Criss Cross Poker
Criss Cross Poker is an extension of a popular stud-based table game known as Mississippi Stud. In that game, players begin with two hole cards and try to improve using three community cards, but in Criss Cross Poker, the community card count increases to five.
The game is named after the “cross-like” pattern formed by the five community cards, up and down, and left to right. This comprehensive OUSC guide will help you learn how to play and the best strategy to increase your odds of winning.
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Criss Cross Poker Hands
Criss Cross Poker is a poker game variation that uses a standard 52-card deck. The standard ranking system used to judge poker hands is the same in this variant. If it’s been a while since you had a kitchen table game of Texas Hold’em, take a look below to see how poker hands stack up.
How to Play Criss Cross Poker
Once you learn the fundamentals of Criss Cross Poker, you’ll be playing in no time. Read this quick and easy step-by-step guide to get started.
Place Your BetThe game begins when players put up two mandatory bets: the Ante Across and the Ante Down Bet. These bets must be an equal amount. Players may also choose to put an optional Five Card Bonus Side Bet.
Dealer Lays Out CardsThe dealer will distribute two cards face down to each player, and five community cards face down in the titular cross pattern. Players may examine their cards.
Make Your Across and Down HandsPlayers will then need to combine their two hole cards with the three cards horizontal line to form their “Across hand,” and the three cards vertical line to create their “Down hand.”
Fold or Make Across BetThe dealer offers each player the option to fold or make an Across Bet. When you fold, you surrender the hand, forfeiting both of your Ante bets. When you make the Across Bet, you put up an additional Across Bet equal to either 1x, 2x, or 3x your original Ante Across Bet. The dealer will then reveal the two outside cards belonging to the horizontal line.
Fold or Make Down BetRepeat this wagering process for the Down Bet, either folding or putting up an additional wager of 1x, 2x, or 3x your original Ante Down Bet. The dealer will turn over the two outside cards on the vertical line, leaving only the center “hub” card turned face down.
Fold or Make Middle BetFor the final player decision, choose between folding or making one last Middle Bet equal to 1x, 2x, or 3x the size of your Ante bet. The dealer will then reveal the middle card to complete the cross of community cards.
Players Receive PayoutsWith two five-card poker hands now completed (the Across hand and the Down hand), payouts are awarded per the paytable.
Criss Cross Poker Table Game Payouts
A good hand in Criss Cross Poker is anything higher than one pair of 6s. When this happens, you’ll either push or win even money on your Ante bet. However, strong hands pay higher dividends on the Across, Down, and Middle wagers, with an escalating paytable being used.
|HAND||ANTE BET PAYOUT||ACROSS/DOWN/MIDDLE PAYOUT|
|Royal Flush||1 to 1||500 to 1|
|Straight Flush||1 to 1||100 to 1|
|Four of a Kind||1 to 1||40 to 1|
|Full House||1 to 1||12 to 1|
|Flush||1 to 1||8 to 1|
|Straight||1 to 1||5 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||1 to 1||3 to 1|
|Two Pair||1 to 1||2 to 1|
|High Pair (J’s–A’s)||1 to 1||1 to 1|
|Low Pair (6’s–10’s)||Push||Push|
Five Card Bonus Side Bet Paytable
If you chose to put up the optional Five Card Bonus side bet, the payouts on this wager are based on the combined strength of the five community cards in the cross pattern. Below you can find the paytable for the Five Card Bonus side bet.
|Royal Flush||250 to 1|
|Straight Flush||100 to 1|
|Four of a Kind||40 to 1|
|Full House||15 to 1|
|Flush||10 to 1|
|Straight||6 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||4 to 1|
|Two Pair||3 to 1|
|One Pair (6’s and Up)||1 to 1|
Strategy Tips for Criss Cross Poker
This poker title can be tricky to master. Use this Criss Cross Poker strategy guide for casual players that can assist you during close decisions. The approach to playing this game can be summed up as follows:
- First, you should never make the 2x bet amount available on the Across, Down, and Middle bets. Instead, you should always bet 1x or 3x when continuing, or fold.
- For the Across Bet, you should fold only when your two hole cards are unsuited, unpaired, and the highest card ranks as a 5 or lower. Only make the 3x maximum Across Bet when holding a suited Q J, or any pair.
- With all other hole cards, you should make the 1x minimum Across Bet.
- For the Down Bet, follow the same general guidelines as the Across Bet, while attempting to factor in the newly exposed cards. When these cards serve to improve your hand or give it the potential to improve, you should raise the maximum.
- For the Middle Bet, you now have access to four of the five community cards. Generally speaking, if you’ve already put up a 3x maximum bet on either the Across bet or the Down bet, you should never fold the Middle Bet.
- On about 4.5% of hands, you’ll make the 1x minimum bet for the Across and Down Bet, before choosing to fold the Middle bet.
Criss Cross Poker Example Hand
To help illustrate the gameplay concepts discussed in this Criss Cross Poker guide, we’ll use an example hand to show you exactly how things work.
You won’t always be running into monster hands like flushes, but as an example, you can see how a few smaller wagers can materialize into significant profits when the cards align. Keep these tips in mind when playing at land-based or online casinos.
Step 1Let’s assume we’ve wagered the standard $5 each on both the Ante Across and the Ante Down bets, along with $5 more on the Five Card Bonus bet.
Step 2Let’s assume we’ve been dealt the As and the 10s. We’ll place the Across bet, and considering we have a suited A 10 to work with, we’ll make the maximum wager of $15 ($5 Ante Across bet x 3 = $15).
Step 3The two cards outside the horizontal line turn out to be the Ks and the Js. We’ll continue with a maximum wager of $15. The two vertical cards are the Ah and the 5c. We like what we’ve seen so far, so we’ll put up $15 more to see the last card revealed.
Step 4With the five community cards now revealed, you’ll combine your two hole cards (As and 10s) with the horizontal line to form your Across hand and the vertical line to create your Down hand. We’d make an ace-high flush with the Across hand (As Ks Js 10s 5s) and two pairs in the Down hand (As Ah 10s 5h 5c).
Step 5In the case of our Ante Across and Ante Down bets, we hold an ace-high flush and two pairs, respectively (As Ks Js 10s 5s in the Across hand and As Ah 10s 5h 5c in the Down hand). We qualify for an even money payout on the Ante bets in both cases, so we’d earn $5 each for those wagers.
Step 6Our two pairs are good enough for a 2 to 1 payout with the Down hand, so we’d collect another $30 profit on the $15 Down Bet. The Middle Bet is paid out according to the highest of the two other hands, so we’d cash in for an 8 to 1 payout on our $15 Middle bet for another $120 uptick. If we look back at the community cards (Ah Ks Js 5s 5c), we fall short of the threshold needed to win on the Five Card Bonus bet.
Did You Know?
In February 2014, game inventor Ronald LaDuca filed to patent the game Criss Cross Poker. LaDuca, who also created other table games like Double Draw Poker, launched his casino game design firm, In Bet Gaming, to help market his ideas.
In September of 2014, however, Laduca and In Bet Gaming decided to license Criss Cross Poker to major casino game manufacturer American Gaming Systems.
Since that time, Criss Cross Poker has secured a few stable installations in casinos across the country, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
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As of yet, AGS has chosen not to license Criss Cross Poker for online poker sites. As the company continues its aggressive expansion within the industry, this move may come at any time.
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FAQ – Criss Cross Poker
The following are some of the most common questions the OUSC team receives regarding Criss Cross Poker.
How do you win at Criss Cross Poker?
To win at Criss Cross Poker, the objective is to make a pair of 6s or better going across and, separately, going down using the community cards and their two hole cards.
Can I play Criss Cross Poker at online casinos?
Unfortunately, Criss Cross Poker is currently not available at casino sites. However, you can play other poker variations like Caribbean Stud at top US online casinos.