Like most modern casino games, the specific origins of Caribbean Stud Poker are somewhat uncertain. The game seems to have reached its present form during the combined input of a gambling expert, a cruise ship and a down on his luck gambler, before slipping to the hands of a few opportunistic businessmen: an intriguing tale indeed!
The Gambling Pro
Fans of poker in its various forms may well be knowledgeable about the title of David Sklansky. A renowned gambling theorist and writer of some of the very well respected poker books in print. According to Mr. Sklansky, he touted a game quite much like the modern version from the early 1980s. His match did differ in a few major respects, firstly the dealer shown two of his cards, none. Second, there was no mention of a progressive jackpot in this embryonic version of the game. Sklansky struggled to receive his creation off the floor and handed over the reins to a poker player who it’s said then took the match to Aruba.
The Cruise Ship
Given its Caribbean moniker, it’s perhaps no surprise that a cruise ship has a part to play in an alternate story of the game’s origin. Instead of being imported from the USA through the brain of a gambling don, it’s claimed that the game was played on cruise ships around the Caribbean for several years. Precisely how this was is uncertain but it was, allegedly, eventually seen by a casino operator, who promptly purchased it up and made it accessible to patrons of the Excelsior casino. The most tourist clientele of the Caribbean casino no doubt helped to spread the word of the new game farther afield.
The Down On His Luck Gambler
Some combination of both of these stories may explain how the rules came to be in the hands of an anonymous poker player on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Wherever he came upon the match he had the great fortune of running into one James Suttle. The pair were sat in a Texas hold’em table together whenever the topic of the new poker variation came up. Sensing a chance James is alleged to have paid his fellow gambler the amount of $5000 in return for those rules to the game. This must-have seemed a steal to James as he had friends who would know precisely what to do for this new product.
Among James’s acquaintances was a guy named Danny Jones. Not only was Mr. Jones a casino operator, but he was also heavily involved with games making him an ideal candidate to pitch this new game to. Jones was excited by the potential of the new product but originally also fought to get the game off the floor. The main stumbling block was that the match’s prohibitive house advantage. At over 5% it was significantly higher than other casino games like blackjack and roulette. As it stood the match wasn’t attractive enough to lure gamblers to play in any great numbers. Something else was needed to boost its appeal.
Input The Progressive Jackpot
A large part of the charge for the game’s present popularity needs to visit a friend of Danny Jones, computer developer Michael Titus. It was he who came up with the ingenious idea of introducing a progressive jackpot into the match. A longstanding feature in slot offerings, a jackpot had never been tried on a table game before. The introduction of the side bet alternative gave the game a special selling point where it never looked back.
Titus demonstrated great belief in the jackpot improved Caribbean Stud when he made a well-paid role at a Las Vegas casino to function solely for the company that would run the progressive jackpot side of this game. Progressive Gaming as they were known, eventually moved to Florida and started distributing the match to overseas markets.
The Nevada rights to the game remained in the hands of the Jones family for a brief time before being sold to a company by the name of D.P Stud for $1m. Suttle’s vision that the match was worth substantially more than the $5000 he paid certainly came into fruition. Regrettably for Jones, who was running affairs in place of his father, this deal did not work out so well. The fee wasn’t paid in total, though D.P stud chose to disperse the match. Caribbean Stud was churned out in this state of limbo before Mikhon Gaming stepped in and purchased the Nevada rights, along with its purchase of Progressive Gaming. Finally, a unified distribution foundation was established and this helped the sport to grow yet further.
The sport has well and truly taken hold around the world and has also become a staple offering of the huge majority of online casinos. Its popularity seems set to endure because of its simplicity of play, the continuing rise of poker in general and the allure of life-changing cash the progressive jackpot provides for such a small bet.