How to Play Cyberstud Poker

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Online poker began in the early 1990s as a game played by computer geeks via Internet Relay Chat (IRC), the forerunner of today’s chatrooms. Because IRC required a considerable understanding of programming, it had only a limited following. Then, in 1998, Planet Poker became the Internet’s first online card room to offer real money poker games. By October 1999, professional poker player and author Mike Caro agreed to be the “face” of Planet Poker, thus taking online poker to a new level of play.

In the wake of growing interest in online poker, software developers raced to come up with a version of poker that could be played one on one against an automated dealer. Microgaming was among those early pioneers, and the result of their efforts was Cyberstud Poker, the world’s first online casino poker game.

Cyberstud (also referred to as Cyber Stud) has its roots in Caribbean Poker. It is played with a single deck of 52 playing cards, which is reshuffled after each hand. The object of the game is to beat the dealer by obtaining a superior five-card poker hand. Minimum and maximum betting limits are clearly posted on the table, where two betting areas appear, one for the “Ante” and another for the “Bet.”

To start the game, the player must Ante at least one unit and no more than the table’s posted maximum. Pressing the “Deal” button will then cause five cards to be dealt to the player and one to the dealer. All cards are dealt face up.

The player has only one decision to make—play on or fold. Folding, of course, means forfeiting the Ante wager. A decision to play on (or “call”) requires making a raise by betting an additional amount equal to the original Ante. This second wager is placed in the “Bet” area of the table.

At this point, four additional cards will be turned up for the dealer’s hand. If the dealer’s hand does not contain at least an Ace and a King, it fails to “qualify.” In this case, the player receives a payout of even money for the Ante and the amount wagered for the “Bet” is refunded.

However, if the dealer’s hand qualifies, three outcomes are possible. First, the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, in which case both the Ante and Bet amounts are lost. Second, the dealer’s hand loses to the player’s hand, in which case the player receives even money for the Ante and whatever odds appear on the posted paytable for the Bet.

Although the exact payout amounts may differ from one casino to another, the typical winnings are as follows: winning by simply beating the dealer with a high hand or a pair pays 1-to-1, while two pair pays 2-to-1 on the Bet. Winning with three of a kind pays 3-to-1 and straights pay 4-to-1. For flushes, the payout is 5-to-1; for a full house it is 7-to-1; for four of a kind it is 20-to-1; and for a straight flush it is 50-to-1. A Royal Flush is worth 100-to-1.

The third possibility when the dealer’s hand qualifies is a tie with the player and dealer holding identical hands. In such instances, neither a winner nor a loser is declared. The result is a “push,” with both the Ante and Bet refunded.

A special version of the game known as Progressive Cyberstud features a one-unit side bet. This wager can win regardless of whether the player’s hand wins or loses. To claim a bonus payout, the player’s hand must typically be a flush or higher. The full progressive amount may be worth millions and is paid only for a Royal Flush. Overall, Cyberstud Poker give the House about a 5% advantage, which is boosted even higher if the side bet is taken.

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