Tropical Stud, Tropical Stud Poker, Caribbean Stud or Oasis Stud: these are all terms used to describe a Caribbean poker variation offered in almost every casino.

The main difference between Caribbean Stud and other poker variations is that the player plays alone against the casino.

Essentially, there are no other participants for the player, which means that many of the delightful elements of traditional poker play (such as the bluff or psychological illusion) are eliminated from the game.

Caribbean Stud Rules

Because Caribbean Stud is played alone (player versus house), the set-up is similar to Blackjack. It is typically played with a French pack of 52 cards each. At a semi-circular table, seven people can sit opposite the dealer (croupier). In front of each player (pointeur) there are markers on which you can place your bets; a betting circle and an ante box. Each player also has a slot for the progressive side bets.

Before the game begins, players must place their bets. The ante (the first minimum bet the casino usually forces the player to make) is determined by the table limits. In addition, players can also place side bets on the progressive jackpot by throwing a chip into the corresponding slot. Then a light indicator goes to indicate that the progressive jackpot is active here.

The hand rating is similar to traditional poker, but the game is similar to blackjack. The dealer deals each player and himself five cards. One of the dealer’s cards is dealt face up. Players can now rate their cards (but they cannot show them to other players) and decide whether to fold and lose their bet, or raise their bet and go to the next round. In addition, you can switch a single card with the dealer for an amount equal to the ante. For another bet, the bet must be twice as high as the initial bet.

When all players have decided, they return their cards to the table and the dealer reveals their cards.

The dealer must have a regular poker combination (Ace-King or higher) for the game to continue. If the dealer does not qualify, the player’s original bet and a win equal to the stake is paid to the player and the game is over.

If the dealer qualifies, the casino goes with (call) and the players’ hands are compared individually and separately to the dealer’s hand.

If the dealer’s hand is better, the player loses all his bets. If the player’s hand is higher, the player gets his bet back 1:1 and the bet on the bet field according to a specific table:

One pair (or lower): 1 to 1

Two pairs: 2 to 1


Three of a kind: 3 to 1

Straight: 4 to 1

Flush: 5 to 1

Full House: 7 to 1

Four of a kind: 20 to 1

Straight Flush: 50 to 1

Royal Flush: 100 to 1

Caribbean Stud Online

In recent years, the Caribbean Stud variant has been able to establish a good reputation, especially online. Online casinos did not yet exist when the game was developed and slowly gained attention, but now the speed of the hands and the guaranteed higher payouts allow Caribbean Stud Poker games to be more profitable than live casinos. Therefore, it is now much more often played virtually than in the typical stationary casinos.

Online players typically get better chances, because more players and the progressive jackpots are thereby higher. However, there is no change in the way the game is played and the strategies online.

The Progressive Jackpot at Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud reaches with the addition of the side bet on the progressive jackpot. With this feature, players can risk an extra dollar to get a shot at the progressive jackpot pool.

If a player who bets on the progressive makes a royal flush, he wins the progressive jackpot, which can reach up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even with a lower hand, such as a flush or a full house, you get a portion of the jackpot. This addition, which allows players the chance to win hundreds of thousands of dollars for just one dollar, helped make Caribbean Stud the phenomenon it is today. Payouts vary from state to state.

Strategy tips for beginners

As with any game of chance, there is no perfect strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker. But: unlike other poker games, there are some asymmetries, as already mentioned in the previous chapter, which favour the course of the game for the player. Caribbean Stud is suitable as a holiday game because the optimal strategy is very easy to keep in mind. In short:

– if you have a pair or higher in your hand, you should bet.

– if you have less in your hand than the dealer needs to qualify (Ace-King), you should fold.

– always pay attention to your bankroll and avoid side bets

-Naturally, this strategy also depends on the dealer’s open card. The odds of winning are better if you have the card in your hand that the dealer reveals (which reduces the chance of a pair in his hand).

An optimal strategy that maximizes the advantage of the casino is the following (after observing the above rules):

  1. Player increases the bet if the dealer’s face-up card is between 2 and Queen and matches a card in the player’s hand.
  2. player raises the bet if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace or King and the player has a Queen or Jack in his hand.
  3. player raises the bet if the dealer’s face-up card does not match a player’s card but he has a Queen and the dealer’s card is lower than the player’s fourth highest card.

Read more: Caribbean Stud Strategy