Introduction to Pineapple Poker

Pineapple poker is a variant of poker that is almost identical to Texas Hold’em but with slight differences regarding the set-up. Those who are familiar with Texas Hold’em won’t go through much trouble to grasp the rules of Pineapple Poker. 

There are a few sub-categories under the Pineapple variant of poker, the most popular being Crazy Pineapple with slightly different rules. 

Despite how fun it is to play, Pineapple poker, along with its close relatives Crazy and Lazy pineapple, has always been more of a private poker game than a casino poker game.

This poker version has been introduced in smaller events on the European Poker Tour, but it was removed after a while. Pineapple poker has never been played at the World Series of Poker

If you want to try out this super fun poker variant, find out how to play it below. 


Pineapple Poker Rules 

If you’re familiar with the rules of Texas Hold’em Poker, then learning how to play this poker version will be a piece of cake. However, note that there are some differences between the two versions and that it will take more than a basic understanding of these differences so as to become skilled at this poker variant. 

Pineapple poker follows the rules of Texas Hold’em, but the set-up is slightly different. Namely, in Pineapple poker, players are dealt three cards at the beginning of the game instead of two. After they receive their cards, players can dismiss one of their three cards before the betting rounds begin. From that point on, the game proceeds the same way as regular Texas Hold’em poker. 

Like Hold’em, Pineapple poker can be played no-limit, pot-limit, and limit. Pineapple no-limit variation is more interesting than Hold’Em no-limit where, if you get all in pre-flop, you’re just going to passively observe the game for the rest of the hand. With Pineapple poker, if all the money goes in, players can still make one more decision that will affect the outcome of the hand. 

That said, if you’re tired of playing Texas Hold’em, you should definitely try out this poker or its close relative Crazy Pineapple. 


How To Play Pineapple Poker 

Just as in Hold’em, two players left to the dealer need to place blinds before the deal; however, this where the similarities between the two poker versions stop, at least for a while. Now, instead of two, each player is being dealt three hole cards. 

After players have received their three hole cards comes the betting round. In regular Pineapple, players must then discard one of their three hole cards. At this point, everyone is holding two cards as they would have had in a Texas Hold’em game. Thereafter, the play proceeds just like in Hold’em. Hand values are a little inflated due to the fact that the players had three cards. 

After players place their bets, the dealer deals flop − five community cards face up on the table, and then another round of betting begins. 

The Order of Play 

Here is how the game is structured: 

  • All players receive three hole cards (pre-flop) − the first round of betting begins.

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  • The Flop (dealer deals three community cards) − the second round of betting begins.

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  • Drop one card from your hand 

  • The Turn (dealer deals the fourth community card) − another round of betting 

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  • The River (dealer deals the fifth community card) − last round of betting 

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  • Showdown (best hand wins) 

Remember that when playing the pre-flop phase, pairs do not hold the same weight as in Hold’em as all players receive an extra card. Therefore, it’s highly likely that your pair will not hold up by the time you get to the river phase (unless you hit a set, of course). Since there are fewer cards left in the deck, you’ll notice that the hands are devalued.  

Remember to alter your starting hand range in Pineapple poker, and you also have to alter your folding strategy. With one more card to choose from, players will make better hands than in Hold’em. It can get quite crazy, and you’ll often see situations in which flushes and straights are overturned by full houses or better. 

Strategy 

In Pineapple, you should look for hands that are connected, either by suit or by value. If you get high pairs in your starting cards, you should go for it. If you decide to go with the lower pairs, be cautious as you can usually only win with lower pairs if you hit a set. The chances of hitting a set are higher in Pineapple than in Hold’Em, at least by a small percentage. 

The reason why you’ll have a higher chance of hitting a set on the board is that one card from your hand will be taken out of the game. The difference is so small though, so it’s not something really relevant for your game. 

In general, don’t force too many hands just for the sake of trying to hit something on the floor. This can go horribly wrong more often than not, especially in Crazy Pineapple when everyone has three cards to connect with the flop. 


Pineapple Variations 

The most popular variation of Pineapple poker is the Crazy Pineapple poker, which also follows the Texas Hold’em rules. In fact, it’s the same in all aspects except one − players don’t discard one card at the beginning as it’s the case with standard Pineapple. They throw away the card after the pre-flop and flop betting round. 

In Crazy Pineapple, players must discard one card before the turn is dealt, while all other rules and betting stipulations are the same as with Pineapple. 

Like Texas Hold’em, Crazy Pineapple features three main variants − Fixed limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit. 

Fixed Limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit Crazy Pineapple Poker 

In the fixed limit variant, players place bets in the first two rounds that are of the same amount as the big blind. The bet size increases to the double of the amount of the big blind during the turn and river phase.

In pot limit, the bet size is limited to the number of chips that are already on the pot. 

In no limit, there are no limitations to the stakes, which means that players can bet any amount, given that they have enough chips in their stack.  

Lazy Pineapple Poker 

This variant is quite different than its relatives in that you don’t have to throw away any card until the action is finished − you keep all three cards through all the betting rounds. Players must discard one card only after the dealer deals the river and players complete the last betting round. 


Conclusion

Poker players usually want to try out different variants of their favourite game, and this poker offers an exciting twist to more popular variants like Hold’Em. Pineapple poker is becoming more popular among the poker community, and the more players start playing this game, the higher the prize pools become.