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The basics of Criss Cross Poker

The basics of Criss-Cross PokerCriss Cross Poker is a new poker variant which came out in 2014 and has started spreading in a lot of casinos in the eastern United States. The main gist of the game is that the player bets on two hands, using five community cards which are placed in a cross pattern at the same time.


  1. Play will start with the player making Ante Across and Ante Down bets which have to be the same size. Players also have the option to make an additional Five Card Bonus Bet.
  2. The dealer will hand the player two hole cards and will place five community cards face down in a cross pattern.
  3. Now the player gets the option to make an Across Bet, which is based on the Across Hand, equal to 1x to 3x the Ante Across bet, or fold.
  4. At this moment the dealer has to reveal the two outside cards on the horizontal row of the cross.
  5. The player can now make a Down bet, which will be based on the Down Hand and is equal to 1x to 3x the Ante Down bet, or fold.
  6. The two outside cards on the vertical column of the cross will now be revealed by the dealer.
  7. The player can now make a Middle Bet of 1x to 3x of the Ante bet or if he wants he can again fold.
  8. The middle card will be revealed by the dealer.
  9. Now the player has the option to use his two hole cards and the three cards on the horizontal row to form the Across Hand.
  10. Just like before the player will use his two hole cards and the three cards on the vertical column to form the Down Hand.
  11. The player’s Middle Bet will pay according to the higher ranking of the Across and Down hands.
  12. All of the bets will pay according to a pay table.
  13. The Five Card Bonus bet will pay according to the five community cards from the cross pattern according to another pay table.


Given that there are a lot of decision points, the only viable options are fold, minimum 1x raise or a maximum 3x raise.

Across Strategy

  • when the hole cards are unsuited, unpaired, and the largest one is five or less you should fold.
  • If your hole cards are suited J/Q or any pair, you should make a big raise.
  • If you have any other hole card, you should make the small raise.

Down Strategy

This decision is pretty much the same as raising on the Across hand. The main advantage that the player has in this situation is that he can see two extra cards. This won’t always help a lot but sometimes it will clearly give you a better edge than before.

Middle strategy

At this moment you’ve already seen four cards so there are thousands of possible situations. You can make a perfect decision if you average the win over all possible 46 cards which are left in the deck. If you’ve already made a 3x bet you shouldn’t fold at this point.

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