Iron Cross Poker | Crisscross Poker
In Iron Cross poker, also sometimes called CrissCross, each player is dealt five hole cards – cards not revealed to other players. In addition, five community cards are placed face down in the middle of the table. The community cards are arranged in the shape of a cross, with three horizontally placed cards and a card above and below the middle card.
Antes, or bets placed by each player before they see their cards, may be used in Iron Cross. These bets, which are placed at an agreed value before play starts, serve the function of making the first true betting round more exciting, with something already in the pot to aim for.
After each betting round in Iron Cross, one of the community cards is revealed – starting from the top and working clockwise, with the middle card the last to be turned over.
Once all the cards have been revealed and if more than one player is still in the game, each remaining player must make their final hand using any combination of their five hole cards and either the three horizontal cards or the three vertical cards in the cross. In other words, each player makes their final hand from a total of eight available cards.
In a showdown, the player with the strongest final hand wins the pot.
The game of Cincinnati is very similar to Iron Cross, except that each player is allowed to make a final hand using any combination of their five hole cards and any of the five community cards. So unlike in Iron Cross, a player can include community cards from both the horizontal and vertical arms of the cross.
Even Iron Cross typically results in some very big – or “monster” – hands because final hands are derived from a total of eight cards. In Cincinnati, were final hands are derived from ten cards, straights and flushes are commonplace. This makes it best to fold before a showdown except when you know you have a chance at a very strong hand indeed.
Although one rarely finds Iron Cross or Cincinnati played in casinos, both games remain very popular as home poker games.