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Caribbean Hold’em

Caribbean Stud Poker may be the most popular form of poker in terms of casino table games, but stud poker isn’t nearly the top dog in the poker room. There, Texas Hold’em is king, and with almost all of the world’s biggest tournaments played in that format, it is likely to remain the most popular poker game for a long time.

Given the game’s extreme popularity, it was only a matter of time before developers started coming up with table game versions that could be enjoyed even by those who didn’t want to compete against other poker players. Sure enough, there are now several ways to play this game in the casino, and in the online world, Caribbean Hold’em is one of the most popular options.

Antes Up

At the start of each hand, players are required to make an ante bet. The player then receives two cards face up, while the dealer takes two cards face down. Three community cards (known as “the flop”) are also dealt at this time.

At this point, the player has to make a decision on whether to fold or call. If the player decides to fold, they forfeit their ante bet and the hand ends immediately. If they instead wish to call, they must make another bet equal to twice the size of the first ante bet.

If the player called, the dealer will deal out the final two community cards (the “turn” and “river”), then reveal their own hand. Each player then makes the best five-card hand possible, using any combination of their two cards and the five community cards on the board.

The dealer must make at least a pair of fours in order to have a qualifying hand. If the dealer does not qualify, the ante bet pays out at even money, while the call bet pushes. If the dealer does qualify, then the two hands are compared to each other. If the dealer wins, the player loses both the ante and call bets. If the two hands tie, then both bets push.

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Caribbean Hold'em

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If the player wins, then the call bet pays even money. The ante bet will pay out based on the strength of the player’s hand, according to the following chart:

  • Royal Flush: 100-1
  • Straight Flush: 20-1
  • Four of a Kind: 10-1
  • Full House: 3-1
  • Flush: 2-1
  • Other Hands: 1-1

As with other Caribbean games, this game also includes a progressive jackpot side bet. It can be played on each hand for the cost of $1. Should the player make a strong enough hand on their first five cards, they can win some or all of the jackpot amount, as follows:

  • Royal Flush: 100% of Jackpot
  • Straight Flush: 10% of Jackpot
  • Four of a Kind: $500
  • Full House: $100
  • Flush: $75

Complex Strategy

Coming up with a perfect strategy for Caribbean Hold’em is difficult, given the complexities of the situations that can arise: even the same cards can be more or less valuable depending on if they are in your hand or part of the community cards on the board. However, analysis of the game suggest that players should be raising about 82% of the time, meaning they should only be folding their weakest hands.

This suggests that players should certainly raise whenever they hit any part of the board, even with bottom pair or with a small pair in their hand. It is also likely to correct any time you have a flush or straight draw, or hold cards in your hand higher than those on the board (also known as having “overcards”). With perfect strategy, this game has a very reasonable house edge of 3.09%, and raising most of your hands should keep you very close to that figure.

A Great Table Game For Poker Players

Like the Casino Holdem table game, Caribbean Hold’em is a great game for anyone who has ever seen poker on television or played at home, but feels a bit too intimidated to play against other players in a live or online poker room. This game still holds on to the feel of a traditional poker game, but doesn’t require nearly as much strategic thought, making it a more relaxed experience. If you have played the traditional stud version of this game for the progressive jackpot, you might also like this game as a change of pace, since it gives you access to the same huge prize in a slightly different format.

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