Cripto-1 may act as an independent predictor for prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the function of Cripto-1 in HCC cells and its response to postoperative transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in HCC patients remains unclearly. Up-regulated Cripto-1 expression boosted the ability of cell proliferation, migration and invasion in HCC cells in vitro. While opposite results were observed in HCC cells with down-regulated Cripto-1 expression. Cripto-1 expression was correlated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) relevant biomarkers. Furthermore, in high Cripto-1 expression patients, those with adjuvant TACE had favorable TTR and OS times. On contrary, adjuvant TACE may promote tumor recurrence but had no influence on OS time in patients with low Cripto-1 expression. In different subgroups of vascular invasion, larger tumor size or liver cirrhosis, patients with adjuvant TACE had longer TTR and OS times than those without TACE in patients with high Cripto-1 expression, while they could not obtain benefits from adjuvant TACE in patients with low-expressed Cripto-1 expression. In conclusion, Cripto-1 may be a potential prognostic factor in predicting outcome of HCC patients with TACE therapy, and combined with Cripto-1 and tumor features may be helpful to stratify patients with respect to prognosis and response to adjuvant TACE.