How to Play Crazy 4 Poker

Crazy 4 Poker
Crazy 4 Poker. Photo courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Crazy 4 Poker is an easy to learn, house-banked table game with large payoffs for big poker hands. In a nutshell, it's four-card stud and the winner takes all.

Simple Rules for Crazy 4 Poker

If you enjoy playing Three-Card Poker, Crazy 4 Poker may be right up your alley. The games are very similar except for the number of cards used, and the names of the bets have been changed. To be dealt into a hand the player must first wager on the Ante and the Super Bonus bets, in equal amounts.

A third bet is available, the Queens Up wager, which pays only when the player makes a pair of queens or higher.

Once the bets are in place the players and the dealer each get five cards. The dealer's cards are all face down, so the players must decide whether to fold (and lose their bets) or make an additional Play wager and try to beat the dealer. Only four cards are used for the final hand. The lowest hand is four unsuited, non-sequential cards and no pair. If that's all you see, you have junk. Best to fold.

When deciding to play a hand, any four cards of K-Q-8-4 or higher is statistically higher than what the dealer may have, so you should make a 1x raise of your Ante bet, which goes in the Play circle. If you hold a pair of aces or higher you are allowed to make your Play bet 1x, 2x, or 3x your Ante bet. The best strategy is to make a 3x wager any time you are allowed.

Once you have decided to play or fold, the dealer will turn over their cards, discard one, and play the top four.

The ranking of the hands, from lowest to highest, is:

  • No Pair
  • Pair
  • Two Pair
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind

For the dealer to play, their hand must be at least king high, otherwise, the Ante bet pushes. When your hand beats the dealer's qualifying hand, your Ante and Play bets win even money.

When the dealer qualifies and beats your hand, your Ante and Play bets lose. When the dealer does not qualify your Play bet wins and your Ante bet pushes.

Super Bonus Wager Rules

The Super Bonus wager wins if the player has a straight or higher. The wager loses if the player has less than a straight and loses the hand. Otherwise, the wager is a push.

Super Bonus Pay Table for Player Hand

  • Four Aces - 200 to 1
  • Any other Four of a Kind - 30 to 1
  • Straight Flush - 15 to 1
  • Three of a Kind - 2 to 1
  • Flush - 3 for 2
  • Straight - 1 to 1

The house edge for the Ante wager is reasonable, at 1.71 percent. The Super Bonus wager carries a higher 3.48 percent house edge. However, both must be made to play a hand, and the Play or raise option has a positive expectation of 4.85 percent. Since all of these wagers must be made to get optimal benefits from the game, the overall house edge is the only number that is really relevant. That number is 3.42 percent in the house's favor.

The Queens Up wager carries the highest house edge. Although there are several pay tables that have an edge of from 3 percent to almost 7 percent, the one most often seen has a house edge of 5.32 percent. The paytable is as follows:

  • Four of a Kind - 50 to 1
  • Straight Flush - 30 to 1
  • Three of a Kind - 8 to 1
  • Flush - 4 to 1
  • Straight - 3 to 1
  • Two Pair - 2 to 1
  • Pair of Queens, Kings, Aces - 1 to 1

Fortunately, even if you don't really know how to play poker, the dealer will help you with your hands and let you know what you hold, so don't be intimidated!