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CARIBBEAN STUD POKER / CYBERSTUD POKER

 


Introduction

Caribbean Stud Poker (also known as Cyberstud Poker) is a variation of traditional poker with large payouts for high ranking hands. The game is available with all of the common online softwares. The high house edge and high variance makes it a poor choice for bonus play when blackjack is available.

 

Rules and Play

After placing a bet, the player and dealer are dealt a 5-card poker hand. Only 1 of the dealer's 5 cards is visible. The player then must choose to either fold and lose the hand or raise. The raise bet must be 2x the ante bet size, so the total bet following a raise is 3x the initial bet size. If the player raises, then there are several possible payouts.

-If the dealer has an Ace and King or better (for example A,K,5,6,7), the dealer "qualifies." If the dealer does not qualify (regardless of whether the player wins or loses the hand), then winnings on the ante bet are paid and the raise bet is returned.

-If the player loses the hand and the dealer qualifies, then the player loses the full bet.

-If the player wins the hand and the dealer qualifies, then the player wins the ante bet, and the raise bet pays according to a listed paytable. The majority of casino softwares use the standard pay table listed below. This includes Playtech, Boss Media, Chartwell, Grand Virtual, Random Logic, Party Gaming, Orbis, World Gaming, and Gambling Federation. The bonus casino at 5Dimes offers a choice of many improved paytables. The two 5Dimes paytables with lowest house edge are listed below. Other softwares use the listed variations.

Hand Odds 5Dimes "Great 5 Bonus" 5Dimes "Full Pay Bonus" Rival, Gale Wind Wagerworks Microgaming Odds On Kismet Cryptologic, RTG, Net Ent Standard Payout
Royal Flush 1 in 650,000 100 to 1 200 to 1 800 to 1 200 to 1 999 to 1 1000 to 1 250 to 1 200 to 1 100 to 1
Straight Flush 1 in 72,000 50 to 1 80 to 1 200 to 1 50 to 1 199 to 1 200 to 1 50 to 1 50 to 1 50 to 1
4 of a Kind 1 in 4200 20 to 1 35 to 1 25 to 1 20 to 1 99 to 1 100 to 1 20 to 1 20 to 1 20 to 1
Full House 1 in 695 10 to 1 10 to 1 10 to 1 8 to 1 14 to 1 15 to 1 7 to 1 7 to 1 7 to 1
Flush 1 in 510 10 to 1 7 to 1 7 to 1 6 to 1 9 to 1 10 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1
Straight 1 in 255 10 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1 4 to 1 5 to 1 4 to 1 4 to 1 4 to 1 4 to 1
3 of a Kind 1 in 47 3 to 1 4 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1
2 Pair 1 in 21 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1
Pair 1 in 2.3 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1
Ace & King 1 in 15 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1
Nothing 1 in 2.3                  
Standard Deviation (per Inital Bet)   2.52 2.55 2.98 2.29 3.93 3.96 2.28 2.27 2.24
House Edge (per Initial Bet)   0.99% 1.00% 3.35% 4.82% 5.01% 5.03% 5.20% 5.21% 5.22%
House Edge per Unit Wagered   0.49% 0.49% 1.64% 2.36% 2.46% 2.47% 2.55% 2.56% 2.56%

 

Optional Bonus Bet

Caribbean Stud Poker offers an optional bonus bet, which often involves a progressive jackpot. Like most side bets, the house edge of the bonus bet is significantly larger than the house edge of the main game. A summary is below:

Hand Hand Odds World Gaming Wager works Grand Virtual Micro gaming Crypto Odds On Playtech RTG Net Ent Kismet Boss Media
Royal Flush 1 in 650,000 Jackpot 25,000 Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot Jackpot
Straight Flush 1 in 72,000 10% of JP 2500 10% of JP 20,000 10% of JP 10% of JP 10% of JP 10% of JP 2500 10% of JP 2500
4 of a Kind 1 in 4200 150 750 500 500 500 500 500 500 250 500 500
Full House 1 in 695 100 225 100 100 100 100 100 150 100 150 50
Flush 1 in 510 50 150 50 50 50 50 50 100 25 100 25
Straight 1 in 255 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 10 -- 5
3 of a Kind 1 in 47 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 5 -- 3
Two Pair or Less 34 out of 35 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Typical House Edge   7%?* 9.18% ~20%?* 15 to 30% 15 to 35% 10 to 40% 10 to 60% 25 to 45% 25 to 55% ~40%?* 55 to 65%
Jackpot Range   ~220k?* None ~$150k?* 50 to 140k 100 to 160k 90 to 180k 10 to 180k 10 to 70k 10 to 190k ~25k?* 5 to 35k
Break Even Point   245k None 220k 235k 220k 220k 220k 160k 370k 160k 400k
*I have not tracked World Gaming, Grand Virtual, or Kismet jackpots to have a good sense of variation. Only the current value from October 2007 is listed.

 

Strategy

The simple strategy of raising with a Ace/King/Jack/8/3 or better results in a house edge ~0.1% from optimal. Wizard of Odds offers the strategy below to further improve results to ~0.001% from optimal.

Always raise with a pair or higher, fold with less than ace/king, and raise on ace/king if any of the following three rules apply:
1. Raise if the dealer's card is a 2 through queen and matches one of yours.
2. Raise if the dealer's card is an ace or king and you have a queen or jack in your hand.
3. Raise if the dealer's rank does not match any of yours and you have a queen in your hand and the dealer's card is less than your fourth highest card.

For optimal strategy on close call hands, you can also use the Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy Calculator.

 

Variance and Bet Size

The standard deviation per initial bet of Caribbean Stud Poker is 2.24 with the standard paytable and 3.93 with the Microgaming paytable. When defined in terms of unit wagered, the standard deviations become 1.57 with the standard paytable and 2.75 with the Microgaming paytable. These latter values are more appropriate for estimating range of return while completing a wagering requirement.

With a higher variance like this, you may wish to use a non-traditional betting strategy. You can start out by selecting a normal bet size. If you get a big win, then you can switch to a small bet size and grind out the wagering or switch to a lower variance game. This strategy significantly increases average return and decreases time commitment. It greatly reduces the chances of spending long periods wagering without having winnings to show for it. The downside is an increased risk of busting.

The table below shows the chance of ending above the deposit balance with unlimited bankroll, after completing a wagering requirement with 4 bet sizes (size of Ante bet). The standard paytable is assumed. See the Return & Variance Calculator for more specific estimates.

Bet Size Playthrough Requirement
5xB 10xB 15xB 20xB 25xB 30xB
B/100 99.4% 93% 85% 76% 68% 61%
B/50 96% 86% 76% 69% 63% 58%
B/20 87% 75% 68% 62% 58% 55%
B/10 78% 68% 63% 59% 56% 53%

 

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