Caribbean Stud Poker is a casino game in which players compete against the dealer rather than against other players. If the player beats the dealer with a stronger hand, their bet is paid off.
The card rankings in Caribbean Stud Poker are the same as other poker games. In Caribbean Stud Poker, the weakest playable hand is a single pair and the strongest playable hand is a royal flush.
Hand Rankings from Strongest to Weakest (with payoff schedule)
• Royal flush (Five suited consecutive face cards), pays 100 to 1
• Straight flush (Five suited consecutive cards of any value), pays 50 to 1
• Four of a kind (Four cards of the same value, such as four 10s or four Ks), pays 20 to 1
• Full house (Three cards of the same value and two of another, such as three 6s and two Qs), pays 7 to 1
• Flush (Five nonconsecutive cards of the same suit), pays 5 to 1
• Straight (Five consecutive cards), pays 4 to 1
• Three of a kind (Three cards with the same value, such as three 10s or three Js), pays 3 to 1
• Two pair (Four cards with two that match in value, such as two 5s and two 7s), pays 2 to 1
• One pair (Two cards of the same value), pays 1 to 1
Remember that a poker hand is always five cards. So, for instance, if both you and the dealer have the same two pair, the person with the highest “kicker” card (the card left over) wins the hand.
To play, each player places an initial bet before cards are dealt, called an ante. The dealer will then deal each player five cards face down, including themselves. The dealer will then turn over one of his five cards, at which point the player can look at their own.
At that point, players can either choose to fold and lose their ante or continue playing by raising the bet. After each player at the table has folded or made their bets, the dealer then reveals the rest of their four hole cards and compares their five-card hand with every other player at the table.
Win, Lose, or Draw
If the player’s hand is stronger, their bets are paid off according to the table above. If the player’s hand is weaker, they lose both the ante and the raise. In the event of a tie, both the ante and the raise are returned to the player; this is known as a draw, or more commonly a push.
Strategy and Tips
If you have problems remembering the ranking of hands in poker, you aren’t alone. Many beginners have been embarrassed by bringing their own ranking schedule and trying to subtly glance at it under the table!
It might help to remember that hands “build” upon each other. It’s obvious that two pairs are better than one, and one pair is better than a single high card such as a King. It’s also obvious that four cards are better than three. But it’s just as easy to remember that a straight flush beats a straight or a flush because it is a combination of the two hands, and in reality a straight flush is the highest hand in poker… the royal flush is really just a straight flush with the highest cards.