Before any cards are dealt, each player places a bet in front of them. This can range from the table's minimum bet to its maximum bet, but based on the rules of the game, the dealer may decide to alter the stakes somewhat. The dealer then deals five cards to each player, including himself. However, one of the cards that the dealer deals into his own hand must be face-up (hence, Caribbean STUD), whereas all of the players' cards are dealt face-down.
Players then determine if they will stay in the game or not, somewhat Guts-style. This happens, starting to the left of the dealer and moving in sequence around the table. Players indicate that they will stay in the game by adding an equal sum of money to their original bet. If their original bet was for 50 cents, then to stay in the game, they must add an additional 50 cents to that original bet. Those that call out, that do not double-up their original bet, are out of the game, their original bets collected by the dealer, acting as the House.
Once each player has determined whether they are in or out, the dealer flips over the other four cards of his hand, revealing his hand to the table. If the dealer's hand is not at least as good as an Ace-King, that is, if the dealer's hand does not consist of at least a pair, then all remaining bets at the table are paid even money and the hand is over. If the dealer's hand is at least as good as an Ace-King, that is, consisting of a pair of Twos or higher, then the dealer compares his hand with each player's hand at the table. If the dealer's hand beats a player's hand, then the dealer collects that player's bet (both the original bet and the double-up bet). If the dealer's hand loses to a player's hand, then the dealer pays even money to that player's bet. As well, the player may be awarded an extra sum of money by the House based on their hand:
1 Pair - Even Money; the player is paid the same amount that was bet
2 Pairs - 2 to 1; paid double what was bet
3 Of A Kind - 3 to 1; paid triple what was bet
Straight - 4 to 1; paid quadruple what was bet
Flush - 5 to 1; paid five times what was bet
Full House - 7 to 1; paid seven times what was bet
4 Of A Kind - 20 to 1; paid twenty times what was bet
Straight Flush - 50 to 1; paid fifty times what was bet
Royal Flush - 100 to 1; paid one hundred times what was bet
- The Stakes: Like any other casino game, this one will come down to stakes. The dealer will determine these stakes, bearing in mind how much he stands to lose. If the stakes are not high enough, the game will probably not go over well. If the stakes are too high, the dealer may have to pull out his wallet. Take the Royal Flush, for example. If a player makes a 50 cent bet and beats the dealer's hand with a Royal Flush, the pay-off would be 50 dollars. Sounds like a little much for Small Stakes Poker?
It is. However, there are no wild cards in this game, and I have never seen a natural Royal Flush. What's more, the odds of a Royal Flush being dealt are worse than 1 in 100. So, the dealer needs to make a calculated decision, stick with it, or not play this game. What I have found fair is using the table's minimum to maximum bets as standards. At a quarter-table, players can bet one or two quarters. At a knickle-table, players can bet any 5 cent denomination from 5 cents to 50 cents.
- The Pay-offs: The dealer will probably need to jot down the pay-off table for the players to see. It is at this point that the dealer may choose to adjust it based on the table above. The table above, as I understand it, is the standard casino pay-off table for Caribbean Stud.
The Small Stakes Poker dealer may prefer different pay-offs, based on the fact that it's a Small Stakes game (a 100:1 pay-off is unheard of in a Small Stakes Poker game).