Win at Caribbean Poker

In this tips article, let’s begin our reviews of the three Caribbean table games we feature at Springbok, the online casino for South Africa.  Our beautiful country is certainly quite far from the eternally warm Caribbean but you can get a lot of gaming enjoyment from playing our Caribbean poker offerings.

One of the great benefits of playing at an online casino is that you can play a much larger group of games than you can play at a land based casino.  In fact, if a Caribbean casino is somewhat small, you might not even be able to play these three excellent poker variations there!

Springbok Table Games

Springbok Online Casino is very much like most other casinos in that the most popular games are slots.  We have over one hundred slots with many different themes.  Our game provider, Real Time Gaming, works hard to be able to release a new slot every month.  Our players look forward to these monthly new releases to see how RTG has created a new twist either in the game play or in the theme itself.

Still, we hear every day from players who “discovered” our large selection of table games.  Most of these did so by looking for blackjack or roulette, the two most popular table games.  By the way, we categorize roulette as a specialty game.  Whilst looking for these two games, many gamers try out our other table games.

New players can play them with our no deposit bonus or our big set of deposit bonuses.  We offer many other bonuses to regular players and we also encourage everyone to try out any game that they are not familiar with in free play mode.  Having said all that, let’s look at the Caribbean poker variations.  We’ll do this in three installments.  This week we’ll begin with Caribbean Draw Poker.

Caribbean Draw Poker

This version of poker has similarities to other games in that it pits the player against the dealer.  You place an ante bet and get five cards.  As in every other variation of draw poker—which includes video poker—you get to draw cards in order to improve your hand.

Whilst you see all five of your cards, of course, you see only one of the dealer’s cards.  You have to decide if you want to continue or not.  You can surrender your hand before you draw cards and you lose your ante bet.  If you decide to draw cards, you make a “call” bet which is double the ante bet.  At that point, you can discard up to two cards and draw two cards.  Then the dealer reveals her hand.

Rules Governing the Dealer’s Play

If she has a straight or better, she cannot draw cards.  The dealer can also take up to two new cards.  The dealer’s choices are limited by simple logic: if the dealer has three of a kind, she’ll draw two cards.  Similarly, if she has four cards to a straight or flush, she’ll draw one card.  If she has three to a straight or flush, her decision depends on whether she has a pair or not.  With one pair or no pair, she has to draw two cards.

In other words, the dealer is not allowed to speculate on a hand, play a hunch, or otherwise make their own decisions.  That’s a very important side of the best strategy for you.  Players know from the outset that the dealer cannot make decisions based on whim.

Hope the Dealer Qualifies and that You Win

Finally, the dealer has to “qualify” to win.  She needs at least a pair of eights to qualify.  If she qualifies, the higher hand wins.  If she doesn’t qualify, you win even money on the ante bet and the call bet is a push.  If she does qualify and you win, you get paid based on a chart similar to the charts in video poker.

Payout Basics

First of all, pay attention that there is no extra jackpot for a Royal Flush.  That’s important for strategy as you don’t have to bet the maximum to qualify for the higher Royal Flush payout as there is in video poker since there is no such higher payout for a Royal Flush in Caribbean Draw Poker.

There are several nuances in the payout schedule.  For instance, you can win with a low pair if the dealer does not qualify.  The dealer always loses with less than a pair of eights.  If you win a hand, you always get paid 1-1 on your ante bet.  Then you get paid on the call bet according to the chart.  With two pair or less, you get paid 1-1 on the call bet as well.

New players often get confused by the payout schedule based on whether or not the dealer qualifies.  If the dealer does not qualify, you win nothing on your call bet; it’s a push.

The payouts go up incrementally from three of a kind to Royal Flush.  The pay table shows the multiple of the payout based on your call bet.  So, if you bet R10 and get three of a kind, you’ll win R20 and so on.

Strategy Tips

The best strategy in Caribbean Draw Poker is to ignore the one card in the dealer’s hand that you see.  Even an ace does not guarantee that the dealer will qualify, much less win.  In this sense, Caribbean Draw Poker is entirely different than blackjack where your decision on standing or hitting is based to a very large degree on the dealer’s up card!

We are going to reveal a deep secret strategy here that we hope you use because it will enhance your chances of winning at this game.  That secret actually follows logically from the best strategy we enumerated in the last paragraph.  The secret is: never fold your hand!  The dealer qualifies on a statistical basis on about 52% of all hands which means that you’ll win on 48% of hands just by placing a call bet.

The next best strategy advice is to play the hand in a straightforward manner but you can break up a pair in order to go for a higher paying winning hand.  If you win with a pair or simply a high card, you win 1-1 on the ante so if you have a chance for a very high hand which includes a flush, you should consider breaking up a pair.  Finally, a low pair is less valuable than trying to hit a much better hand by drawing and breaking up the pair.