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Fun Home Poker Game Rules - The Cross

Fun Home Poker Game Rules - The Cross 0001

In my last column, I relayed the action of a wonderful game of Passover in a delightfully laid back home game of guys who had been playing together for over 30 years. This was a dealer's choice game with a couple of games I hadn't played before. The next poker variation to be called in this home game was "The Cross".

The Cross is a blend of games. Each player is dealt four cards as in Omaha. Then a cross of three cards up and three cards across is dealt face down, with the middle card common to both rows. The board looks like a cross:

X

X X X

X

Two of the end cards are then exposed. There is an initial round of betting beginning to the dealer's left. After the initial round of betting is complete the dealer exposes a third card, (but not the center card). After a round of betting the last of the outside cards is exposed. There is anoter round of betting and then the middle card is exposed. There is another round of betting, followed by a declare of high, low or high-low, and then if there are any contests left, there is a final round of betting. Players may use all of their hole cards and all three cards in a row to make their best hand. The game is played high low declare. Flushes and straights hurt the low. So A2346 is the best low. As in all of these games at this house, the betting begins on all subsequent rounds with the last aggressor.

Derrick was the dealer. The betting limits, set by the dealer for each game were called as $1-4 – meaning the minimum bet and ante was $1.00 and the maximum bet or raise was $4.00. There was a three raise maximum for each round of betting. Check raising was allowed. The players are identified top to bottom to indicate their seat positions going clockwise around the table, starting to the dealer's immediate left.

Phil

Ashley

Robb

Laddy

Derrick

Here's the lipstick camera view of the initial hands dealt to each player:

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades}

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs}

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts}

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs}

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades}

And here's the initial layout of the board, with two cards exposed before the first betting round began.

X

{q-Hearts} X X

{10-Hearts}

First round of betting. The betting action begins with Phil, the player to the dealer Derrick's left.

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Check

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Check

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts} Check

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} Bet $1

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades} Call $1

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Call $1

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Call $1

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts} Call $1

$5.00 in the pot from the antes and another $5 from the tepid first round of betting. No one really has much of anything – high or low. Laddy started things off more out of routine than anything else. $10 in the pot.

Second betting round. Another card on the board is revealed.

X

{q-Hearts} X {4-Spades}

{10-Hearts}

Betting starts with Laddy, who initiated the betting last round.

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} Bet $1

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades} Call $1

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Call $1

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Call $1

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts} Call $1

No one really had anything. So they just continued the very passive form of betting that keeps everyone in. Another $5 in the pot. Pot $15.

Third Betting Round. The last exterior card on the board is revealed.

{7-Clubs}

{q-Hearts} X {4-Spades}

{10-Hearts}

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} Bet $1

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades} Call $1

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Call $1

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Call $1

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts} Call $1

Once again, the betting action is anemic as is the response from the other four players. No one has anything but they're disinclined to fold for just $1.00. Another $5.00 in the pot. $20 total.

Fourth Betting Round. The last card is revealed and there is a betting round.

{7-Clubs}

{q-Hearts} {9-Hearts} {4-Spades}

{10-Hearts}

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} Check

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades} Check

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Check

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Check

Robb {2-Clubs} {3-Spades} {8-Clubs} {j-Hearts} Bet $4

Laddy {5-Clubs} {5-Hearts} {10-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} Fold

Derrick {3-Hearts} {5-Diamonds} {6-Spades} {10-Spades} Call $4

Phil {3-Clubs} {3-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {j-Spades} Fold

Ashley {2-Hearts} {2-Spades} {5-Spades} {k-Clubs} Fold

There is $28 in the pot after the betting.

Robb and Derrick are the only two remaining for the declare round. They declare simultaneously. Robb, with a 98432 for low and a Jack high straight for high declares high only. Derrick, with a 96543 for low and a pair of Tens for high declares low only. They split the pot, without any more betting, taking $14.00 each for their efforts.

I suggest making the middle card wild for future versions of this game – to liven things up. "We don't do that here," I'm told in unison by the other players. They may be relaxed but they do have their limits.

I'm the dealer a couple of hands later. I call Armenian Star. None of them have heard of it. I'm not surprised. I made it up just for this game.

Next column: "Armenian Star"

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