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Everything you ever wanted to know about Caribbean Stud Poker.
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Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

You might wonder if a strategy exists that will make the house's edge reasonable and the answer, unfortunately, is no unless the jackpot is at a high level. Let me explain… Caribbean Stud Poker has a sizable house advantage of over 5%, not in terms of cards but the betting structure. The fact that you MUST bet three times in order to stay in a hand definitely does not work to your advantage. The times that the dealer does not qualify, which is 44% of the time, you only win your ante, which in most cases isn't very much. On the other hand, if you decide to fold, you lose your ante and that's it for that round. Placing your cards on the table is a sign to the dealer that you're out of this hand.

The Edge on the Progressive Jackpot Bet

The bet might seem like an important ingredient in a strategy, but that is not necessarily so; a few elements of the game have to be combined in order to determine whether or not the game has a positive expectation. The main thing is comparing the ante bet to the jackpot. If the table minimum is $1 the progressive jackpot, which usually starts at $50,000, has to be at $281,000 to make it a positive expectation game. For the overall expectation to be positive in a game with a $5 ante bet, the jackpot needs to be $352,146; otherwise, the house has a very high advantage on every dollar bet on the progressive jackpot. So, if the setting isn't right, don't make the bet.

Basic Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

There is no room for dumb play when it comes to this game; the house edge is high enough to take care of that. Despite the house advantage, there are a few things that you can do to better your odds, even if it's just by a slight amount. Here's a guide:

- Always fold if you hold nothing.
- Always make the Bet with a pair of better.
- If you hold ace-king, make the Bet if one of your other three cards matches the dealer's up card.
- Make the Bet if you hold ace-king-queen or ace-king-jack when the dealer's up card is any of your five cards.

If this is a little too much for you to handle, remember to stay in with ace-king-jack-8-3 or better. No matter how you play it, the house takes a huge bite out of your money. So, it makes no difference how you put it, you will lose money regardless. What a good Caribbean Stud Poker strategy can do for you is keep you from losing too much.

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