Criss Cross Poker – Two Ways to Win With One Hand

How Criss Cross Poker is Played

What’s unique about Criss Cross Poker is that there are two ways to win with one hand. The objective of this poker table game is to have a winning five card poker hand which pays according to a poker ranking pay table. The dealer does not play. A standard 52 card deck is used. Before play begins, players must first make two ante bets of equal size, one in the across betting circle and one in the down betting circle. An optional 5 card bonus bet is also available that pays according to the total poker ranking in the 5 card community hand.

The dealer gives each player two hole cards face down and places five community cards face down in a cross pattern. Three horizontal and three vertical. Based on the value of player’s hole cards, the following action takes place:

  • Player may make an across bet from 1X to 3X the ante or fold the hand.
  • Dealer exposes the two outside cards on the horizontal row of the cross.
  • Player may make a down bet from 1X to 3X the ante or fold the hand.
  • Dealer then exposes the two outside cards on the vertical column.
  • Player must then make a middle bet from 1X to 3X the ante of fold.

After the middle card is exposed, the players use their hole cards to make two five card poker hands, one across and one down. The middle bet pays according to the ranking of the across and down hands according to the following pay table:

Winning Pay table

Royal Flush – 500/1

Straight Flush – 100/1

Four of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 12/1

Flush – 8/1

Straight – 5/1

Three of a Kind – 3/1

Two Pair – 2/1

High Pair (J-A) – 1/1

Low Pair (6-10) – Push

All Other – Loss

Optional Bonus Pay Table

Royal Flush – 250/1

Straight Flush – 100/1

Four of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 15/1

Flush – 10/1

Straight – 6/1

Three of a Kind – 4/1

Two Pair – 3/1

Pair of 6’s or Better – 1/1

All Other – Loss

Strategy and House Edge

Here is the recommended strategy:

Across Bet

Fold if your hole cards are unsuited, unpaired, and the highest card is 2-5. If you have a suited Jack-Queen or any pair, make the 3X raise. With all other cards, make the 1X bet.

Down Bet – The same applies to the down hand. You have already seen the two across cards which may assist you with your wagering options.

Middle Bet – You have now seen fou community cards from the deck. If you made at least one 3X bet, do not fold.

The house edge is calculated at about 4.3%, and 3.5% for the optional bonus wager.

Good Luck!

Double Attack Blackjack: Think the Casino Dealer Has a Weak Hand? Double Your Bet to Attack

Double Attack Blackjack is another variant of this popular table game. During recent years alternates have been appearing (and disappearing) from the casino pits. The most active variants today are Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, Free Bet Blackjack, and Three Card Blackjack.

Blackjack rules for Double Attack Blackjack gives the player the opportunity to double the play bet if he or she thinks the casino dealer has a weak up card.

How the Game is Played

A Spanish Deck s used which has 48 cards instead of the usual 52. The four 10’s are removed. Ace through 9, and J, Q, K, are all in play. Eight 48 card decks are used. Insurance pays 5/2 but a player blackjack pays even money instead of the usual 3/2 or 6/5 in some jurisdictions.

After all players place their initial wager the dealer will reveal his or her up-card. It’s important to note that this is done before any cards are dealt to the players.

Based on the value of the dealer up-card, players then have the option to Double Attack the dealer’s hand by placing an additional bet in the appropriate position. The amount must be equal to or less than the initial wager. After two cards are dealt to each player the following options are playable:

  • Double Down – on any two cards on the initial and double attack wagers up to the original bet.
  • Split – any pair. Players must place an equal amount for both the initial and double attack bets.
  • Surrender – When the dealer does not have a blackjack players can surrender one half of their wager(s) including after hitting, splitting, or doubling down.

Optional Bust It! Side Bet

This optional side bet pays if the dealer busts with exactly three cards. Otherwise the bet loses.Players can wager as little as one dollar up to their initial bet but not mor than $50. Here is the winning pay table:

Third Card Bust

  • J, Q, K – Pays 3/1
  • Nine – Pays 6/1
  • Eight – Pays 8/1
  • Seven – Pays 10/1
  • Six – Pays 15/1
  • Bonus 8-8-8 Same color – Pays 50/1
  • Bonus 8-8-8 suited – Pays 200/1

Things to Consider When Playing

According to simple blackjack basic strategy:

  • If a dealer’s up-card is a 2 or 3, he or she is considered neutral
  • If the dealer has a 4,5, or 6, the dealer is considered weak
  • If the dealer has a 7 through ace, he or she is strong

Remember that players do not have any cards when choosing to attack or not.

The insurance payout of 5/2 (for the few players that take this option) is more than double the standard 2/1 however when taking insurance players are betting that the dealer has a blackjack. With 32 10’s removed from an eight deck game, there are fewer blackjack possibilities for the dealer and player. Doubling down is also less effective in that there are fewer 10’s.

Here’s a recommended strategy when deciding to double attack or not:

  • If a dealer’s up-card is 2 or 3, make your minimum attack bet
  • If the up-card is a 4,5, or 6 make your maximum attack bet
  • If the up-card is 7 through Ace, do not make an attack bet

The game is not as prevalent in brick and mortar casinos as the aforementioned blackjack variants. For you readers in or near Niagara Falls, Canada, the game is at the Fallsview Casino. It is also available online for free and real play.

Good Luck!