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Caribbean Stud Poker: An Aruban Original?

Was Caribbean Stud Poker invented in Aruba? Some people think so. The history of this popular casino card game is unclear, though most locals think of it as an Aruban original.

I remember discovering the game in Aruba in the late 1980’s before seeing it in the casinos of Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Back then I wouldn’t ante up the extra dollar to play the progressive jackpot, to the shock of everyone else at the table. I knew the odds of me hitting a Royal Flush didn’t justify me spending six bucks to make five every hand. I must admit though that the thought of  getting dealt that “once in a lifetime hand” without playing the jackpot was scary.  Nowadays I’m a much less serious gambler, so I throw in the extra dollar just in case.

As far as the game’s origins are concerned, one theory has it that Caribbean Stud Poker was first played in the late 1980’s at the King International Casino, which was then located at the Aruba Holiday Inn.  Here’s the (abridged)story according to wikipedia:

In 1987 a gambler named James Suttle learned the game while playing Texas Holdem at Binion’s Horseshoe on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Suttles was a friend of casino owner and game developer Danny Jones, who owned the King International Casino.  Mr. Jones began to market the game with minimal success to other casinos and cruise ships under the company D&D Gaming Patients. It wasn’t until computer software engineer Michael Titus told Jones that his game needed a linked progressive Jackpot that the game took off.

I’ve left out some parts of the narrative that could not be verified. In fact, very little of this story seems verifiable, but who cares. I was always told that the game was invented in Aruba. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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