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The Four Rules to Follow for Expert Caribbean Stud Play

By: Joan Peppin, Thursday April 17th 2014
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Caribbean Stud is often considered to be the most basic form of casino poker in the same way that Jacks or Better is considered to be the most basic type of video poker. Strategy is extremely important in both types of games, and here we want to give you four rules that you can follow to play like an expert in Caribbean Stud. If you follow these rules exactly, then you'll be playing within less than a tenth of a percentage point of perfectly in this game.

The first rule to follow is the one that will govern your play with the majority of hands. If you have a pair or better, then you will always raise, and if you have less than AK-high, then you will always fold. This leaves the AK-high hands specifically which are difficult to play, and the three remaining rules tell you how to handle AK-high situations.

The second rule for Caribbean Stud is for when you have AK-high and are facing a deal that has either an Ace or King showing. In these scenarios, you should always raise if you have a queen or jack in your hand, and you should always fold if you do not. This is pretty straight-forward and easy to follow advice.

Now the third rule is for when you have AK-high and are facing a queen or lower. If the dealer's up card matches one of your three remaining cards other than your ace and your king, then you're going to want to go ahead and raise. If it's a queen or lower and does not match one of your three remaining cards, then you'll need to go on to the fourth rule to decide if you should raise or not.

Finally, we have the fourth and final rule for expert play in Caribbean Stud. If you have AK-high, the dealer is showing a queen or lower, and the dealer's card does not match any of your three remaining cards, then this rule applies. If you have these conditions and the dealer's card is lower than at least four of your cards (including the ace and king), then you can raise. If the dealer's card is higher than at least two of your cards, then you'll fold every single time. That's all there is to it, and if you can remember these four rules, then you'll play almost perfectly in this game.

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