To Call Or Fold In Caribbean Stud Poker

In online Caribbean Stud Poker the player first places an ante bet. He is then dealt his five card hand and the dealer is dealt one card face up. It is at this point that the player has to make the most crucial decision in the game. He can fold, but then he would be surrendering the ante bet without a fight. Or he can call, but that would mean placing and risking another wager twice the amount of the ante bet. Knowing how to make the right decision will mean that the player will perform well in the long run. This article provides some simple tips that the player can use.

Under some circumstances the decision is apparent. If the player holds a high-ranking poker hand then he must call irrespective of the dealer’s open card. In the context of Caribbean Stud Poker a high ranking poker hand would be Two Pairs, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush and Royal Flush. Similarly it is apparent that certain hands should be folded without a second thought. If the player does not have the dealer’s qualifying hand then he must fold. A dealer’s qualifying hand is one that has at least an Ace and a King. Because if the player does not have this hand he will lose both the ante bet and the call bet if the dealer qualifies. The other situations are trickier and merit greater discussion.

A Pair is dealt about 40% of the time and therefore it is the most common dealt hand. It also offers some interesting insight to the game of Caribbean Stud Poker. When the player holds a Pair the tip is that he must call whatever be the dealer’s face up card. When the rank of his Pair is greater than the rank of the dealer’s face up card then in the long run the player will win. Therefore in such a situation it makes sense to call the hand and place the additional wager. When the rank of the Pair is less than that of the dealer’s face up card then in the long run the player will lose. If there was no ante bet already wagered then the correct play would be to fold. However in the real situation folding implies giving up the ante bet. When this is factored into the equation it makes sense to minimize the loss by calling.

The most difficult hands to decide are those in which the player holds an Ace and a King with no hand ranking. In this scenario the third highest card in the player's hand becomes important. If this third highest card is a Queen or a Jack then the tip is that the player should call irrespective of what the dealer’s face up card is. The reasoning is as follows. If the dealer manages to make a qualifying hand, but one without any hand ranking, then the player’s AKQ or AKJ is likely to beat the dealer’s hand. When the player’s third card is of lower rank than the Jack, the dealers face up card comes into play. The tip in this case is that the player should call only if the dealer’s face up card matches with any one of the player’s cards. The idea behind this line of play is that it reduces the dealer’s chance of getting a Pair.


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