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Playing Strategy


Various computer studies have given us involved strategies for this games, but a simpler strategy yields almost the same values, and since this is a negative games, that is, a game in which the house has an edge, we will give you a simple strategy that nets the casino about 5.27 percent. Memorizing a more complicated strategy will bring the house edge down to about 5.20 percent. What does this mean in actual terms of money? With a house edge of 5.27 percent your loss expectation is $5.27 for each $100 bet over the long run. If we reduce the house edge to 5.20 percent, the casino win expectation is $5.20 for each $100 you bet.

Let's compare this with other games. The worst table games to play in terms of loss expectation is American wheel roulette,
containing a 0 and 00. The casino edge in this games is 5.26 percent. This is comparable to the edge the house enjoys in Caribbean Stud. a game like craps, when played correctly, betting only the line and come and don't come bets, will be 1.4 percent in the house's favor, but taking double odds will reduce this to 0.6 percent, or a loss expectation of 60 cents for every $100 bet. Even a mindless games such as online baccarat games, where the only option is betting Player or Bank, will give the house 1.35 percent or 1.17 percent, whether betting Player or Bank. Finally, online blackjack games gives the player an edge over the casino when played correctly, and a wider edge when counting cards and betting more when the deck or decks are favorable to the player.

What then should we do with Caribbean Stud? I would avoid playing this games for any serious money because of the large house edge. To memorize a whole group of principles to bring this edge down another 0.07 percent is a waste of time.

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Making a Stand
In most tournaments, the blinds are usually escalated rapidly in the later stages of the event. This means you'll often be faced with a decision to commit a large part of your stack. This is especially true if you play fairly tight in the early stages of the tournament. Often, you'll quickly reach a point where your stack is below par for the event and you simply are going to have to pick a spot to commit and make a stand. When you do reach this point, don't commit halfway. Either commit or just pass, because you need to be prepared to push all your chips in the pot.

As an example, say you're about midpoint in a no-limit tournament, have about 2,000 chips, a couple of other players have over 10,000 chips, with the average being about 4,000 chips. Blinds are 100/200. You're dealt a pair of 6s and everyone folds to you. What do you do?

You have enough chips to last for a while, so you don't have to play this hand. But should you play it? What better hand are you waiting for? You're only behind if someone has a bigger pair, and most of the field has already folded. A raise is likely to win it for you right now, and even if someone calls a raise, there's a pretty slim chance he'll have you beat without hitting a flop.
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