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Last Updated: March 16, 2015

Caribbean Advanced Poker

Introduction





The idea of Caribbean Advanced Poker is simple — it is Caribbean Stud Poker, except the player gets to see two dealer cards instead of one. Normally, when there is a rule change benefiting the player, another rule is changed to offset it, but that is not the case here. The rules, including the pay table, are otherwise exactly the same as in Caribbean Stud.

You can find Caribbean Advanced Poker at Internet casinos using Gamesys N.V. software.

Rules



As mentioned in the introduction, the rules are the same as Caribbean Stud Poker, except two dealer cards are exposed, instead of one. However, if you're not familiar with Caribbean Stud, here are the full rules:

  1. Player makes an Ante wager plus an optional Bonus side bet.
  2. Each player and the dealer get five cards each. All cards are dealt face down, except two dealer cards are exposed.
  3. Player must fold or raise.
  4. If player folds, he forfeits his cards, Ante bet, and Bonus bet (if made).
  5. If player raises, then he must make a Raise wager exactly equal to twice the Ante.
  6. The dealer will turn over his other three cards.
  7. The dealer must have an ace-king or better to qualify. In other words, the lowest dealer qualifying hand is less than a pair, with both an ace and a king.
  8. If the dealer does not qualify, then the player will win even money on his Ante wager and the Raise will push.
  9. If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, then both Ante and Raise will lose.
  10. If the dealer qualifies and loses to the player, then the Ante will pay even money and the Raise according to the pay table below.
  11. If the player and dealer tie, both Ante and Raise will push.
  12. The Bonus side bet will be entirely based on the poker value of the player's hand. The pay table is shown below.


The following pay table shows the odds on both the Ante and Bonus bets. Please note that the wins are expressed on a "to one" basis on the Ante and "for one" on the Bonus bet.

Pay Tables

Hand Ante Bonus
Royal Flush 100 to 1 1000 for 1
Straight flush 50 to 1 500 for 1
Four of a kind 20 to 1 200 for 1
Full house 7 to 1 70 for 1
Flush 5 to 1 50 for 1
Straight 4 to 1 40 for 1
Three of a kind 3 to 1 25 for 1
Two pair 2 to 1 0
All other 1 to 1 0


Analysis



The following table shows the probability and return of all possible events under optimal player strategy. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 0.62%.

Standard Pay Table Analysis

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Player wins with royal flush 201 33,519,480 0.000001 0.000169
Player wins with straight flush 101 313,859,440 0.000008 0.000795
Player wins with four of a kind 41 5,664,871,600 0.000142 0.005826
Player wins with full house 15 33,248,950,560 0.000834 0.012510
Player wins with flush 11 43,713,980,560 0.001097 0.012062
Player wins with straight 9 87,611,032,200 0.002198 0.019779
Player wins with three of a kind 7 468,485,816,640 0.011751 0.082260
Player wins with two pair 5 976,024,278,720 0.024482 0.122412
Player wins with pair or less 3 4,707,103,215,756 0.118072 0.354215
Dealer doesn't qualify 1 12,956,270,402,748 0.324992 0.324992
Tie 0 642,952,920 0.000016 0.000000
Player folds -1 12,120,283,153,440 0.304022 -0.304022
Player loses -3 8,467,065,000,336 0.212386 -0.637157
Total 39,866,461,034,400 1.000000 -0.006160


It is worth reminding my readers at this time that the house edge is defined as the ratio of the expected loss to the original wager. 69.6% of the time the player will make the 2x Raise bet. The average final wager is 2.39 units. The ratio of the expected loss to the total amount bet, known as the Element of Risk, is thus 0.62%/2.39 = 0.26%.

Strategy





Strategy for this game would be pretty complicated. A near optimal strategy can be found in the first edition (the 223-page paperback) of Beyond Counting by James Grosjean on page 126, where he covers the situation of the dealer accidentally exposing an extra card in Caribbean Stud Poker.

Both versions of Beyond Counting were produced in limited quantities and difficult to obtain. Your best chance to get a copy of Beyond Counting is on Ebay, where the first edition tends to go for for about $400 to $500. The strategy mentioned above is not in the second edition (Exhibit CAA).

Bonus Bet



What poker-based game doesn't have a side bet? The one for Caribbean Advanced Poker is called the Bonus Bet. Unlike most side bets where you can bet as much as you wish, the pays are on a "for one" basis. The lower right cell shows a return of 94.08%, which equates to a house edge of 5.92%.

Bonus Bet

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal flush 1000 4 0.000002 0.001539
Straight flush 500 36 0.000014 0.006926
Four of a kind 200 624 0.000240 0.048019
Full house 70 3,744 0.001441 0.100840
Flush 50 5,108 0.001965 0.098270
Straight 40 10,200 0.003925 0.156986
Three of a kind 25 54,912 0.021128 0.528211
All other 0 2,524,332 0.971285 0.000000
Total 2,598,960 1.000000 0.940792


Zero House Edge





Like many games by Gamesys, there is also a "zero house edge version," including here. The only three differences are:

  • A full house pays 8 instead of 7.
  • A four of a kind pays 25 instead of 20.
  • The player must pay a 10% commission on any net gambling win per session. A "session" ends after a gap between hands of one hour or 24 total hours, whichever happens first.


The following table shows the probability and return of all possible events under the Zero House Edge pay table.

Zero House Edge Return Table

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Player wins with royal flush 201 33,519,480 0.000001 0.000169
Player wins with straight flush 101 313,859,440 0.000008 0.000795
Player wins with four of a kind 51 5,664,871,600 0.000142 0.007247
Player wins with full house 17 33,248,950,560 0.000834 0.014178
Player wins with flush 11 43,713,980,560 0.001097 0.012062
Player wins with straight 9 87,611,032,200 0.002198 0.019779
Player wins with three of a kind 7 468,485,816,640 0.011751 0.082260
Player wins with two pair 5 976,024,278,720 0.024482 0.122412
Player wins with pair or less 3 4,707,103,215,756 0.118072 0.354215
Dealer doesn't qualify 1 12,956,270,402,748 0.324992 0.324992
Tie 0 642,952,920 0.000016 0.000000
Player folds -1 12,120,283,153,440 0.304022 -0.304022
Player loses -3 8,467,065,000,336 0.212386 -0.637157
Total 39,866,461,034,400 1.000000 -0.003071


As you can see from the bottom right cell in the table above, the house edge isn't quite zero, but instead 0.31%. The average final wager is 2.39 units, for an element of risk of 0.13%.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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