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How to Play Criss-Cross Poker


CRISS-CROSS Poker: Place 5 cards face down on the table with 1 vertical row of 3 cards, and one card placed on either side of the middle card to form a horizontal row of 3 cards. Four down cards are dealt to each player. Players select any 5 cards from their 4 hole cards plus the 3 cards in either the vertical row or the horizontal row to make their hand. Each down card is exposed after a round of betting, with the middle card exposed last. May be played high-low split.

Summary of action
Deal 4 hole cards to each player. Arrange board cards.
Reveal 1 card from vertical row (not middle card).
Reveal 1 card from horizontal row (not middle card).
Reveal 1 card from vertical row (not middle card).
Reveal 1 card from horizonal row (not middle card).
Reveal middle card.
High only or Hi-Lo Cards Speak: Showdown
High-Low Declaration: Declare

Other variations of Criss-Cross poker:
1. Reveal 2 cards (1 each of the horizontal and vertical rows) at a time. This reduces the number of betting rounds and tends to keep more players in the hand.

Playing Tips for Criss-Cross Poker


Your hand in Criss-Cross poker will be taken from 7 cards: the 4 hole cards dealt to you, plus 3 of board cards. You may use any combination of hole and board cards to make your hand (4 hole & 1 board; 3 hole & 2 board or 2 hole & 3 board). It is highly desirable to have at least 3 and preferably 4 well coordinated hole cards to play. Since Criss-Cross poker allows the use of any 5 of the 7 cards available, it should be considered to be a variation of 7 card stud.

Starting Hand Selection


The very best starting hand you could hope for is 4 of a kind. Unfortunately, you have only about 1 chance in 20,000 of being dealt quads in 4 cards. Excellent realistic starting hands for high includes trips, two pair or four to a straight flush. Each of these are just one board card away from becoming a huge hand. Four cards to a flush is also a decent starting hand, while four cards to a straight is typically not worth playing, unless it can be played for low. With the exception of starting with trips, having just 3 cards to these hands will require the help of 2 out of 3 cards from the board and that is more difficult. But, if they include multiple possibilities like a pair or 3 low cards, they may be worth playing.

Excellent starting hands for low are obvious: 4 cards of 6 or lower. Such a hand will also include straight possibilities, vulnerable though it is. Having 3 to a flush (including the ace) gives an additional possibility. Three low cards, all 4 or under, is a decent start, but will take help from 2 of 3 of the board cards. Unless you have other possibilities for high, having just A2 is not a reasonable low hand as it requires 3 nearly perfect board cards.

4 Card Poker Probabilities


Probabilities of being dealt hands with 4 cards. This information is useful in games in which you can use 4 hole cards (eg. Criss-Cross,Rock-leigh, Forty-two, Hex). These are the probabilities of these hands being dealt as your 4 hole cards.

Approximate chances of these HIGH hands being dealt to you as your 4 hole cards. Note that 4 card straights, flushes or straight flushes are not yet made hands. You must get help from the common board cards to complete those hands.

4 Card HandPercent ProbabilityOdds Probability
4 of a Kind0.005%20,000:1
Straight Flush0.016%6250:1
3 of a Kind0.92%107:1
2 Pair3.04%32:1
1 Pair30.5%2:1


Approximate chances of these LOW hands being dealt to you as your 4 hole cards.

4 Card HandPercent ProbabilityOdds Probability
A3XX or 23XX14.4%6:1
Any 4-low (3 cards)3.6%27:1
Any 5-Low (3 cards)7.2%13:1
Any 5-low (4 cards)0.36%277:1
Any 6-low (4 cards)0.9%110:1