Caribbean Stud Poker - Strategies
Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy is based on how much to bet on the Ante, whether to fold and whether to make a progressive jackpot bet.
The decision of how much to bet on the Ante is related to normal casino game money management considerations. Most casinos have minimum and maximum bets for Caribbean Stud Poker; a typical range is a $5 minimum and a $500 maximum. In deciding how to manage the amount of money you can afford to play, keep in mind that to continue in any round of Caribbean Stud Poker, your call bet must be double your Ante bet.
The decision of whether to fold is fundamentally easy. When the player has neither a pair nor an Ace, King, folding makes sense. For all hands with a pair or better, the recommendation is to make a call bet. Even on the low pairs of 2's, 3's and 4's, continuing in the round is recommended because the odds are that the dealer will have a non-paired hand more than 50 % of the time and that he will have an Ace-King hand 6 % of the time; in both instances the player will win both the Ante and call bets.
Professionals reflecting on the wisdom of continuing in the round for a player with an Ace-King hand have composed many very complicated charts and graphs of the player's chances of winning if the dealer has this, that or the other up-card. However, consistently playing with an Ace-King hand only increases the house edge by a fraction of 1 %. If you neither want to memorize the charts nor play an Ace-King hand automatically, there is a good rule to follow; continue to play your Ace-King hand when the dealer's up-card matches one of your cards, as that reduces the likelihood of his having a pair.
Experts recommend against making the progressive jackpot bet because the house edge is worse for the player than is the case in many casino games. They do admit that the larger the jackpot, the more worthwhile betting on it becomes. Another consideration is that if you have one of the hands below a Royal Flush that gets a part of the jackpot or a fixed payout amount, you receive that amount regardless of the dealer's hand; in other words, you are in a lottery situation on top of the underlying Poker game. Generally the progressive jackpot bet is $1 per round; ask yourself how you would feel if you had a Royal Flush but did not win a $275,000 progressive jackpot because you listened to an expert who told you not to make the $1 bet.