How to Play Criss Cross Poker

Criss Cross Poker Logo
Criss Cross Poker. Photo Courtesy (In Bet Gaming)

Criss Cross Poker is a casino game from In Bet Gaming that is fun and easy to play. The rules are fairly simple, but the correct strategy is tough to manage on your own. In this game, you have the chance to bet on two sets of hands, plus a bonus bet, and play is similar to Mississippi Stud.

The game is available in Atlantic City at places like the Borgata and at several casinos in Missouri. There is a good chance that the game will continue to spread to new locations as players learn the rules and ask for the game at their own local clubs.

The Rules of Criss Cross Poker

Criss Cross is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, no jokers or wild cards are used. The player must make two Ante wagers of equal value - one on the Ante Across and one on the Ante Down. An optional five-card bonus may also be played. Players are dealt two cards each, there is no dealer hand to play against. Players win (push) based on their ability to make a minimum of a pair of sixes with two sets of three community cards and their own two cards.

The five community cards are placed in a cross pattern so there is a group of three cards across and three cards down - the two hands share the middle card. At a $5 table, the players have placed a minimum of $5 on the Across Ante and $5 on the Down Ante After checking their own two cards they may fold (obviously a pair of sixes or higher is a guaranteed push or win) or make an Across wager of 1x to 3x their Ante Bet.

The dealer will then reveal the two outside cards across the cross pattern.Next, the player has the option to fold or make a Down Bet of 1x to 3x their Ante Bet. Again, the dealer turns over the top and bottom cards.

Finally, the player may make a Middle bet of 1x to 3x their Ante bet before the dealer reveals the middle card.Now comes the interesting part: The player turns over their two cards and the dealer will read the board to make the best possible 5-card hand Across and Down.

Any winning bets are paid according to the following paytable:

Criss Cross Poker Paytable

Minimum Pair of 6's to 10's is a Push

Pair of Jacks or Better  1 to 1

Two Pair  2 to 1

Three of a Kind  3 to 1

Straight  5 to 1

Flush  8 to 1

Full House  12 to 1

Four of a Kind  40 to 1

Straight Flush  100 to 1

Royal Flush  500 to 1

Playing the Five Card Bonus is not mandatory. It is an optional side-bet and pays on the five community cards - which does not include any individual player cards. Based on this payout table, the house edge on the Bonus is about 3.5-percent.

Five Card Bonus Paytable

Pair of 6's or Better  1 to 1

Two Pair  3 to 1

Three of a Kind  4 to 1

Straight  6 to 1

Flush  10 to 1

Full House  15 to 1

Four of a Kind  40 to 1

Straight Flush  100 to 1

Royal Flush  500 to 1

There are many table games to play these days, and choosing the right gamecan be tough. A relatively simple game to play like blackjack is going to cost just a single bet most of the time, but multiple-bet games like Three-Card-Poker or Criss Cross Poker lead to faster and steeper fluctuations in bankroll, where you are risking three bets just to start.

The Play and Raise Decisions

Criss Cross Poker allows the player to raise from 1 to 3 times their Ante on all wagers.

The first decision is whether to play your two cards or not. If they are both under six, fold unless they are suited, then raise 1x your Ante. If you hold a pair or two suited face cards, raise 3x your Ante.

When you get to the Down bet, you will have seen four cards. Raise 3x if you have a pair of 6's or better, raise 1x if you have a smaller pair. If you hold four to a flush or straight, raise 1x. Raise 3x if your draw is to a straight flush.

On the Middle bet, if helps greatly if you know how to play poker to make some decisions, but generally, raise 3x with any guaranteed winner and with any flush draw. On a gutshot (inside) straight draw, raise 1x only. Open-ended straight draws (with two possible winning cards) can be raised 3x. This strategy will keep the house edge just under 5-percent for all Ante and Raise bets.