Play Caribbean Stud Poker at Online Casinos

Caribbean stud is a poker game that’s similar to five-card stud. Unlike five-card stud, though, it pits you against the dealer (house) rather than against other players.

Since its inception in the 1980s, Caribbean stud has become one of the most popular table games. It offers strategic play and provides a different take on poker.

If you’re interested in trying Caribbean stud, you can learn more about it through our guide. This page covers the top Caribbean stud casinos, rules, bonuses, strategies, and more.

Best Caribbean Stud Casinos June 2023

Criteria for choosing the top Caribbean stud casinos

All gaming sites feature the same basic rules and structure for Caribbean stud. However, certain casinos offer a better overall experience than others.

We vet gaming sites to find the best of the bunch. Below, you can see how we determine our top picks for stud casinos.

Quality software

Most online casinos and software providers present different looks with their Caribbean stud games. However, not all of these looks offer quality graphics and an efficient table layout.

You should choose gaming sites that deliver high-quality graphics and functional tables. We recommend trying free Caribbean stud at one or more casinos before making a decision.


A casino doesn’t necessarily need to feature a big Caribbean stud jackpot just to rate highly. However, they earn bonus points by offering a large progressive payout.

Some jackpots have paid over $200,000 in the past. Plenty of others have delivered six figures as well.

Licensing & reputation

The best gaming sites excel through quality software, friendly support, and fast payouts. Furthermore, these casinos build a strong reputation over time.

Top Caribbean stud casinos typically carry premier licensing too. Only the best casinos can obtain licensing from jurisdictions like the UK Gambling Commission.

Website security

You exchange sensitive details with casinos when registering and placing deposits. Therefore, you should only deal with gaming sites that offer secure websites.

Most online casinos use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your data. This encryption prevents hackers from stealing your financial and personal information.

Caribbean stud bonuses

Not all internet casinos offer Caribbean stud bonuses. You should ensure that any prospective casino includes stud in their offers.

You can do so by reading the terms and conditions behind each deal. The T&Cs should also clearly summarize excluded games.

Plentiful banking options

You may prefer certain banking methods when playing casino games. Sites that offer a variety of deposit and cash-out options are more likely to feature your preferences.

Helpful support

If you play long enough at a casino, you’ll inevitably experience an issue or need a question answered. A helpful support department solves issues and answers questions knowledgeably and quickly.

Caribbean stud rules

Placing bets & playing hands

Each Caribbean stud round begins with you placing an ante bet. At this point, you may also place the optional progressive-jackpot bet (if applicable).

Once the initial betting round is finished, the dealer delivers five cards each to you and to themself. The dealer turns over one of their cards before you act.

You can either bet (a.k.a. raise) or fold after reviewing your cards and the dealer’s upcard. If you fold, you forfeit your ante and jackpot bet (if placed).

To raise, you must wager double your original ante. Here’s an example:

  • You place a $1 ante.
  • The dealer delivers the cards.
  • You raise, and put an additional $2 in the “bet” circle.

The dealer turns over their remaining four cards after you raise. They must hold an AK (Ace and King) combo or better to qualify.

You automatically win even money on your ante if the dealer doesn’t qualify. Your additional bet, however, is a push.

If the dealer qualifies, they compare their five-card hand to yours. They win your ante and raise if they hold a stronger hand.

You win even money on your ante with better cards than the dealer. Meanwhile, your hand strength determines if your raise qualifies for a payout. 

The following shows which payouts you stand to win:

  • Royal flush = 100:1 (or 100% of the jackpot)
  • Straight flush = 50:1 (or 10% of the jackpot)
  • Four of a kind = 20:1
  • Full house = 7:1
  • Flush = 5:1
  • Straight = 4:1
  • Three of a kind = 3:1
  • Two pair = 2:1
  • One pair or high card = 1:1

Progressive jackpot payouts

Again, you qualify for the progressive jackpot as long as you place the $1 side bet. Each wager goes toward seeding the progressive prize.

You win the full jackpot amount by getting a royal flush. Many casinos pay you 10% of the progressive jackpot if you get a straight flush.

Some gaming sites award you additional payouts for high-ranking hands. Here are examples:

  • Four of a kind pays $500
  • Full house pays $100
  • Flush pays $50

Side-bet payouts are entirely dependent on your hand strength. You can lose to the dealer and still earn a side payout with a really strong hand.

How to play Caribbean stud online

You can start playing Caribbean stud by completing the following steps:

  1. Find a quality online casino (refer to our list for help).
  2. Register for an account.
  3. Use a bonus code (if applicable).
  4. Play free Caribbean stud.
  5. Place a deposit and play for real money.

The account registration process doesn’t take long. Registration forms require you to enter basic pieces of information, including your full name, birthdate, email, and phone number.

Some casinos also ask you to enter a bonus code during this process. Such codes qualify you for a welcome bonus.

Once registered, you should consider playing free Caribbean stud first. The free version gives you an opportunity to test out the software before depositing.

Assuming everything checks out and you want to gamble, then you can place a deposit. You must choose an authorized banking option to do so.

Caribbean stud bonuses

A bonus helps you pad your Caribbean stud winnings. You should take advantage of these offers whenever you play online.

You must first read the T&Cs behind bonus offers to ensure that the game qualifies. If so, you want to note what other terms are required before you will be permitted to cash out bonus funds.

Like most table games, Caribbean stud bonuses usually require higher wagering requirements (a.k.a. playthrough) than slots offers. Playthrough refers to how much you must wager before cashing out a bonus.

Here’s an example:

  • A casino offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $200.
  • You deposit $50 and qualify for a $50 bonus.
  • Playthrough on the bonus is 100x.
  • 100 x $50 = $5,000 must be wagered

Lower wagering requirements are always better for the player. Therefore, you should compare bonus playthrough between casinos to find the best deals.

Other important terms worth noting include:

  • Claiming the bonus – You must visit your account and claim the offer within a specified number of days.
  • Time frame on playthrough – Casinos limit the number of days they give you to satisfy playthrough.
  • Bonus code – To qualify, you may need to enter a bonus code when depositing/registering.
  • Maximum bet – Gaming sites cap the amount you can bet while a bonus is active.
  • Game restrictions – This game doesn’t always qualify for offers.
  • Deposit restrictions – Casinos sometimes exclude Neteller and Skrill deposits from qualifying for bonuses.

Different places to play Caribbean stud

You can play Caribbean stud through three main formats/settings:

  • Land-based casinos
  • Online casinos
  • Live-dealer casinos

Land-based casinos offer the best social experience. You can chat with the dealer and other gamblers while playing Caribbean stud in a brick-and-mortar venue.

Internet casinos feature software-generated stud tables. Online Caribbean stud offers no social experience, but it does let you control the game speed and place small bets.

Live-dealer sites are part of online casinos. However, they differ from software-generated tables by streaming the games from a land-based casino studio.

Caribbean stud strategy

This game requires you to use strategy to lower the house advantage. With optimal play, you can reduce the Caribbean stud house edge to 5.224%.

Perfect Caribbean stud strategy boils down to the following:

  • You hold A-K-x-x-x: Raise if the dealer’s upcard is 2-Q and matches one of your remaining three cards.
  • You hold A-K-Q-x-x, or A-K-J-x-x: Raise if the dealer’s upcard is an ace or king.
  • You hold A-K-Q-x-x : Raise if the dealer’s upcard doesn’t match any of yours and it’s lower than your fourth-best card.
  • Fold in all other situations.

If you’re seeking a less-complicated strategy, you can abide by the following rules:

  • Always raise with A-K-J-8-3 or better.
  • Fold A-K-J-8-2 or anything worse.

This strategy isn’t optimal. However, it will reduce the house advantage to around 5.3%.

Should you place the progressive jackpot bet?

Progressive jackpots are the main draws to Caribbean stud. However, jackpot side bets feature terrible house edges.

On average, you’ll face over a 26% house advantage when placing the $1 side bet. Furthermore, you stand just 1 in 649,740 odds of getting a royal flush and winning the progressive jackpot.

Unlike with video poker, you can’t draw for a better hand in Caribbean stud. Therefore, you’re relying on pure luck to get a royal flush or another qualifying hand.

The Caribbean stud side bet does feature one redeeming quality in that you only need to risk $1. 

You might still consider playing for the jackpot at such a low cost. From a pure strategy perspective, though, side bets are a bad deal.

Controversial origins of Caribbean stud

Located in Noord, Aruba, King Casino (now Excelsior Casino) became the first gambling venue to offer Caribbean stud in the 1980s. However, the game’s true origins lie in dispute. 

Based on various accounts, Caribbean stud may have been invented:

  1. On a Caribbean cruise journeying to Aruba.
  2. By an anonymous person who sold the rights to King Casino owner Dennis King.
  3. By poker expert and author David Sklansky.

Very little information exists regarding the first two scenarios—especially the cruise ship story.

King claims to have invented Caribbean stud, and he owned the first casino that offered this game. However, he could’ve also purchased the rights from the real inventor.

Sklansky has provided the most details regarding the game’s origins. He claims to have created a similar game called “Casino Poker” in 1982.

Sklansky recalls the following events:

  • He trademarked Casino Poker and presented it at the Vegas World convention.
  • However, he gave up on the game after his girlfriend died.
  • U.S. patent laws at the time prevented him from patenting Casino Poker. 
  • A poker player took his idea to a casino owner (possibly King).
  • The poker player and casino owner slightly modified the rules to create Caribbean stud.
  • The casino owner eventually sold the game’s rights for $30 million.


What’s the difference between an ante and raise?

You place an ante before receiving your five-card hand. You raise (2x the ante) if you like your cards and odds of beating the dealer.

Can I play free Caribbean stud?

Yes, online casinos offer free stud games as a means of getting you to sample their sites. You must register at most casinos before playing free games.

The registration process is quick and straightforward. You merely fill in the required fields and submit your application for approval.

Does online Caribbean stud offer any advantages over the land-based version?

The internet version is more convenient and offers lower stakes than Caribbean stud in brick-and-mortar casinos.

You can play online through a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac. This negates the need to travel to a land-based casino.

After completing registration, most gaming sites let you play for $1 per hand. Alternatively, you may choose to play for free.

What is live Caribbean stud?

Live-dealer Caribbean stud streams action from a brick-and-mortar studio. It features a human dealer, real table, and real cards.

You can communicate with the dealer via a chatbox. The dealer can respond verbally to your questions and comments.

The live version of the game offers a nice blend of online and land-based gambling. It’s a good alternative for when you feel like enjoying a social gaming experience from home.

Is online Caribbean stud safe?

Yes, most online casinos and software providers undergo third-party testing. This testing ensures that the casinos’ and providers’ games offer fair, random results.

Nevertheless, you should always read reviews on casinos before trusting them. We offer reviews of many Caribbean stud casinos on this site.

Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly!

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