Important Decisions on Caribbean Stud Poker

August 4th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

There are many decisions to make in Caribbean Stud Poker with the most important whether to call or fold. There are many hands which require specific actions to be successful. The process begins with the player placing an ante bet. Then, they are dealt five cards while the dealer receives one face-up. This is the most critical decision in the game. The player can fold and relinquish the ante bet or call and risk twice the ante.

In many circumstances, the decision is simple and obvious. If the player holds a high ranking hand, they must call regardless of the dealer’s face-up card. High ranking hands include:

  • Two pairs
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full house
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal flush

On the other hand, there are some hands that can be immediately folded. For instance, if the player’s hand doesn’t qualify with the dealer’s (contain an Ace or King). In this circumstance, the player would lose both their ante and bet if the dealer’s hand qualified for play.

The most common hand in poker is a pair which is dealt approximately 40 percent of the time. Over the long term, when the rank of the player’s pair is greater than that of the dealer’s open card, the player will win more times than they lose. As a result, calling and risking a single bet is the most logical action to take.

Over the long term, when the pair is less than the dealer’s open card the player will lose more times than they win. If no ante was wagered, the correct move is to fold the pair. When an ante bet is present, instead of folding it’s correct to call so as to not lose the bet.

The subjective hands are those that contain an Ace or King but with no poker hand ranking. In these instances, the third highest card in their hand becomes vital to correct game play. If the third highest card is a Queen or Jack, the correct move is to call. If the dealer’s hand qualifies but isn’t ranked, the player’s AKQ will beat AKJ or less.

If the player’s third card is less than a Jack, the dealer’s open card is the deciding factor. The play here is to call only if the dealer’s face card matches any one of the player’s cards as it reduces the probability of the dealer having a pair.

Once these ideas are mastered, you’ll have an edge in Caribbean Poker. The most difficult part of poker games is the subjectivity involved. Whether to call or fold is a difficult decision in many cases and requires a systematic approach.

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Pai Gow Poker Tips that Give you a Competitive Edge

July 20th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Growing in popularity, Pai Gow Poker is a different type of game than the average casino patron is used to playing. While the game is always played against the house, in both online and land casinos, there are a few tips to decrease the dealer’s edge.

These guidelines will help you gain a winning edge against the house. The tips include:

  • Players are in competition with the house
  • There are two hands to play in Pai Gow Poker
  • No cards in either hand can be switched
  • You can win one hand but not the other
  • Study the pay tables prior to playing

The first tip is important to remember as you’re at an automatic disadvantage when playing against the banker or house. One nice feature is that the banker role can change. Some casinos allow individual players to be the banker in the game. By assuming that role, you are acquiring the house edge giving you a better chance at winning. Also there is a five percent commission for all winnings at the table. For this reason this player role is losing popularity amongst casinos.

The second tip to remember is there are two hands played in Pai Gow Poker; the large hand and the small hand. The large hand is made up of five cards of which must contain a better poker hand than the small, two card hand. If the small hand is higher a foul is committed which is an automatic forfeit. The dealer will also be trying to make the best possible two hands.

The third tip is to realize that no cards in either of the two hands can be switched like in draw poker. This game is more similar to stud, you play what you are dealt. The fourth tip is it’s possible you can win one hand but not the other. The payout structure is based on the hand you created with the seven cards. Like all poker games, the Royal Flush is the best possible hand. So if you lose one hand and win another, you can break even at the table.

Finally, it’s vital to study the pay tables prior to playing. This will help you shape your hands to maximize profits. Pai Gow can be an exciting twist on traditional poker. By following these guidelines, you can improve your skill and decrease the house edge.

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