Often derided by casino aficionados as a mug’s game because of the high house edge, Caribbean Stud Poker isn’t as bad as it might first seem. True, when calculated as a proportion of the first ante bet the edge against the player is over 5%; prohibitive when compared to 2.70% on single zero roulette or the 0.28% for people playing perfect strategy blackjack in the most generous tables around. However, this amount of 5.22% doesn’t provide a true reflection of the proportion of total money staked a player will lose.
This discrepancy comes from the fact that the total a player bets per hand are partly dependent on the quality of the hand. Whilst they need to put the initial ante bet before receiving their cards, the following raise bet is discretionary. That’s to say that a player with a bad hand can opt not to place the wager and fold, losing his ante stake.
Following the strategy outlined in this article, a participant will be putting the increased bet a shade over 50% of the time. If we use the 50% figure as an approximation we can see that this functions to make an ordinary stake per hands of around two components. Half of the time the player will fold with staked just his ante (one unit), the other half of the time the ante and raise bets will be placed for a total of 3 units. (0.5 x 1) + (0.5 x 3) = 2. The consequence of this is to reduce the house advantage when expressed as a percentage of the total amount wagered to a far more acceptable 2.55% that’s actually slightly better than single zero roulette. Maybe such a mug’s game any more?
Correct Strategy: The Easy Part
Reaching the desired outcome of making sure the advantage against a participant is simply 2.55% is reliant upon playing perfect strategy. The first part of the strategy is easy to remember. For those who have a pair or better, you should increase. Any pair is going to do no matter what the dealer’s upcard is. The next part is also straightforward. If you do not have A-K high you should always fold. This appears to be common sense. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify with anything less than A-K, you should follow his lead and fold all hands inferior to this.
A-K: Raise or Fold
That is where things begin to get a bit more complicated. The trader will play each A-K hand. The player, however, would be wrong to do so. The cause of this is that the participant has one crucial bit of information which may be factored in when inventing the ideal strategy for this game. Notably, the identity of the dealer’s up card. Optimal A-K play centers solely around the card that the dealer has shown. Perfect play requires memorizing what to do with every one of 175 different A-K hands determined by what the dealer’s upcard is! Easy, right? Happily, we could get to within 0.001% of the optimal strategy by recalling a much smaller set of principles.
Once the dealer is showing an Ace, King, 2,3,4 or 5: Boost all A-K-Q and A-K-J hands. The rationale behind this is that when he reveals Ace or King he’s not as likely to hold a set or an A-K himself because you hold two of the cards he needs. When he’s showing a card or lower your added value comes from when he then reveals an A-K hand since you will most likely have a much better one.
Once the dealer is showing a card which is not an Ace or a KingRaise you are A-K if one of your cards matches the dealer’s up card. You can decrease your criteria slightly here as not only is he less likely to have an A-K himself in his four concealed cards but you’re also holding one of the cards he wants to set his up card.
Once the dealer is showing a card that’s lower than your fourth highest card raises any A-K-Q hand. Again the extra value here comes from the times when you win an A-K showdown.
A-K-J-8-3: A simpler variant
This one is truly easy to remember and is our recommended strategy for the casual player. By playing this way you’ll be giving up an extra 0.1% in house advantage when compared to optimum approach but the simplicity of this system makes it worthwhile. This method has only two points to remember. First, if your hand is A-K-J-8-3 or better then you should increase. On the other hand, if your hand is worse than A-K-J-8-3, you fold.
This very simple and easy to remember strategy provides, in our view, the ideal balance between a manageable house advantage and a viable list of principles that the casual player can expect to remember. This is particularly the case when playing in bricks and mortar casino, although of course whilst playing online you have the time and solitude to decide on a more comprehensive version of optimal strategy in the event that you so choose.
The Progressive Jackpot
This is a side bet on the characteristic of hand you’re dealt with. There’s absolutely not any strategy that can be employed to enhance the house edge against you with the casino keeping around 30% of all bets on this wager. This is a colossal amount even considering some of the is used to re-seed the pot after it’s been won. The most effective strategic advice is to not place this wager in any respect! The wager only means value for the participant once the jackpot available is in excess of £/$200,000. The casino takeout is very similar to a lot of lotteries around the world. In general, gamblers are prepared to take a larger percentage against them as long as the potential win is correspondingly large. Therefore, the progressive jackpot wager does still offer you this chance to wager small and win big and will, therefore, always stay popular players looking for life-changing money.