Crazy 4 Poker

Crazy 4 Poker logoThe invention of the hybrid table game known as Crazy 4 Poker is officially credited to casino game designer Roger M. Snow, who was working for Shuffle Master at the time.

Crazy 4 Poker dates back to 2003 according to the official U.S. Patent claim filed for the concept. Shuffle Master is the company behind several popular casino gaming products, including Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Blackjack Switch, and Casino War.

Shuffle Master, along with the ownership rights to Crazy 4 Poker, was acquired by casino gaming titan Bally Technologies in 2013.

Currently, the game holds status as one of the more popular hybrid table games ever created, spreading throughout the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, as well as to several local casinos throughout the United States.

Gameplay More Exciting for Players

The game combines many of the elements prized by table game enthusiasts, including multiple base game bets, bonus side bets, an escalating pay table, and player decision points.

Crazy 4 Poker also made headlines in 2013, when dealers at the Hollywood Casino Columbus inadvertently allowed players to make one of the mandatory bets optional. By leaving this bet up to the players, it is the more difficult of the game’s two base wagers to win, the venue accidentally created the rarest of finds in the casino setting: a positive expectation game for players.

Once the crowds caught on players were lining up to take advantage, and the property lost thousands of dollars before table game managers caught on to the mistake.

Test it Out

If you’ve passed by the Crazy 4 Poker table at some point and found yourself wanting to play, but lacking the knowledge or confidence to do so, this page is your one stop shop for knowledge on the game. We’ll begin with a detailed walkthrough meant to introduce readers to the fundamentals, including the available wagers, the payout system, and the general rules. Next up is a guide to locating Crazy 4 Poker tables at your favorite brick and mortar casinos, followed by a primer on proper strategy to help you improve your overall odds.

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Rules and How to Play

Casino table icon

Game Overview

Crazy 4 Poker follows the traditional table game setup, with up to five players ringing a semicircular table, and the dealer running the game from the opposite side.

Each player has a betting area on the felt in front of them, and in this game, you’ll be using two base game betting circles, along with a third and fourth betting circle for two optional side bets.

The objective of Crazy 4 Poker is to form the best four card poker hand out of five cards, using a modified version of the traditional poker hand hierarchy.

Poker Hand icon

Crazy 4 Poker Hand Rankings

If you’re not familiar with the way poker hands stack up, check out the rankings used in Crazy 4 Poker:

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind

Four of same card.

Straight Flush

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind

Three of same card.

Flush

Flush

Four cards in the same suit.

Straight

Straight

Four consecutive cards.

Two Pair

Two Pair

Two pairs of the same card.

One Pair

One Pair

One pair of the same card.

High Card

High Card

Highest of four unmatched, non-straight, & non-flush cards.

As you can see, the typical highest hand found in poker, the royal flush is nowhere to be found. With only four cards to work with out of the five you’ll be dealt, the highest possible hand in this game is four of a kind, followed by a straight flush – which uses only four consecutive, suited cards in this case, rather than five.

Learn To icon

Playing Crazy 4 Poker

#1 The game begins once each player has placed the mandatory wagers on both the Ante and the Super Bonus betting circles; these mandatory bets must be of equal size.

At this time, players may also opt to wager on the Queens Up side bet (which will be explained in greater detail later in this section).

#2 Once all players have placed their Ante and Super Bonus bets, along with the Queens Up side bet if they choose, the dealer will then distribute five cards to each player.

The player’s cards are dealt face up, while the dealer also takes a five-card hand dealt face down.

#3 At this point, each player will assess the relative strength of their five cards, attempting to make the best possible four card poker hand.

  • When you hold junk, you may elect to fold, and when you do, you’ll simply forfeit the hand straight away and surrender your pending wagers to the house.
  • When you have decent cards, the other option is to raise or “play,” in which case you’ll be required to post an additional bet in order to continue.
#4 This “Play” wager must be equal in size to the Ante bet you’ve already put up – except when you hold one pair of aces or better. In this case, you now have the option of increasing the “Play” bet up to three times the size of your Ante.
#5 Once you’ve either folded or made the raise bet, and all other players have done the same, the dealer will then reveal their own five cards before setting out the best four card poker hand.
#6 After all winning wagers have been paid out, and losing bets claimed by the house, the dealer will reshuffle the deck and begin a new hand.
Variety icon

Game Bets & Payouts

Now, on to the good stuff: the payouts.

In the game of Crazy 4 Poker, the payouts for each bet are awarded individually, so upon completion of each hand, a three part process is applied. One thing to keep in mind regarding this payout system is the concept of dealer qualification on Ante bets. In this game, the dealer must produce a hand of king high or better in order to “open” or show down their hand.

Payouts will be distributed according to the following system:

Ante Bet Payouts

  • When dealer does not open, Ante bet is returned as a push.
  • When dealer opens and player wins, Ante bet wins even money.
  • When dealer opens and ties, Ante bet is returned as a push.
  • When dealer opens and wins, Ante bet is lost.

Raise Bet Payouts

  • When player wins, Raise bet wins even money.
  • When player and dealer tie, Raise bet is returned as a push.
  • When dealer wins, Raise bet is lost.

Super Bonus Bet Payouts

  • When player makes a straight or higher (beating dealer is not required) Super Bonus bet wins.
  • When player makes less than a straight (and wins or pushes)Super Bonus bet is a push.
  • When player makes less than a straight and loses, Super Bonus bet is lost.

Both the Ante and Raise bets pay out at even money when you beat the dealer.

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Super Bonus Payout Table

The Super Bonus bet pays out according to the following pay table:

HAND PAYOUT
Four Aces 200 to 1
Four 2’s – K’s 30 to 1
Straight Flush 15 to 1
Three of a Kind 2 to 1
Flush 1.5 to 1
Straight 1 to 1
Single Bet icon

Queens Up Side Bet Payout

Finally, when you choose to make the Queens Up side bet, you’re simply wagering that your hand will form one pair of queens or better. When it does, your side wager is paid out according to one of the following four primary pay tables.

PLAYER HAND TABLE 1 TABLE 2 TABLE 3 TABLE 4
Four of a Kind 50 to 1 50 to 1 50 to 1 50 to 1
Straight Flush 30 to 1 40 to 1 30 to 1 40 to 1
Three of a Kind 9 to 1 8 to 1 8 to 1 7 to 1
Flush 4 to 1 4 to 1 4 to 1 4 to 1
Straight 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1 3 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1
Pair of Q’s or Better 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1

While each of these pay tables can be commonly found, the figures under “Table 4” are generally the ones used in Las Vegas casinos.

Deck of Cards icon

Crazy 4 Poker Example Round

#1 For the sake of this discussion, we’ll use a running example hand in which we’ve wagered $5 on the Ante and $5 on the Super Bonus. Let’s assume we’ve wagered $1 on the Queens Up side bet.
#2 The dealer then hands us the following five-card combination: As Ad Kh Kd 2s.

We’ve caught a lucky hand and hold two pair, aces and kings, so the obvious choice here would be to raise and make the “Play” bet. With at least one pair of aces in the hole, we can elect to raise up to three times the size of our Ante bet, and because two pair represents such a strong hand in this game, we’ll go ahead and max out with a $15 raise on the “Play” bet.

#3 The dealer holds only Ks Jh 9d 3c for just king high, and thus we are the winner with two pairs. We made two pairs with aces and kings to beat the dealer’s king high, so let’s see how the payout process works out.

  • For the Ante bet, the dealer opens their king high, and we beat the dealer, so our $5 wager is paid out at even money for a $5 profit.
  • For the raise “Play” bet, we made it $15 and won, so we’ll get another $15 profit at even money there.
  • For the Super Bonus bet, we didn’t manage to make the straight minimum requirement, so we’ll lose that $5 wager to the house.
  • Our two pair is good enough for a 2 to 1 payout on our $1 wager on the Queens Up side bet, so we’d earn an additional $ profit.
#4 All told, using this particular example hand, we wagered $5 on the Ante, $5 on the Super Bonus, $15 on the raise “Play” bet, and $1 on the Queens Up side bet. This equates to a $26 total wager. With our two pairs of aces and kings, we won $5 profit on the Ante, $15 profit on the raise “Play” bet, lost $5 on the Super Bonus, and won $2 on the Queens Up side bet for a net win of $17.

Best Places to Play Crazy 4 Poker

Recommended iconCrazy 4 Poker has flourished in the brick and mortar casino setting since its debut in 2004, and the game can now be found in several casinos across America.

When it comes to the realm of online casinos, players living in Nevada, New Jersey, or Delaware can enjoy Crazy 4 Poker over the internet through one of their state’s legalized and regulated online casino platforms.

Also on the online front, searches indicate that the Betfair online casino platform also carries the game, so if you’re a Betfair loyalist, you should be able to access the game on your preferred site.

Brick and Mortar Casinos

Back to the brick and mortar arena, the following casino properties currently offer Crazy 4 Poker at this time:

  • Harrah’s Ak Chin Hotel and Casino – Phoenix, AZ
  • Harrah’s Resort Southern California – San Diego, CA
  • Horseshoe Southern Indiana Hotel and Casino – Elizabeth, IN
  • Harrah’s North Kansas City Hotel and Casino – Kansas City, MO
  • Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino – Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • Rio All Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (Off Strip)
  • Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • The Cromwell Las Vegas Boutique Hotel – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • The LINQ Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)
  • The Mirage Las Vegas Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV (The Strip)

This list is by no means comprehensive, however, and with the ubiquitous presence of Crazy 4 Poker tables in most major casinos, chances are your local venue carries the game as well.

Look Around in Casinos Near You

If you’re not located nearby one of these casino properties above, place a call to your favorite property and ask for the table games manager. Inquiring about the status of Crazy 4 Poker doesn’t cost a penny, and with this game’s overwhelming popularity, you’ll most likely find it there – or find someone who can point you in the right direction.

Strategic Considerations for Crazy 4 Poker

Betting Strategy iconThe optimal strategy for a game as complex as Crazy 4 Poker would require thousands of words to describe, but fortunately, Michael Shackleford of Wizard of Odds fame has devised a simple three step guide to playing your card correctly.

You can check out Shackleford’s full page on Crazy 4 Poker here, but the basic strategy boils down to this:

  • Raise to 3 times your Ante whenever allowed (holding one pair of aces or better)
  • Raise to the same amount as your Ante when holding K Q 8 4 or better
  • Fold all other hands

By sticking to this simple set of rules, you’ll create the most favorable game conditions for yourself, with a total combined house edge on all bets of 3.42 percent. This falls in line with the most player friendly hybrid table games, so you’re not sacrificing anything from a strategic standpoint by playing Crazy 4 Poker.

Finally, keep in mind that proper strategy should have you making the maximum raise of 3 times your Ante bet on 18.56 percent of hands, opting for the minimum raise on 57.93 percent of hands, and folding 23.51 percent of the time.

So even when it seems like you’re folding too much and giving away chips, as long as you’re holding onto roughly three-quarters of your hands, and folding the rest, you’re doing just fine.