How to Play Caribbean Poker

Caribbean Poker is a favorite game aboard cruise ships and in South Pacific clubs. It's an easy game to learn and employs many of the skills of standard 5-card Stud.


You ante in and the dealer deals five cards to you and five to themselves. The dealer turns one of their cards up. At this point you can make an additional bet -- the "call" bet -- or surrender. If you surrender you lose the hand and your ante.

If you make the "call" bet then the dealer turns over their cards. To continue to the showdown, the dealer must "qualify" by holding at least an Ace-King or better. If the dealer does not qualify, you win the ante but your "call" bet is simply returned, no matter what the cards show.

If the dealer does qualify then it's a good old fashioned showdown, with a catch. If you win, the ante pays even money. But if you win with anything better than a pair, then the house pays you a multiple of your "call" bet based on a bonus ranking. The better your hand, the higher the bonus.


There are two betting rounds in a hand of Caribbean Poker. The first is your ante. The second comes when the dealer turns one of their cards face up. If you like what you see and think you're still in the running, you can place a "call" bet -- which is fixed at twice whatever you anted -- and play on. If you don't "call" you surrender and forfeit your ante.


Payoff in Caribbean Poker is very simple. If you place a "call" bet and the dealer fails to qualify, you win even money on your ante and the "call" bet is simply returned.

If the dealer qualifies and you win the showdown, you get even money on your ante and your "call" pays out according to the following chart:



Royal Flush


Straight Flush


4 of a Kind


Full House






3 of a Kind


2 Pair


1 Pair


If you lose the showdown, the dealer takes both your bets and it's time for another hand.

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