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How to Play Elevator Poker


ELEVATOR Poker: Each player is dealt 4 hole cards. The board cards consist of 2 vertical columns of 3 cards each. A single "elevator" card is placed between the 2 vertical columns. Reveal one entire column, then the other and finally the single elevator card, with betting rounds between. Players may use any 2 cards in a horizontal row, plus the elevator card (ie 3 cards in total from the board). That is: both top cards, both middle cards or both bottom cards, plus the elevator card. (ie. the elevator card "moves" up or down to what ever horizontal row you want.) Vertical or diagnonal cards may not be used. Hands are made from the best 5 of 7 cards.
May be played high-low split.

Summary of action
Deal 4 hole cards to each player. Arrange board cards.
Reveal all 3 cards from one vertical column.
Reveal all 3 cards from 2nd vertical column.
Reveal middle "elevator" card.
High only or Hi-Lo Cards Speak: Showdown
High-Low Declaration: Declare


Variations of Elevator Poker include adding additional "stories" to the vertical columns. For example, use 4 or 5 cards in each vertical column to increase the number of card combinations that can be used.

Playing Tips for Elevator Poker


Your hand in Elevator 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 Elevator poker allows the use of any 5 out ot of 7 cards, it should be considered to be a version of Stud.

Starting Hand Selection


The best high starting hand you could hope for is 4 of a kind. You have what is almost assuredly the best hand even before seeing the board cards. Unfortunately, quads in your hand are about a 20,000 to 1 long shot. 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 much 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. Elevator, Rock-Leigh, Forty-Two, Criss-Cross, Hex). These are the probabilities of these hands being dealt as your 4 hole cards. Note that 4 card straights, flushes and straight flushes are not yet made hands. You must get help from the common board cards to complete those hands.

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

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