Caribbean Stud is based loosely on 5-card draw poker. Your goal in this game is to get the best possible poker hand and beat the dealer. The prizes for winning range from a humble 1:1 payout to a respectable 200:1 depending on the strength of your hand. Plus, there is usually a large progressive jackpot offering the promise of instant riches.

Finding a place to play Caribbean Stud online is as simple as visiting your favorite casino site and logging in. With that said, let’s begin with a list of the best real money Caribbean Stud sites based on safety and overall quality:

Rank
Casino
Bonus
Rating
Visit

It is not difficult to find betting sites that offer real money Caribbean Stud Poker. The game is popular enough that you’ll find it at any respectable gambling site. However, some caution should still be employed when looking for the best Caribbean Stud Poker sites.

The main thing we look for in the best Caribbean Stud sites is security. When it comes to online gambling in general, there is no single factor more important than security. The security of your funds, the security of your account information and the general “trust factor” must be present before a Caribbean Stud site is even worth considering.

We then look at other factors like the betting stakes, bonuses, promotions, and quality of software.

Finally, I like to look at the payout odds for Caribbean Stud. There’s no reason for online casinos to offer payouts any less than what you’d find at a brick-and-mortar casino. It’s so much cheaper to run a virtual casino anyways. If a site pays anything less for winning hands than the payout chart listed below in the rules overview, it’s out of sheer greed. There are better options out there.

If you stick with the Caribbean Stud Poker websites that we recommend here, you’ll get the best possible combination of all of these factors.

How to Play Online Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud is an easy game to learn and play. It can be played with multiple people at one table, but each player competes only against the dealer. This is not your typical game of poker in which you try to outsmart the other players. The simple goal in this game is to end up with a better 5-card poker hand than the dealer.

Each round of play begins with you placing an ante bet and an optional side-bet for the progressive jackpot. I’ll explain the optional bet later. For now, let’s focus on the main game.

After you place the ante bet, the dealer will deal five cards to you and five cards to himself. You get to see all five of your own cards, but only one of the dealer’s card will be dealt face up. The other four cards in the dealer’s hand are dealt face down.

After you’ve had a chance to look at your cards and the single up-facing dealer’s card, it’s time to make a decision. If you like what you see, you may continue on in the hand. Doing so will require you to place an additional wager equal to two times your original ante bet. If you don’t like what you see, you may fold now and forfeit your ante bet.

If you choose to continue, the dealer will reveal his downward facing cards. There are three possible outcomes at this point:

  • If the dealer does not “qualify” you win even money on your ante bet while your raise bet is returned to you with no winnings paid. The dealer fails to qualify if he does not have at least an Ace and a King or any ranked hand as shown on the payout chart below.
  • If the dealer does qualify, your hands are compared to see who has the best hand. If your hand is better, you are paid even money on your ante bet while your raise bet is paid according to the chart below.
  • If the dealer qualifies and beats your hand, you lose both your original ante and your raise bet.

Payouts for Winning Hands

Payouts in Caribbean Stud are based on the strength of your final hand.

  • High card (Ace-King or better): 1:1
  • One Pair: 1:1
  • Two Pair: 2:1
  • 3 of a Kind: 3:1
  • Straight: 4:1
  • Flush: 5:1
  • Full House: 7:1
  • 4 of a Kind: 20:1
  • Straight Flush: 50:1
  • Royal Flush: 200:1

Optional Side Bet

You may place the optional side bet for $1.00 at the beginning of each hand to participate in an ever-growing progressive jackpot. This side bet qualifies you for additional payouts if you end up with a strong hand. You must stay in the hand to the end to qualify for the progressive jackpot.

  • Flush: $75
  • Full House: $100
  • 4 of a Kind: $500
  • Straight Flush: 10% of the progressive jackpot
  • Royal Flush: 100% of the progressive jackpot

Caribbean Stud Deposit Bonuses

Caribbean Stud works with most but not all deposit bonuses. This is an important thing to note because nothing is worse than getting all excited for a bonus only to later find out it doesn’t work with Caribbean Stud.

Also note that you will have to clear the bonus before you can withdraw any money earned by wagering the bonus. The clearing terms vary from casino to casino, but generally you can expect to see a required rollover of about 20 to 40 times the deposit and bonus amount. This means you’ll be asked to place wagers equal to twenty times your deposit and bonus before you can initiate a withdrawal.

It is smart to get into the habit of reading the fine print for every bonus you see before you take the casino up on the offer. Many online gambling bonuses are designed for specific games and as such may not work with your plans. Get all the details up front so there are no surprises later.

Caribbean Stud Progressive Jackpots

Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot side bet is a completely optional bet that you can place at the beginning of the hand. It always costs $1.00 and provides additional payouts for better-than-average hands. It is a bad bet percentage-wise but it is popular among gamblers nonetheless.

One of the nice things about the Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot wager is it pays no matter what else happens in the hand. It doesn’t matter if the dealer fails to qualify or if you lose the hand; it always pays. If you place the side bet and end up with any of the following hands, you are paid according to the table below.

Your HandPayout
Royal Flush100% of Progressive Jackpot
Straight Flush10% of Progressive Jackpot
Four of a Kind$500
Full House$100
Flush$75

Basic Caribbean Stud Betting Strategy

The mathematically perfect strategy for Caribbean Stud is so complicated that it is basically impossible to memorize or use in real time. However, there are a few basic rules you can follow to reduce the house advantage down to a little over 5%.

  • Always fold if you have anything less than AK high. This means if you have five random cards, no made hands and no Ace + King in your hand, you should fold.
  • Always call (stay in) if you have any made hand, including all pairs.
  • The most difficult decisions are what to do with Ace-King hands. Call with AK if one of your other cards matches the dealer’s up-card.
  • Call with AK if the dealer’s up-card is 2 through 5 and you also have a Q or J in your hand.
  • Fold with AK in all other situations

This strategy isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to keep the house advantage low. Plus, you can actually memorize and use this strategy without much trouble. Just play online with these strategy rules in front of you and you’ll memorize them in no time.

As far as the progressive jackpot side-bet goes, there is no real strategy for that one. The house usually has a large advantage on that bet.