Is Crazy 4 Poker a Good Game? (Everything You Need to Know About Crazy 4 Poker)

Crazy 4 Poker Text Over Poker Online Game

I started seeing buzz about Crazy 4 Poker around 2005. I hadn’t seen the game in any casinos yet – Crazy 4 Poker launched in 2004, but I guess I just overlooked it. Now, the game is so common in just about every US gambling jurisdiction that I take its presence for granted.

But is it a good game?

Crazy 4 Poker is a casino table game based on the rules of poker. The way it plays out is most like Three Card Poker. The rules are simple, there’s a little bit of strategy involved to keep things interesting, and the game’s appeal comes from its side bets and fast pace.

This post explains the game, its rules, its payouts, odds, and attempts to answer the question of whether Crazy 4 Poker is a good casino game or not.

How to Play Crazy 4 Poker

Crazy 4 Poker starts with a mandatory bet on both the Ante and Super Bonus bet spaces. You also have the option of placing a Queens Up (similar to Pairs Plus) bet equal to the size of your other two.

The dealer and the player each get five cards. The player who holds the highest-ranking poker hand after all decisions have been made is the winner. Players look at their cards and decide right away to either fold or stay in the game.

Further Info:If you want to stay in the game, you make the additional Play bet. This bet is equal to the size of your other bets unless you qualify with a pair of Aces or better. When holding a qualifying hand, you can wager 1x, 2x, or 3x your ante.

You win Crazy 4 Poker when the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify or when your hand beats the dealer’s qualified hand. The dealer has to hold at least a King to qualify. When the dealer doesn’t hold at least a King, you win even money on the Play bet. If your hand beats the dealer’s hand, you win even money on the Play and Ante wagers. You lose everything if the dealer’s hand beats yours.

The optional Queens Up bet puts your hand up against a pay table. The dealer’s hand has no impact on the payoff from the Queens Up bet. You win with a pair of Queens or better.

Crazy 4 Poker Odds and Payouts

One of the reasons the game is popular is probably the relatively low house edge.

The overall house edge on Crazy 4 Poker (using the game’s standard rules and pay table) is 3.42%. This number takes the Super Bonus and Raise options into account and considers wins and losses as a function of each ante. In layman’s terms, for every $10 you bet as an ante in Crazy 4 Poker, your expected loss is about $0.34.

Note:At an average of 70 hands per hour, this game will cost you about $23.80/hour to play. That’s about the cost of a round of miniature golf and a cold drink. Compared to other popular table games, it’s a really good deal.

Even compared to a game like Caribbean Stud, which has about a 5.5% edge, Crazy 4 Poker is affordable.

Of course, those numbers are all theoretical. You’re just as likely to win a bunch of money as lose a bunch of money, and over the short-term, you could see streaking wins or losses.

The game’s pay table is a little complex because you have three wagers to consider. I’ll break them down as simply as possible below.

Ante Bet

  • Win – Pays 1:1 – 35% chance
  • Push – Pays 0 – 11.8% chance
  • Loss – Costs 1 – 52.6% chance

Raise Bet

  • Triple Win – Pays 3:1 – 16.8% chance
  • Single Win – Pays 1:1 – 30.4% chance
  • Push – Pays 0 – 23.5% chance
  • Loss – Costs 3 – 1.7% chance

Super Bonus Pay Table

  • Four Aces – Pays 200:1 – 0.0018% chance
  • Four of a Kind – Pays 30:1 – 0.022% chance
  • Straight Flush – Pays 15:1 – 0.079% chance
  • Three of a Kind – Pays 2:1 – 2.2% chance
  • Flush – Pays 3:2 – 4.4% chance
  • Straight – Pays 1:1 – 3.9% chance
  • Push – Pays 0 – 37.2% chance
  • Loss – Costs 1 – 52% chance

Queens Up Pay Table

Many different Queens Up pay tables exist; the pay table below is the most common one.

  • Four of a Kind – Pays 50:1 – 0.024% chance
  • Straight Flush – Pays 30:1 – 0.079% chance
  • Three of a Kind – Pays 9:1 – 2.2% chance
  • Flush – Pays 4:1 – 4.4% chance
  • Straight – Pays 3:1 – 3.9% chance
  • Two Pair – Pays 2:1 – 4.7% chance
  • Queens or Better – Pays 1:1 – 9.3% chance
  • Nothing – Costs 1 – 75.2% chance

Crazy 4 Poker Progressive Pay Table

Not every Crazy 4 Poker game is part of a progressive network. When they are, the progressive jackpot pays out based on an additional bet (usually $5 flat) and the quality of the hand you hold.

Here’s the most common progressive jackpot layout for Crazy 4 Poker:

  • Royal Flush – Pays 100% of the jackpot – 0.0001% chance
  • Straight Flush – Pays 10% of the jackpot – 0.0014% chance
  • Four-of-a-Kind – Pays $300 – 0.024% chance
  • Full House – Pays $50 – 0.14% chance
  • Flush – Pays $40 – 0.19% chance
  • Straight – Pays $30 – 0.39% chance
  • Three-of-a-Kind – Pays $9 – 0.88% chance
  • Nothing – Push – 98.2% chance

Crazy 4 Poker Strategy

You can probably tell from the game’s pay table that folding is a big part of game strategy. When losing hands carry odds in the 70s, it’s a good bet that knowing when to fold your hand is super important.

Important:Optimal strategy for the game (devised by statisticians and mathematics professors and such) exists, but it’s really complicated and probably requires the use of a strategy card for the average gambler.

However, I think you can boil down all the best strategic advice available for Crazy 4 Poker in just a few rules of thumb:

  • Always make the largest raise you can when your hand qualifies.
  • Only make the small raise if you hold K-Q-8-4 or higher.
  • Fold every other hand.

This strategy makes for a relatively boring game. You’re going to fold about 25% of the hands you see, maybe more depending on the streaky nature of the game. On the bright side, you’ll be making a small raise about 60% of the time, so it won’t be dreadfully boring, just not all that complex, and maybe not up everyone’s alley.

Of course, you can throw all that strategy to the wind and just have fun placing bets. Crazy 4 Poker is not the kind of game that most people approach with hardcore strategy on their minds.

There’s probably value in playing an hour or two of Crazy 4 Poker without thinking too hard about it, just enjoying the flow of the game and the social buzz of the casino floor.

Is Crazy 4 Poker a Good Game?

If you enjoy poker and want to play a casino table game based on those rules, Crazy 4 Poker is a great game. It doesn’t require nearly as much mental acuity as traditional poker, but it also doesn’t gouge you too badly with a steep house edge.

If you like social gambling, Crazy 4 Poker is a good game. The people who play Crazy 4 Poker are generally nothing like the snobs around the blackjack or craps tables. These are regular folks who enjoy gambling but don’t want to burn up their money at a slot machine.

If you don’t like fast-moving games, Crazy 4 Poker may not be the best choice for you.

70 hands an hour sounds relatively slow, but the casino’s true slowpokes move at a pace of like 40 or 50 decisions per hour. At a table with just one or two other players, you may see more like 90 or 100 hands per hour. Crazy 4 Poker can move fast for a slow game.

Gamblers who like high strategy and advantage gambling may not be the intended audience. After all, the only real decisions you make in the game are to raise, fold, or place a side bet. While optimal Crazy 4 Poker strategy exists, it’s not rigorous enough to appeal to hardcore gamblers.


Some people are intimidated by Crazy 4 Poker’s complicated bet structure and mandatory multiple bets. It looks like an expensive game from the outside, without knowing that the house edge is similar to some of the most odds-friendly games on the floor.

Once you understand how to play, how to bet, and when to fold, Crazy 4 Poker is no different from other popular casino-style poker table games. It’s a good background for a good time among good friends, and if you hit a winning streak, you could pocket a little extra cash along the way.

Check out our recommended online casinos to start playing now!

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.