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How to Play Criss-Cross Wild Poker


CRISS-CROSS WILD: Deal each player 4 hole cards. 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. The middle card and all like ranked cards are wild, whether on the board or in a players hand. The middle wild card is shared by all players, so each active player has at least 1 wild card. Players select any 5 cards from among 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 wild 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).
Reveal 1 card from horizontal row (not middle).
Reveal 1 card from vertical row (not middle).
Reveal 1 card from horizontal row (not middle).
Reveal middle wild card.
High only or Hi-Lo Cards Speak: Showdown
High-Low Declaration: Declare

Other variations of Criss-Cross Wild 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 Wild Poker


As in most wild card poker games the winning hand for Criss-Cross Wild poker usually must be excellent. For high, expect a high 4 of a kind to be the minimum needed to win. Occasionally, even middle to low quads may win if there are few players in the hand and no raising. For low, the nuts or second best hand, with much depending on the common board cards. Low board cards also make a tie for the low more likely.

Your hand in Criss-Cross Wild poker will be taken from 7 cards: the 4 hole cards dealt to you, the common wild card plus 2 additional cards from the same row. 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 been dealt at least 3 well coordinated cards to play. With the addition of the wild card you would then need just 1 helpful card to appear in the common board cards to make a hand. If you are dealt 4 well coordinated hole cards the wild card will automatically complete your hand.

Since Criss-Cross Wild 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


Starting hands for Criss-Cross Wild poker fall into 2 broad categories based upon the 4 hole cards you are originally dealt: made hands and drawing hands. Either takes into account the fact that you add the wild card.

Made hands are starting hands that have a chance of winning on their own and include:
4 of a kind. You have a guaranteed 5 of a kind and are an overwhelming favorite.
4 to a straight flush (including one-gapper). You have a guaranteed straight flush and are a big favorite.
3 of a kind. You have a guaranteed 4 of a kind and a draw to 5 of a kind. The higher the trips you start with the better. A final hand of 4 aces or kings may stand up while a low or medium 4 of a kind may not.
2 big pairs or aces with any pair. Guaranteed big full house and a draw to 4 of a kind. Two pair is the least of what can be considered a made hand. Be especially wary if they are middle or low pairs. A full house is often not enough to win unless there are only a few players and/or no one is showing strength by raising. A hand that also includes a low draw (eg. AA332) is a big plus.
4 card straight and flushes. These are also made hands, but neither is going to be a winner. Unless they have low hand potential they should not be played.
For low, any 4 unmatched cards of 5 or less gives you the nut low (playing by 5432A rules) or any 6-low (except if it includes a 5) playing 6432A rules.

Drawing hands are those that need help from at least 1 of the 4 board cards and include:
3 to a straight flush, including up to a 2-gapper. You'd much prefer the 3 cards to be consecutive as there are then 4 cards that make your hand. You have only 3 good cards with a 1 gap and just 2 good cards with a 2 gap.
A single big pair. Draw to 4 of a kind. A big pair plus low draw potential (eg. KK42A) is a big plus.
3 unmatched cards of 5 or less. Draw to the nut low.
To become a winner each of these starting hands needs additional improvement from among the board cards. But, with 4 cards available to choose from there is a decent chance of making them.

The Common Board Cards


The middle card of the cross is wild as well as the other 3 like-ranked cards. While this means that you have at least one wild card for your hand it also means that all the other active players do as well. You must not think of this game as having just 4 wild cards. You need to think of it as having one wild card for each active player plus 3 additional wild cards. If there are 5 players remaining in the hand that is as if there were a total of 8 wild cards. Should another board card match the wild card there would be a total of 12 wild cards. Obviously, the more active players and the more wild cards the better the hand you will need to win.