Caribbean poker rules

In a previous article, we discussed the rules of Blackjack. Now is the time to learn Caribbean poker. Caribbean poker is the most common casino game offered to gamblers in Caribbean casinos. Learning the Caribbean poker rules is very important whether you’re playing this game for fun or money. That will ensure you enjoy your game and get lucrative outcomes as well. 

4 aces and chips

Understanding how to play Caribbean poker increases your chances of winning as you’ll follow the right strategy. The basic strategies aren’t that hard as you’ll only need to beat the dealer’s hands to win. 

This guide will help you learn the Caribbean poker rules and the basic strategy tips to win this game flawlessly. 

Caribbean poker rules

Caribbean poker involves playing against the house, and regardless of the number of players playing simultaneously, the goal is to beat the dealer. Hence, it’ll help if players cheer each other as either of them building a strong hand is beneficial to all players.

How to play Caribbean poker? 12 rules


At the beginning of the game, the player places an ante in the designated box. The player is also given an option to pay a $1 progressive side bet.


All players and the dealer are dealt with five cards each. The cards are placed face down, except one dealer’s card, which is exposed. The players are given time to evaluate their cards, but they shouldn’t share any information whatsoever. 

4 card - how to play Caribbean poker


The next step allows each player to raise or fold. 


If the player decides to raise, they’re required to raise another wager twice the ante.


If the player folds, he forfeits everything, including the ante bet, side bet, and cards.


Then the rest four players are given a chance to fold or raise one at a time. The above rules on raise and fold apply to them upon making their decisions.


To win, the player must have a stronger hand than the dealer. For the dealer to qualify, he must have a king, an ace, or higher. If the dealer doesn’t have any cards, he doesn’t qualify, and the player wins. The player wins the payout, which usually is declared before the game.


If the dealer beats the player to qualify, the player loses not only the ante but also the raise.


If the dealer qualify but loses to the player. The ante pays even money and raise as stipulated on the posted pay table.

5 cards - Caribbean poker rules


If the dealer and the player tie, both ante and raise will push.


The poker value and the player’s hands usually determine the progressive side bet.


Once every player has decided, the dealer exposes the other cards, and they’ll pay all winners.


The dealer compares his hand and that of each player once the dealer overturns his cards. You’ll get paid 1 to 1 on your ante if your and is stronger than the dealers. However, to be paid 1 to 1 on the play amount, the dealer must qualify. That means the dealer must have an Ace, King, or better. 

If the dealer doesn’t qualify, you’ll only get paid on the ante, and your play bet will be refunded without a profit.

The raise pay table

Hand Payout
Royal flush100:1
Straight flush50:1
Four of a kind20:1
Full house7:1
Three of a kind3:1
Two pair2:1
All other1:1

Basic strategy tips

1. Identify the value of hands

When you understand the value of hands, you’ll easily win the round. If you’re a seasoned player or have played Caribbean poker land-based or online, you must know the value of hands. However, if you’re unfamiliar with them, a little research and reading on hands’ value will save you.

Firstly, learn about the possible combinations Straight, Straight Flush, Full House, One pair, Two pair, Royal Flush, High card, and flush. Also, it’s essential to learn about the payout of every hand.

2. Know when to raise or fold

As one of the Caribbean poker rules, you’ll get five cards from the dealer during the start of the game. After that, you’re allowed to fold or raise your cards. Learning when to raise or fold is a crucial skill to playing Caribbean type of poker. 

Red, white, blue and greens chips and two cards

Basically, a raise means that a player wants to exchange the cards with a new set. On the other hand, fold means the player wants to use the initial set of cards issued. However, if you decide to fold, you’ll be required to increase your bet. 

It’s advisable to raise only when with a pair or better. That allows you to build a better combination, and you’re also at a better chance to beat the dealer. 

In any situation, if you don’t have an Ace or King, you should fold. 

3. Check hole card of the dealer

Other than focusing on your cards, you should also check the hole card of the dealer. Understanding the card set of the dealer helps you determine your next step. 

This tip is crucial to determining whether to raise or to fold. You should only raise when the dealer’s card matches the value of your card or is any other than Ace. 

You can also raise if you have a Queen or higher and the dealer’s card value is less than your fourth highest card.

Two aces in the hand

4. Be vigilant about Ace King/ Queen cards

Ace King cards present another opportunity to raise. But you need to be careful with these cards as not all Ace-King cards are beneficial. Select your Ace-Queen carefully, as they can help you get a royal flush. 

You have an excellent chance to win if one of your initial issued cards is the same as one of the dealer’s faceup cards. Therefore, when playing these cards, you should be extremely careful and only use smart strategies since a small mistake can cause you to lose.

5. Build a strong hand

With a strong hand, you can beat the dealer without much struggle. To have a strong hand, you must possess the following cards Queen, King, Ace, Jack. If you don’t receive any of these cards during card issuing, kindly fold. Folding in the circumstances like this will save you from losing your money.


Playing the Caribbean type of poker isn’t a walk in the park. A single wrong move can cause you to lose your money. Just memorize the high-paying hands to know when to fold or to raise. So, be watchful of the dealer’s hand and pick your cards wisely. The above Caribbean poker rules and basic strategy tips will be very useful in winning the game.