How to Play Caribbean Poker
Caribbean poker is one of the more popular poker games that you can find. This game grew in popularity aboard cruise ships in the South Pacific and later found its way ashore into land based and online casinos.
Players who have played 5 card stud poker in the past will have a slight advantage when playing Caribbean poker, but the rules are easy enough to be able to grasp them without any prior knowledge of the game.
In Caribbean poker, players play against the dealer and not against each other like in other types of poker. With a house edge of 5%, it is the players with a bit of skill that are able to tip the game in their favour.
How the Game is Played
The game itself is played at an even pace and is not as frenetic as games like keno and blackjack. The skill involved comes with experience and knowing how to play each hand on its own merit.
The game starts off with each player placing an ante bet. Each player then receives 5 cards face down. The dealer is dealt 5 cards - 4 face down and 1 face up. This is when players are able to place additional bets. By looking at the dealer's first card, players should be able to ascertain to a point whether they wish to stay in the hand. If they do not, then they forfeit their ante bet. However, if they decide to stay in the hand then they need to place a bet which is at least double the amount of the ante bet.
How the Payouts Work
Once the betting sequence is over, the dealer shows the hand. In order for the dealer to qualify there must be at least an Ace/King. If the dealer's hand does not at least contain these cards, the players are paid even money for their ante bets and all other bets are pushed.
However, if the dealer does qualify then things get more interesting. For a winning hand, players are paid out even money for the ante bet and then paid out according to the strength of their hands.
The Hand Rankings
Single pair (or less): Even money
Two pair: Two to one
Three of a kind: Three to one
Straight: Four to one
Flush: Five to one
Four of a kind: Twenty to one
Straight flush: Fifty to one
Knowing the sequence of play is just the first step in understanding how Caribbean poker works as a whole. Before starting to play for money it is important to know the rules and have a basic strategy in mind. A good way to do this is to read up as much as possible and to play Caribbean poker for free online. Once you are comfortable with the game you can start off with smaller bets.