A group of friends sitting in bathing suits on a beach playing poker

How Can I Win at Caribbean Hold’em?

As we began in a previous article, Jackpot Capital online casino offers two great online casino games: the Caribbean Poker games.  Last time we covered the best strategy for Caribbean Stud Poker and this week we’ll talk about Caribbean Hold’em.

Hopefully, we’ll also have time to run down some of the real attractions of the Caribbean since both of these poker variations are Caribbean only in the sense that they were first played at casinos in the Caribbean.  These poker variations both offer side bets and a progressive jackpot.

The big jackpots create one of the best online casino promotions at Jackpot Capital casino for two reasons.  First, the progressive jackpot grows from betting at both games so the jackpot grows fast.  Second, the progressive jackpot is not a one winner fits all type of jackpot.  You can win a percentage of the jackpot with a very strong hand even if it isn’t the strongest hand: a Royal Flush!

Hold’em without Bluffing

One of the biggest obstacles to poker players becoming really adept at Texas Hold’em is the whole matter of bluffs.  Hold’em players bluff on every hand!  We can watch hundreds of hours of Texas Hold’em on YouTube and whenever a player calls with 6-4, we know that the bluff is in.

Many amateur Texas Hold’em players have read books for beginners about Hold’em.  These books all tell beginning Hold’em players to call only with very good hands and then the authors define those hands.

The pros and most experienced Hold’em players call with much less than ideal hands.  This is all in the name of the bluff.

So, the first advantage Caribbean Hold’em has for poker players is that there is no bluffing involved!

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The Progressive Jackpot

Caribbean Hold’em and Caribbean Stud share the progressive jackpot so it can grow quite fast.  You qualify for the big jackpot by making a side bet specifically for the jackpot.  In Caribbean Stud, you play with five cards so the jackpot payouts are based on those five cards.

In Caribbean Hold’em, there are all together seven cards.  So, the progressive jackpot is based on the first five cards: your hole cards and the flop or first three community cards.

Players Ante and the Dealer Deals

Players begin Caribbean Hold’em by making their ante bet.  Unlike Texas Hold’em, there aren’t any “blinds” in Caribbean Hold’em; the game begins simply with an ante bet.

The dealer deals himself two cards face down and in the online version, the player gets two cards face up.  Immediately, the flop or three community cards come out and now the player has to decide whether to go on or to fold.  The player sees five of his cards and three of the dealer’s cards since there are three community cards as to all Hold’em players are familiar with.

If the player thinks that he will win the hand, he stays in and makes a raise bet that is twice the original ante bet.  If the player believes that he has lost the hand, he can fold and loses the ante bet.

The Dealer Needs at Least a Pair of Fours

The lowly four is one of the least popular cards in Texas Hold’em.  That is unless you got a pair of fours in the hole and then flopped a set!  But in Caribbean Hold’em, the four is like the chickpea in the famous scene from Friends where the doctors come to take out reversed Monica and Rachel and they serve hummus.  “God bless the chickpea.”

In Caribbean Hold’em, if you have a good hand and stay in the hand, you really want God to bless the four so the dealer can get at least a pair of fours and qualify!

Similarities to Caribbean Stud

At this point Caribbean Hold’em and Caribbean Stud have a lot in common.  If you fold, you lose the ante bet outright.  If you stay in and the dealer doesn’t qualify, you win only the ante bet and the raise is a push.

If you raise and you win, you win both your ante and your raise.  If the dealer wins, you lose both bets.

Strategy in Caribbean Hold’em

It is a lot more advisable to stay in a hand in Caribbean Hold’em than in Caribbean Stud.  The main reason is that you raise before you see the last two cards.

Here are some reasons to fold.  In almost ever other hand, you would raise.

  • If there is a low pair on the flop and you have two low cards in your hand, you should fold since both you and the dealer share the pair but the dealer probably has you beat on the kicker.
  • If the flop is a set and you have low cards in the hole, you should fold.
  • If you miss entirely on the first five cards and you don’t have so much as an outside straight draw, you should fold.
  • If the flop was three of the same suit and you didn’t get a pair, a straight draw, or you don’t have that suit in your hole cards, you should fold.

In Caribbean Hold’em, you should raise with four to a flush, four to a straight, and many other hands unless you have four to a very low straight or four to a flush with very low cards.

Caribbean Hold’em is a fast moving poker variation in which you will get plenty of exciting poker action without any bluffing.  In addition, players who want to get into playing Texas Hold’em but feel that they need some seasoning can play Caribbean Hold’em as a type of practice to learn how to study and analyze a hand and to try to fathom what a fictional opponent might have in the hole.

Highlights of a Vacation in the Caribbean

We promised a short discussion about Caribbean vacations if space permitted.  So, here goes!  A simple google search of Caribbean destinations reveals a few great facts about the Caribbean in general.

  • There are hundreds of islands in the Caribbean so your vacation will be an island one.  Land locked people from the United Sates and especially Canada love the islands.
  • The islands are all volcanic so there are sandy beaches literally just minutes from mountains.  On some islands, where the mountains are especially high, winters in the mountains are quite chilly while down by the coast the weather is almost always mild.
  • Many languages are spoken on the islands and each one is actually a dialect of the “parent” language.  If you are familiar with the parent language, it is quite quaint and even romantic to speak the local dialect with the native people.
  • Each island has its own style of music, cuisine, dance, and street art.
  • Sunrise and sunset are truly awe-inspiring!
  • Hiking and boating are available everywhere and even though the islands are small, there are hikes to challenge even the strongest backpackers.
  • Ocean fishing is amazing and expensive.
  • The islands were settled by European centuries ago.  There are many historical buildings here including centuries-old churches and synagogues.
  • If you are really wealthy, you might be able to buy an island!

The Caribbean is a vast ocean expanse marked by so many exotic islands that you might find yourself going back again and again!  Of course, you’ll have to feel safe in the aftermath of this virus crisis we are still in.  But we are emerging from the crisis, we hope, so you will soon be able to enjoy a real Caribbean vacation and play Caribbean Stud or Caribbean Hold’em in the places of their origin.

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