Caribbean Stud Poker is a lot like Baccarat. It enjoys a healthy reduction of house advantage. Recreational players love it because it is easy to learn. Avid gamblers love it because it is easy to make a profit. However, in order to secure profit one must first avoid common mistakes. The fewer mistakes made, the more opportunity to walk away with some money. Luckily, the first part of developing strategy is weeding out simple mistakes. Here are the most common pitfalls in Caribbean Stud and how they can be easily avoided.
Common Mistake: Players Do Not Learn the Basics
Many beginners to Caribbean Stud mistakenly dive in without first learning basic rules and fundamentals. They believe because they play other variants of poker they can transition almost automatically. This is not the case. Caribbean Stud may be simple but its gameplay is complex enough to require a few rounds to master. If you are playing for real money than you are essentially paying for your education. This can cut your bankroll down before you master the game enough to implement the strategy.
How To Avoid It: Play the free version of the game first. Free play allows you to comfortably learn the fundamentals of the game without staking money. It also allows you to learn the basic strategy. When you finally play for real money you can have better odds at making a profit. Your bankroll will also be fully dedicated to optimum play.
Common Mistake – Folding Too Early
The main idea behind Caribbean Stud is guessing who has the winning hand. If the dealer has it fold, and if the player has it ante. Most often the dealer has to meet certain qualifications to win. Players used to games like Hold'em often fold when their hand has a lower value. This is a mistake in Caribbean Stud. First, players are facing off against the dealer and not other players. Secondly, the dealer will only have the winning hand about 44% of the time. This means despite having lower cards a player can still win.
How to Avoid It: Simply remember that there is a more than a 50% chance of winning. Even if a player is staring at a pair of 2's it is still 50/50 that the odds will go their way. So base the fold on what the dealer has.
Common Mistake – Mix up Ace/Queen and Ace/King
The qualifying combo in Caribbean Stud is Ace/King. If the dealer or player has that combo they win nine times out of ten. Beginners often make the mistake of overvaluing an Ace/Queen combo. Once again, this is a pitfall carried over from Hold'em. Ace/Queen is a good combo in Hold'em but in Caribbean Stud it is an insta-fold. What players need to look for is Ace/King.
How to Avoid It: Base the hand value off an Ace/King combination. Ace/Queen is absolutely fine if there is a King present. The King is the determining factor. So look for that combination and base ante and folds off of it.
Common Mistake – Avoid the Jackpot
Another bonus feature of Caribbean Stud is a progressive jackpot. This can be initiated with a side bet of $1 dollar. The jackpot provides nice payouts for certain hands. Many players avoid it because they believe it to be a joke, but this is a mistake. A four-of-a-King, for instance, nets players $500 dollars if they place the side bet. The last thing a player wants is to avoid the side bet and land a four-of-a-kind.
How to Avoid It: Bet the side bet. Remember, it is only $1 dollar and that the payout is well worth the additional expense.