Caribbean Stud starts like most poker games in which the players must ante to be included in the hand.
After all the players have anted and placed their bets the dealer deals out sets of five cards and then places a set in front of each player who has made the required bets. The final set of five cards is kept by the dealer, who turns the topmost dealer’s card face up, with the remaining four dealer’s cards, below that card, face down. This does not mean very much in the game, but it does allow you see one of the dealer’s cards.
Once this is done, the dealer will shuffle a second deck to prepare for the next round. While the dealer is shuffling the second deck each player has the opportunity to examine their hand. It is important to remember that this game plays like Five-Card Draw except there is no draw. It is also important to remember that unlike some other poker games the dealers hand is not communal.
To stay in the hand you must make a bet in the “bet” box on the table. This second bet must be twice the ante. You of course would only do this if you think your hand could beat the dealer’s hand. If you place the second bet you simply place your money in the bet box and then place your hand face down and to the left of the bet box.
Once all players have completed this step the dealer turns over their cards.
To win your bet, two things must happen: First, the dealer must “qualify”. Qualifying means the dealer’s cards must be at least ace-king or better. If the dealer does not have ace-king or better, then the dealer simples pays ante bets to the players who are still in the hand and takes their cards without looking at them.
Caribbean Stud allows a player to play a progressive bet. When the dealer does not qualify this is the most important time to have a progressive bet in play. If your hand contains a flush or better you must tell the dealer that you have a bonus hand.
If you do not tell the dealer when you do have a bonus hand and the dealer does not qualify, the dealer in most cases does not look at your cards and you will lose the winnings to which you would have been entitled.
Some casinos have made it a policy to have their dealers look at the players cards for bonus hands because they received so many complaints from players that should have won but forgot to tell the dealer. It is however still in your best interest to speak up and let the dealer know about your bonus hand.
Second, if the dealer does qualify with ace-king or better, your hand must beat the dealers hand. The dealer will turn over all remaining players’ cards from the right of the dealer’s position. If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand, the player is paid in accordance to the chart below, plus even money on the ante.
|4 of a kind
|3 of a kind
||= 1:1 (even money)
Remember you will only get these payoffs if the dealer qualifies and if your hand beats the dealer’s hand.
In addition to the regular pays, you can also get Bonus Pays. These bonus pays are paid regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or not. In order to get paid on them you must make the $1 jackpot side bet, you must stay in the hand until the showdown, and you MUST tell the dealer that you have one of these “bonus” hands – if such a hand was dealt to you and you meet the requirements, bonus pays are paid out as follows:
|Any Royal Flush
||= 100% of the progressive jackpot, shown on the meter.
|Any Straight Flush
||= 10% of the progressive jackpot, shown on the meter.
|Any 4 of a kind
||= $100.00 ($500 in many casinos)
|Any Full House