Caribbean Stud Rules

Object of Caribbean Stud

Your goal in Caribbean Stud is to get a stronger poker hand than the dealer. It’s as easy as that.

A little simplified: You and the dealer are dealt five cards each, the two hands are compared and the stronger wins.

The hand ranking in Caribbean Stud is the same as in regular five-card draw:

1.     Royal Straight Flush

2.     Straight Flush

3.     Four of a kind

4.     Full House

5.     Flush

6.     Straight

7.     Three of a kind

8.     Two pair

9.     Pair

10.   High card

A Hand in Caribbean Stud

The player starts the game by placing the ante – a mandatory bet to play a hand – and also the optional side bet for the progressive jackpot.

After the ante the player is dealt five cards face down, and the dealer gives himself five cards, four face-down and one face-up. The player may look at his cards, but are not allowed to divulge any information about the cards to the other players around the table.

At this point the player has two options:

  • To fold and lose the ante
  • Make a bet, exactly twice the ante, and carry on with the hand

If the player decides to fold he forfeit his cards, ante bet, and any side bets that were made for the hand.

If the player feels that they have a good hand they must place a raising bet.

Determining Who Wins

After this, the dealer turns over his cards so that all five cards are revealed to the players. At this point the dealer must have at least an ace and a king in order for the game to continue. In accordance with the official Caribbean Stud rules, the lowest qualifying dealer hand is: A-K-2-3-4

If the dealer doesn't have a qualifying hand then the player wins money on their ante bet, and their raise is pushed. ("Pushed" is a term frequently used in online gambling. It simply means a draw and that the bet is returned to the player. )

If the dealer's hand qualifies and beats the player's hand, then the dealer wins and the player will lose both his ante bet and raise.

If the dealer has a qualifying hand but it doesn't beat the player's hand, then the dealer pays the player even money on the ante bet. The raise is then paid according to the paytable below, the stronger the hand the bigger the payout.



AK or pair   


Two pair


Three of a kind     






Full house


Four of a kind


Straight flush


Royal flush


These payouts might differ from casino to casino, so make sure that you study the payouts before you start playing. Online, the games often have more player-friendly odds with up to 999 to 1 on royal-straight flush (Microgaming casinos).

To determine winnings from progressive side bets, the player will need to refer to a side bet pay table.

How to Win the Progressive Jackpot

Before a hand starts, players may post an optional side bet of $1. This goes into a collective prize pool which is awarded to players getting a flush or better.

To get the entire progressive jackpot, however, the player must get a royal straight flush.

These are the standard side-bet payouts in online Caribbean stud, although they might differ in different casinos.



Royal Flush

100% of the Jackpot

Straight Flush   

10% of the Jackpot

Four of a Kind


Full House        





Caribbean Stud Rules Summary

As you understand, the rules of Caribbean Stud are pretty straightforward and easy to learn. If you sign up with an online casino you’ll be able to play right away.

But we haven’t said anything about how to play well – when to bet and when to fold and whether or not you should play for the progressive jackpot.

So before you play for real money, make sure you study Caribbean Stud strategy. In doing so, you will avoid costly mistakes at the Caribbean Stud table.