Caribbean Poker Rules
Introduction to Caribbean Poker
Caribbean Poker is one of the poker games that you come across at most online casinos and poker rooms. The game is popular because it is easy and fun to play. However, there is one huge difference between this and other poker variations. Unlike in other poker games, in Caribbean Poker, you play the game against the house, not against other players.
With this brief background to the game of Caribbean Poker, sometimes also known as cyberstud poker, we now move on to discuss the rules associated with the game.
Basic Caribbean Poker Rules
Like all other poker games, you play Caribbean Poker using the standard 52-card pack. Depending on the number of players at the table, you can use single or multiple card packs. That in itself is not of critical importance when you consider the broader aspects of the game. There are other rules and laws associated with the game that you will need to know to be able to comprehend the game in its entirety and play successfully.
The first rule governing Caribbean Poker concerns the ante bet. Each player involved in the game plays with the dealer, and has to mandatorily wager an ante bet. While that is the compulsory bet, you also have the option of putting down a side bet, which is usually of a smaller denomination.
Once all players place their bets, the dealer calls out ‘No more bets’. Beyond this point, you cannot place any bets in Caribbean Poker. Once the bets are frozen, the game is set to commence. The dealer now deals five cards to each of the players and also himself.
There is a slight difference between the way the dealer deals to the players and to himself. All the five cards of the players remain face down on the table because that is how they are dealt. The dealer’s hand, however, has one card facing outwards, i.e. it is visible to the other players.
Once the deal is over, the players have the option of seeing their cards to determine what hand they hold. Caribbean Poker rules require that players do not converse among each other about the hand they are holding. As a player, you can, after seeing the open card of the dealer’s hand and then your own hand, take a call on whether to continue playing or quit, which in poker parlance is called ‘fold.’
General Caribbean Poker Rules
There are a few general rules governing Caribbean Poker. One player can play only one hand during a game; it is illegal for a player to try and play multiple hands during a single game. Not only can you not play multiple hands, you cannot even wager on multiple hands during the same game.
A game is considered annulled and a fresh deal initiated if a player is dealt the wrong number of cards. The dead hand is also called the ‘push’. However, if the dealer gets just four cards instead of five, there is a provision in the rule book that allows him to deal himself the fifth card so he has a complete hand. Another instance where the game is considered null and void is if any of the hole cards is shown face up before the dealer’s
‘No more bets’ call.
At a traditional or online casino, the casino supervisor or the table has the last word in contentious matters. No player can challenge the authority of this decision-maker. The players are not allowed to hide any of the five cards in their hand. The players also are not allowed to touch their cards once they have checked their hands and then placed the cards back on the table.
Playing the Hands
Each player needs to decide whether he will play or fold. If they fold, they lose the ante that they had placed at the start of the game. If they decide to play further, they need to pay two times the amount for the original ante bet.
The dealer will not reveal his entire hand, i.e. the hole cards he has, until all the other players have decided what they intend to do – fold or continue playing. There are rules governing the dealer’s play as well. A dealer can opt to play only if his hand has at least an Ace or a King as a high card. If the dealer’s hand is too weak, i.e. it does not have an Ace or a King, the game is over and the players get back the bets they had placed after seeing their cards and also the ante amount.
However, if the dealer’s hand has an Ace or a King at the least, he may compare his cards with those of the other players. In this situation, the player with the best hand wins the game. One thing you should know: in Caribbean Poker, there is no scope for bluffing. Once the dealer decides he will play, all players including the dealer lay their hands on the table and the best hand wins.
Hand Ranking and Payouts
Having discussed the general rules of the game of Caribbean Poker in brief, we now come to the next aspect of the game – the ranking for the different hands and also the payouts associated with each hand, based on the ranking.
In descending order, this is how the different hands in Caribbean Poker are ranked. The highest ranked hand is the Royal Flush, followed by the Straight Flush. Next in line is the Four of a Kind, which is followed by the Full House. After the Full House comes the Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Pairs, and then finally, the high card.
The payouts are also on similar lines. The highest payout is for the Royal Flush, at 100 to 1. A Straight Flush has a payout of 50 to 1, while a Four of a Kind has a payout of 20 to 1. In the case of a Full House the payout is 7 to 1, while for a Flush it is 5 to 1. It is 4 to 1 for a Straight, 3 to 1 for a Three of a Kind, and 2 to 1 for two pairs. In case the hand has just one pair or high cards, the payout is even money, i.e. 1 to 1.