Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

 Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

A Caribbean Stud Poker player sent me an email to as about a hair-splitter of a hand.

“ I had Ace-King-8-5-2, and the card the dealer turned face up from her hand was an Ace,” he wrote. “I made the bet, because my Ace matched his Ace. Another guy at the table told me that was the wrong play, that you bet only if one of the other three cards matches the dealer.

“The dealer didn’t qualify, so I won on my ante and just got my bet back anyway. But was the other player right? I always bet with  Ace-King and a match.”

When we have Ace-King in Caribbean Stud, we face a lot of fine lines. One of those hairs to split is that when we have Ace-King and no other face cards in the hand, we bet whenever one of the OTHER three cards matches the dealer’s face up card, and fold when there’s no such match.

Note the provision that there are no other face cards in the hand. If we have Ace-King-Queen or Ace-King-Jack, the expert play is to bet if any of our five cards match the dealer’s face-up card, and with Ace-King-Queen, we bet even with no match if our fourth highest card outranks the dealer’s up card.

How much does that fine-line decision gain you? Not much. You shave only about a tenth of a percent off the house edge by making these plays than by just betting Ace-King whenever any of your five cards matches the dealer’s up card. If you want to squeeze every last fraction out of the game, learn these plays. If you just want to relax over the game, the simplified Ace-King strategy doesn’t cost you very much.

Leave a comment