Caribbean Stud Poker

This American casino game, also known as Caribbean Poker or Cyberstud Poker, is not really a poker game since players play against the bank rather than against each other. The adjective "stud" is also misleading, since players receive all five cards before betting, not one card at a time with a betting round after each as in real stud poker.

Note. Gambling can be dangerously addictive. You can find information and advice on our Responsible Gambling page.

The players each place an ante and the players and the bank are dealt five cards each from a standardc international 52-card pack. One of the banker's cards is dealt face up. After players have seen their own cards and the banker's face up card, each player in turn must either

  • make a call bet, increasing their stake by an amount equal to twice their original ante, or
  • surrender, in which case the bank wins the ante.

There is then a showdown.

  • If the bank does not have A-K or better the player's ante and call bet are returned, plus an amount equal to the ante.
  • If the bank qualifies by having A-K or better, a player wins if the player's hand beats the bank's (see poker hand ranks). The bank pays out even money on the ante plus fixed odds on the call bet as follows:
    • evens for a pair or high card
    • 2-1 for two pairs
    • 3-1 for three of a kind
    • 4-1 for a straight
    • 5-1 for a flush
    • 7-1 for a full house
    • 20-1 for a four of a kind
    • 50-1 for a straight flush
    • 100-1 for a royal flush
  • If the bank has A-K or better and the player's hand is worse than the bank's the ante and call bet are both lost.
  • If the player ties with the bank it is a "push": the ante and call bet are simply returned to the player.

In addition there is usually a progressive jackpot into which a player can pay a fixed stake on each deal. Part of all of the jackpot is paid out to any player who is dealt a flush or better.

Optimal strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker is complex and difficult to apply without using a calculator tool to deduce the correct decision. When applied, fully optimal strategy results in a House Edge of 2.56%. A simplified strategy would see the player Call with any hand of AKJ83 or stronger. While not entirely optimal this will result in a House Edge within 0.1% of the optimal strategy. To save time the hands that are worth checking are any AK high hand.

The Pogg provides a comprehensive guide to Caribbean Stud Poker rules, variants and strategies.

The Caribbean Stud Poker page of has a good summary of strategy and how it varies according to the payouts offered.

The Carribean Stud section of Casino Advisor has rules and information. The advice on this site is relevant mainly to land-based casino rules and should be used with caution, especially if playing online where payout tables may vary widely between oprators.

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This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2002, 2005, 2016. Last updated: 28th November 2016