In the last couple of years Caribbean poker has become a popular casino game, particularly during Mediterranean cruises. This is where its name stems from.

Although the name of this game includes a word „poker”, it is not as complicated as Texas Hold’em. It is an interesting alternative to blackjack thanks to its easy-to-remember game strategy.

To start gambling, you need to make an initial bet, the so-called ante. Next you receive five cards. The dealer also gets five cards but only one card is uncovered. At this point all players take their decisions. If you choose a „bet” (bet), the additional bet whose value is a doubled ante comes to the table. If you opt for „surrender” (surrender), the dealer wins your ante bet and shows all his/her cards.

Strongest hand wins

The dealer must have at least a king or ace to qualify for the game after ante. If such cards are not there, you win the ante bet only. If the dealer qualifies, hand values are compared. The stronger hand as per standard poker table wins. If the dealer’s hand is stronger, you lose ante bet and additional bet. If both hands are equal, there is a draw and all bets are returned.

Basic strategy

It is easy to remember Caribbean poker game strategy. You should raise the rate when you have a pair or stronger hand, and toss cards when your hand value is below ace or king. The table below shows when to raise a rate (x stands for any card):

Player’s cardDealer’s uncovered card
Any pairAny card
A-K-Q-J-xAny card
A-K-Q-x-xSuitable to any of player’s card
A-K-J-x-xSuitable to any of player’s card
A-K-10-x-xSuitable to any of player’s card

If the dealer has a card that suits any of your cards, his/her chances of getting a pair are lower.

Extended strategy

If you have ace or king, you should raise the rate in the following situations:

  • if the dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q and any of his/her card values suits yours;
  • if the dealer’s card is A or K, and you have Q or J;
  • if the value of dealer’s card does not suit any of your cards, and you have Q. The dealer’s card must be lower than the fourth card of yours. For example – Dealer – 4, You: Q, 10, 9, 6, 2.

Payouts in Caribbean poker.

high card1 to 1
pair1 to 1
two pairs2 to 1
three of a kind3 to 1
straight4 to 1
flush5 to 1
full house7 to 1
four of a kind20 to 1
straight flush50 to 1
royal flush100 to 1