The player should raise on any pair or better, fold on anything less than ace/king, and should sometimes raise and sometimes fold on ace/king. To play Caribbean stud perfectly would involve memorizing the charts in my appendix on when exactly to raise on ace/king. Of course nobody is going to do that so a more simplified strategy is clearly called for. By studying the appendix you will notice certain paterns of when the odds favor raising and when they don’t. I have summarized these patterns in the following suggested rules of thumb on when to raise on ace/king:

Raise if the dealer’s card is a 2 through queen and matches one of yours.

Raise if the dealer’s card is an ace or king and you have a queen or jack in your hand.

Raise if the dealer’s rank does not match any of yours and you have a queen in your hand and the dealer’s card is less than your fourth highest card.

This strategy is unique to this page but is not the only strategy I have heard of. Following are various other strategies, their total loss based on all possible 19,933,230,517,200 combinations of hands, the house edge, and the “element of risk” (defined below). The “matching rank” strategy calls for raising on any pair or better and on ace/king when one of the player’s cards matches the rank of the dealer’s up card (which lowers theคาสิโนออนไลน์odds of the dealer forming a pair).

Strategy Statistics in Caribbean Stud Poker

Strategy

Total loss

House edge

Element of risk

Perfect strategy

1,041,372,912,372

5.224%

2.555%

Three rules of thumb (above)

1,041,417,758,724

5.225%

2.554%

Raise on ace/king/jack/8/3 or better

1,059,715,400,580

5.316%

2.596%

Matching rank

1,063,176,931,284

5.334%

2.616%

Raise on any pair or better

1,090,272,101,460

5.470%

2.738%

Raise on any ace/king or better

1,132,600,203,540

5.682%

2.672%

Playing blind (raise on everything)

3,310,360,338,060

16.607%

5.536%

House Edge, Element of Risk

Any respectable book will tell you that the house edge in Caribbean stud poker is about 5.2%. This is true but I have always felt it unfairly makes the game look like a bad bet. The reason is in how the house edge is defined, the ratio of average money lost to the original bet. In Caribbean stud the player will roughly wager just as much in raises as in antes, and this additional money bet is not considered in the house edge statistic.

For purposes of comparison to other games I think it is better to consider the ratio of money lost to total money wagered, which I refer to as the “element of risk.” The element of risk using perfect strategy is 2.555%, which makes is look more competitive compared to other games, although still not one of the best. It is interesting to note that the element of risk for my three rules of thumb is better than for perfect strategy! That is because raising on slightly suboptimal plays is actually a better bet than the game as a whole and brings down the average expected loss.

Credit should be given to Stanley Ko, Professor John M. Gwynn Jr, and the late Peter Griffin for being the first to do a thorough study of Caribbean stud poker. Due largely on the complexities of when to raise on ace/king this is one of the most complicated casino games to analyze. Thanks to their analysis, which they kindly shared with me, I had something to check my work against.

Statistics

The following tables shows the various possible outcomes in caribbean stud poker, their net return per initial bet, their probability, and their total return (product of probability and net return).

Statistics for Caribbean Stud Poker

Event/winning hand

Pays

Number

Total return

Probability

Average return

Ace/king

3

18,505,682,208

55,517,046,624

0.00092838

0.00278515

Pair

3

2,324,742,321,600

6,974,226,964,800

0.11662647

0.34987941

Two pair

5

488,012,139,360

2,440,060,696,800

0.02448234

.12241170

Three of a kind

7

234,242,908,320

1,639,700,358,240

0.01175138

0.08225964

Straight

9

43,805,516,100

394,249,644,900

0.00219761

0.01977851

 

lush

11

21,856,990,280

240,426,893,080

0.00109651

0.01206161

Full house

15

16,624,475,280

 

249,367,129,200

 

0.00083401

 

0.01251012

 

Four of a kind

 

41

 

2,832,435,800

 

116,129,867,800

 

0.0001421

 

0.00582594

 

Straight flush

 

101

 

156,929,720

 

15,849,901,720

 

0.00000787

 

0.00079515

 

Royal flush

 

201

 

16,759,740

 

3,368,707,740

 

0.00000084

 

0.00016900

 

Ante only

 

1

 

4,532,514,033,720

 

4,532,514,033,720

 

0.22738482

 

0.22738482

 

Push

 

0

 

321,623,100

 

0

 

0.00001614

 

0

 

Fold

 

-1

 

9,523,005,974,460

 

-9,523,005,974,460

 

0.47774524

 

-0.47774524

 

Dealer wins

 

-3

 

2,726,592,727,512

 

-8,179,778,182,536

 

0.13678629

 

-0.41035888

 

Total

 

19,933,230,517,200

 

-1,041,372,912,372

 

1

 

-0.05224306

 

Australian – Starnet/World Gaming Rules

At the Star City casino in Pyrmont NSW Australia a royal flush pays 250 to 1. At Starnet online casinos a royal flush pays 200 to 1. This lowers the house edge to 5.20% at the Star City casino and 5.21% at Starnet casinos.

Progressive Jackpot Side Bet

In Caribbean Stud Poker the player has the choice to make a side bet of $1 which pays for hands of a flush or better. The specific payoff tables vary from place to place but always feature a progressive jackpot, paying 100% of the jackpot meter for a royal flush and 10% for a straight flush. In the very unlikely event that two players had a royal flush in the same hand at most places the first one to the dealer’s left would win the jackpot and the second would win whatever the jackpot is reseeded to, usually $10,000 or $20,000. Some places would split the jackpot between the two players. In the event that two players received a straight flush at the same time the first one to the dealer left would get 10% of the meter and the second would get 10% of what was left after the first player was paid. In other words it pays to sit as close as possible to the dealer’s left.

While the expected return varies depending on the size of the jackpot it is a sucker bet the vast majority of time. The average house edge is 26.46%.

 

A manager at Casino Niagara kindly explained how the jackpot meter works. For every dollar bet 71 cents goes into the jackpot and the casino keeps the other 29 cents. This rate of contribution can vary from place to place. All payoffs are paid right out of the meter. Every time somebody hits a royal flush the house contributes $10,000 (called the seed) to the next jackpot. The house edge is just under the cut per bet because the casino puts up the initial seed to start a new jackpot after somebody wins the previous one. At the Casino Niagara the house can expect to recieve 18.84 times as much money from the 29% cut as it pays to seed new jackpots.

 

The table below shows four different payoff tables I have seen. It should not be interpreted that a casino with a payoff table that pays more for a flush, full house, and four a kind is being generous. Since these payoffs come out of the meter the casino is indifferent to any win other than a royal flush (causing them to have to reseed the meter). The money in the meter can be considered the players money because it is only a matter of time before somebody wins it all.

 

Caribbean Stud Progressive Jackpot Side Bet

Payoff Tables

 

Hand

 

Payoff

 

Table 1

 

Table 2

 

Table 3

 

Table 4

 

Table 5

 

Table 6

 

Table 7

 

Royal flush

 

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

100%

 

Straight flush

 

10%

 

10%

 

10%

 

10%

 

10%

 

10%

 

10%

 

Four of a kind

 

$100

 

$150

 

$500

 

$500

 

$500

 

$500

 

$500

 

Full house

 

$75

 

$100

 

$100

 

$150

 

$75

 

$100

 

$150

 

Flush

 

$50

 

$50

 

$50

 

$75

 

$50

 

$75

 

$100

 

Below is a key to some of the casino where each payoff table above can be found. Unless otherwise stated the casino is in Las Vegas.

 

Table 1: Ballys, Paris, California, Las Vegas Club, Hilton

 

Table 2: Luxor, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo

 

Table 3: Bellagio, Venetian, Rio, Every casino in Atlantic City, Casino Niagara (Niagara Falls, Ontario), Grand (Tunica), Gold Strike (Tunica), Ballys (Tunica), Sheraton (Tunica), Isle of Capri (Tunica), Hollywood (Tunica), Harrah’s (Tunica)

 

Table 4: Harrah’s, Circus Circus

 

Table 5: Flamingo Hilton

 

Table 6: Imperial Palace, Horseshoe (Tunica)

 

Table 7: Star City (Pyrmont NSW, Australia)

To calculate an exact payback use the following formulas where j equals the jackpot meter:

 

 

Table 1: (598,600+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 2: (723,400+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 3: (941,800+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 4: (1,256,700+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 5: (848,200+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 6: (1,069,500+7.6*j)/2,598,960

 

Table 7: (1,384,400+7.6*j)/2,598,960

The next table shows what the jackpot level would have to be for various rates of return. For example to have a break even chance at the side bet at a casino with payoff table 1 the meter would have to be at least $263,205. One visit to a casino should illustrate the typcial jackpot levels are extremely far from the breakeven point and hopefully will convince you to avoid this bet.

 

Caribbean Stud Progressive Jackpot Side Bet

Expected Returns

 

Average

Return

 

Jackpot Meter

 

Table 1

 

Table 2

 

Table 3

 

Table 4

 

Table 5

 

Table 6

 

Table 7

 

5%

 

-61,665

 

-78,086

 

-106,823

 

-148,257

 

-94,507

 

-123,625

 

-165,059

 

10%

 

-44,566

 

-60,987

 

-89,724

 

-131,158

 

-77,408

 

-106,527

 

-147,961

 

15%

 

-27,468

 

-43,889

 

-72,626

 

-114,060

 

-60,310

 

-89,428

 

-130,863

 

20%

 

-10,369

 

-26,791

 

-55,527

 

-96,962

 

-43,212

 

-72,330

 

-113,764

 

25%

 

6,729

 

-9,692

 

-38,429

 

-79,863

 

-26,113

 

-55,232

 

-96,666

 

30%

 

23,827

 

7,406

 

-21,331

 

-62,765

 

-9,015

 

-38,133

 

-79,567

 

35%

 

40,926

 

24,505

 

-4,232

 

-45,666

 

8,084

 

-21,035

 

-62,469

 

40%

 

58,024

 

41,603

 

12,866

 

-28,568

 

25,182

 

-3,936

 

-45,371

 

45%

 

75,123

 

58,702

 

29,965

 

-11,469

 

42,281

 

13,162

 

-28,272

 

50%

 

92,221

 

75,800

 

47,063

 

5,629

 

59,379

 

30,261

 

-11,174

 

55%

 

109,319

 

92,898

 

64,162

 

22,727

 

76,477

 

47,359

 

5,925

 

60%

 

126,418

 

109,997

 

81,260

 

39,826

 

93,576

 

64,457

 

23,023

 

65%

 

143,516

 

127,095

 

98,358

 

56,924

 

110,674

 

81,556

 

40,122

 

70%

 

160,615

 

144,194

 

115,457

 

74,023

 

127,773

 

98,654

 

57,220

 

75%

 

177,713

 

161,292

 

132,555

 

91,121

 

144,871

 

115,753

 

74,318

 

80%

 

194,812

 

178,391

 

149,654

 

108,219

 

161,969

 

132,851

 

91,417

 

85%

 

211,910

 

195,489

 

166,752

 

125,318

 

179,068

 

149,949

 

108,515

 

90%

 

229,008

 

212,587

 

183,851

 

142,416

 

196,166

 

167,048

 

125,614

 

95%

 

246,107

 

229,686

 

200,949

 

159,515

 

213,265

 

184,146

 

142,712

 

100%

 

263,205

 

246,784

 

218,047

 

176,613

 

230,363

 

201,245

 

159,811

 

105%

 

280,304

 

263,883

 

235,146

 

193,712

 

247,462

 

218,343

 

176,909

 

110%

 

297,402

 

280,981

 

252,244

 

210,810

 

264,560

 

235,442

 

194,007

 

115%

 

314,501

 

298,079

 

269,343

 

227,908

 

281,658

 

252,540

 

211,106

 

120%

 

331,599

 

315,178

 

286,441

 

245,007

 

298,757

 

269,638

 

228,204

 

125%

 

348,697

 

332,276

 

303,539

 

262,105

 

315,855

 

286,737

 

245,303

 

The house edge will depend directly on the progressive meter at any given moment. However over the long haul the casino will enjoy a healthy house edge from the Caribbean Stud side bet. It is typical for the casino to put about 70% to 75% of money bet in the jackpot meter and hold onto the rest. Every casino I have asked reseeds the jackpot meter with either $10,000 or $20,000 after somebody hits a royal flush which will cost 1.539% of money bet per $10,000 the meter is reseeded with. So the house edge will be 1.539% or 3.078% less than whatever cut it keeps for every dollar bet. At the Casino Niagara for example where they keep 29% the house edge will be 27.461%.

 

Caribbean Stud Online

Microgaming, Starnet/World Gaming, and Cryptologic online casinos offer Caribbean Stud Poker. They use different names but the rules are almost the sames. Microgaming calls the game Cyberstud Poker and Starnet/World Gaming and Cryptologic call it Caribbean Poker, removing the word Stud. Starnet uses the same paytable as used in real casinos. Cryptologic doubles the royal flush payoff to 200:1. Microgaming changed almost every hand, making a two pair pay only even money but increasing the payoff on everything from a straight to a royal flush. The following is the Microgaming payoff table.

Microgaming Payoff Table

 

Hand

 

Pays

 

Royal flush

 

999:1

 

Straight flush

 

199:1

 

Four of a kind

 

99:1

 

Full house

 

14:1

 

Flush

 

9:1

 

Straight

 

5:1

 

Three of a kind

 

3:1

 

Two pair

 

1:1

 

Pair

 

1:1

 

Ace/king

 

1:1

 

The house edge under the Microgaming rules is 5.01%. Under the Cryptologic rules the house edge is only slightly better at 5.21%.