With the proper Caribbean Stud Poker strategy, players can reduce the house advantage and significantly lower their chances of losing money.
The house advantage cannot be eliminated entirely but if you apply the strategies presented here, you will definitely put a dent in the house edge.
Basic Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
Basic Caribbean Stud Poker strategy consists of just a few simple rules that can be memorized and used at any casino. The strategy presented here results in a house advantage of about 5.22%. Any time you deviate from this strategy, the house advantage grows quickly.
The only decision that has to be made in Caribbean Stud is whether to fold or continue with each hand. This makes your job fairly easy as a result. Once you get your hand, you can then use the following rules to decide whether to invest more money or get out early.
Raise all pairs and made hands
Raise with A-K-Q-J-x
Raise with A-K and any card 10 or higher if that card matches the dealer’s up card
Fold everything else
When it comes to small pairs such as 2-2 and 3-3, it can be tempting to fold in fear of a stronger dealer hand. But remember; the dealer will fail to qualify more than half the time. Additionally, the dealer will qualify with just A-K about 6% of the time. The math behind raising with all pairs is sound.
You will probably notice that this Caribbean Stud Poker strategy has you folding most of your starting hands. It may look like an overly restrictive strategy but it’s useful if your goal is to reduce the house advantage. The money you save by playing tight makes it all worthwhile in the end.
Advanced Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy
The above strategy is very close to optimal but there are more complicated strategies that can be used to lower the house advantage by an additional thousandth of a percent. The problem is that perfect Caribbean Stud strategy is so complicated that it’s completely useless at the tables.
If you consider the amount of time it would take to memorize that strategy plus the chance of making errors, it doesn’t make sense to learn a more complex strategy. The additional 0.001% is not worth memorizing some massive strategy chart. There are much more cost-effective ways to expend that much effort for the sake of making money.
Caribbean Stud Progressive Jackpot Bet
The Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot needs to be worth about $260,000 or more for it to be a good bet. In most cases, the Caribbean Stud side bet is a complete rip-off. The house advantage is huge and that $1.00 bet can add up quickly when it’s placed every time.
On average, the Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot bet has a house advantage of 25% or more. It may only cost a dollar but that dollar adds up quickly. Assuming a house advantage of 25% and 35 hands per hour, you can expect to lose about $9.00 per hour with this bet. If you want to keep your money for as long as possible, this bet should be avoided.