Caribbean Draw Poker is a variation of the traditional poker with big payouts for high ranking hands. The game is using Microgaming, Realtime Gaming, Boss Media and software. The low house edge per bet makes it a useful alternative if blackjack and video poker full pay are not available.

Rules and Play

After placing a bet, the player and the dealer are dealt a 5-card poker hand. Only 1 of 5 cards of the dealer is visible. The player must then either fold and lose the hand, or raise. Increasing the bet has 2x ante bet size so that the total bet after a raise is 3x the initial deployment. If the player raises, then he may discard two cards from his hand and take replacement from the deck.

The dealer can also discard up to 2 cards from your hand. Tray selection merchant are done by a simple predefined strategy. Microgaming, RTG Boss and all use the same strategy – hold 5-card pat hands, throw a 4 of a kind or two pair, discard two with 3 or a couple, throw a 4 to a flush or 4 to a straight ( either inside or outside), and discard the two lowest cards with a high card. Some land based casinos have different rules for filing within straights.

After the discards are completed, the hands are compared. There are several possible payouts.

-If the dealer a pair of eights or better, the dealer “qualified.” If the dealer does not qualify (regardless of whether the player wins or loses the hand) back, then paid profits on the ante bet and the raise bet.

-If the player loses the hand and the dealer qualifies, the player loses his full bet.

-If the player wins the hand and the dealer qualifies, then the player wins the Ante bet and the increase bet pays according to a pay table listed. Microgaming, Boss, and most RTG casinos use the standard pay table listed below. I have seen the improved RTG paytable available in the past, but I suspect it was implemented in error. I doubt that this payout table no longer exists, as it gives the player a huge edge.

Optional Bonus

Caribbean Draw Poker offers an optional bonus bet, often with a progressive jackpot. Like most side bets, the house edge, the bonus bet is significantly larger than the house edge of the main game.


Unfortunately there is no easy way to explain an optimal strategy for Caribbean Draw. With lots of storage space and a dealer upcard, there are many exceptions to every short list of rules. You can use the Caribbean Draw strategy calculator to evaluate strategic decisions on the hands that are not obvious.

A simplified strategy is written below. This strategy is not optimal, but close enough to get a low house edge upright. Select the lowest numbered choice that you can make with your first hand, then take the remaining cards, if possible. For couples that you can not dispose of all three of the remaining cards, so instead discard the two lowest ranking cards. “High Card” ranked 8 or higher, and “4 to an outside air” means four successive cards without gaps, as 5/6/7/8. This strategy table is based on the standard payout table and standard dealer discard strategy is based. Folds are rare because the dealer does not qualify, the total ~ half the time. However, works with high dealer upcard and bad players hand occur because a 8 + upcard increases the chance of qualifying for retailers,, even more so when the 8 + upcard match any player’s card.

1 Royal Flush / Straight Flush / 4 of a Kind / Full House / Flush
2 Suited KQJT
Straight 3/3 of a Kind / two couples
4 4 Straight Flush
5 Pair QQ-AA
6 4 to rinse
7 Pair DD-YY
4 to 8 Outside Straight
9 Pair 99
10 3 to Royal Flush
11 Pair 22-88 *
12 3 Straight Flush *
13 3 Flush with 2 high cards by hand *
14 4 to inside straight with the highest card hand *
15 3 to rinse with either the highest or second highest card hand *
16 4 to inside straight without high card hand *
17 3 high cards (card number 8 +)
18 3 to empty, with no highest or second highest card hand *
19 Discard 2 lowest cards unless dealer upcard is ranked above the highest card of the hand *
20 folds if dealers upcard is ranked above the highest card of the hand *

* There are many exceptions to these rules, the close calls are usually. For example should be 3 to a straight flush with no gaps over a pair of rank, when the low map of potential straight rows across the pair. The face-up card of the dealer’s hand can also influence decisions. 3 to a royal flush with the dealer upcard is one of the missing cards in the King than 3 to a flush (or 3, if possible straight flush) are treated. Similarly, the dealer upcard reduces the chance of a pair of this rank and can in discarding a higher rank card matching dealer upcard over lower ranking ones lead. In unique situations like this or close to call hands I commend the strategy calculator.

House Edge & Variance

Due to the large number of unknown cards with player and dealer discards, I’m not able enough to provide an accurate simulations house edge run determine (more information). A simulation of ~ 1 million random inputs to the strategy calculator produces an average house edge of ~ 2.0%. House edge is defined in terms of the initial ante bet. Another important variable for estimating loss over a wagering requirement is house edge per bet. The average bet size is 2.95 (subject to worst 2.5% of hands) in Caribbean Draw what the house edge per bet of between 0.6% and 0.7%. I plan to update the house edge values, more accurate figures in the future.

Caribbean Draw has a standard deviation of ~ 3.15. If it is defined with respect to the bet unit, the standard deviation of ~ 1.84. The latter value is the estimate of the rear portion, while a suitable application requirements.