needs at least an ace and a king, or he has a nil hand.
Traditionally, the game is played with one deck, and the deal can move between players (then the one you are betting against is the house) but most places play it with an auto dealer or a multi-deck shoe. Online, of course, it is handled by the computer.
This is one of the most fun and easiest games going right now - if you don't have at least a small pair, fold, and if you do bet bet bet - and have a great night at the tables!