How to Play Criss-Cross Poker
Thursday, 15. December 2011

Criss-Cross poker is an interesting variation on poker that is not quite like any other variation out there. In this poker game, each player is dealt only two hole or personal cards face down. Each player can look at these cards but not show them to anyone else. To make up a five-card hand, players need to use their cards plus the five community cards dealt face up on the table. The community cards, though, are dealt in the shape of a cross, with three cards running across and three cards running down. Players can only use one bar of the cross (either the three cards running horizontally or the three cards arranged vertically) to make their hand. This can be quite frustrating but also interesting in a game. Often, players find that they can build a great hand of only they could use some cards from the horizontal row as well as some cards from the vertical row of the cross, but of course this si not how the game is played. It can be frustrating to see a great hand but be unable to play it.

To begin play, each player antes up. The dealer then deals each player two cards face down. Then the dealer places five cards in the center of the table face down in the shape of a cross. The dealer begins play by turning over one of the cards on the cross. This begins the first round of betting, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. Then, the dealer reveals all the cards on the cross so that everyone at the table can see them. The cards are revealed one at a time, with a round of betting in between the turning over of each card. The minimum bet automatically raises during the revealing of the last two cards.

Once all the cards of the cross are revealed, the final showdown can take place. A round of betting takes place, with each player making the best hand possible from the two hole cards given to them plus one bar of the cross. Each player can use either the three cards that form the stem of the cross or the three cards that form the horizontal arms of the cross to create a hand. The player who can make the best hand possible this way wins the whole pot.

The many rounds of betting can mean that the pot grows quickly. Since there is not very much flexibility to build a strong hand by drawing or discarding, it is a good idea to fold if no good hand can be created. It is also useful to remember that every player can use a row of the cross. It is often useful to look at the two rows of the cross and decide what the best possible hand is from the three cards in each row. This can give a player some idea of how strong their hand is relative to other possible hands at the table.

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