Making the Call: Betting Strategy
for Caribbean Stud Poker
you know what the best thing about
this game is?" Jim said as
he pulled his chair up next to me
at the Caribbean Stud table. "You
can play for a long time before
running out of money. I don't know
why casinos keep these games around!"
That's a typical and sadly all-too-common
sentiment felt by most players of
the game Caribbean Stud poker. They
think that just because it takes
them longer to go broke, it must
be an easy game.
"I thought the object of gambling
was winning," I responded.
"Not seeing how long it takes
"Well sure," he said.
" But I always lose anyway,
so I might as well play a game that
I like. Besides, this one's really
If you ask most players if they're
good at Caribbean Stud, they typically
answer with a nod and an emphatic,
"Of course! They're easy!"
Well, I've got some news for you.
Any game is easy to play. Playing,
however, is very different from
winning. To win, you have to play
correctly, using the proper strategy
and money management techniques
that professionals have been preaching
for decades. Those principles are
no different if you play a difficult
game like blackjack, or the more
like Caribbean Stud. But unlike
blackjack, Caribbean Stud's apparent
simplicity makes players an easy
target for the casino.
Let's take a quick little test and
see how well you know the basic
strategy for Caribbean Stud poker.
Which of the following hands would
you never make the call bet on?
has A-K-10-4-2 (unsuited) with the
dealer exposing an ace.
Player has Q-J-7-2-2 with the dealer
exposing a 10.
Player has K-10-8-8-5 with the dealer
exposing an 8.
you answered number one, congratulations
-you're wrong, and you're one of the
majority of players who thinks that
just because a game looks easy, it
must be. The truth is, each of these
hands is of sufficient strength to
warrant play. And while you may have
known that you must play any pair,
you lack the strategic knowledge necessary
to fully compete at this game, and
in the not-so-long run that fact will
ruin your bankroll.
Compared to other games, Caribbean
Stud is tough for the simple fact
that casinos have a relatively high
edge: 5.26% on the ante bets, which
reduces to about 2.5% when the call
bets are taken into account. Of course
these figures go right out the window
unless the correct strategy is followed.
Before we get into the strategy for
the games, let's take a look at some
of the most common and costly mistakes
made by the average Caribbean Stud
Stud Common Mistakes
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