Crazy Pineapple is a poker game that is very similar to Texas Hold’em. It is more commonly found in home games than online or in tournaments though.
Crazy Pineapple Rules
All the rules of Crazy Pineapple are the same as Texas Hold’em, with one difference. In Crazy Pineapple, you are dealt 3 hole cards as opposed to 2, as you will see from the screenshot above. After the betting on the flop, each player remaining in the hand must discard 1 of their 3 hole cards. There is also another variant called Pineapple Poker which sees 3 hole cards dealt and 1 card discarded straight away. These cards can be discarded face down so no other players get to see it.
One deck of 52 cards is used in Crazy Pineapple Poker. All of the cards count as their respective value, with Aces counting as either high or low.
One player each hand is chosen as the dealer, this is represented by a small disc next to that player and moves around the table after each hand so everyone gets a turn.
The player to the dealer’s left places a bet called the “small blind. The player to the left of the small blind – so 2 seats to the left of the dealer – places a bet known called the “big blind” which is normally double the small blind. These bets are compulsory and are designed to ensure there is a pot to be won each hand and to ensure players don’t simply sit waiting for one of the best starting hands to be dealt whilst not risking any money.
Three cards are now dealt with each player face down, starting with the player on the dealers left, the small blind.
Once these cards have been dealt, in Pineapple Poker each player must discard 1 of their 3 hole cards.
Because the first 2 players to the left of the dealer have placed a bet before the cards were dealt, the player to the left of the big blind – 3 to the left of the dealer – gets to act first. They need to either ‘Call’ the big blind bet (place a bet equal to this amount), ‘Raise’ (place a bet that is higher than the big blind) or ‘Fold’ (discard their remaining 2 hole cards and end their participation in the hand). The action then continues around the table in a clockwise direction until all players have either Folded or Called the highest bet. If the play goes back around to the big blind and no one has raised, the big blind player can ‘Check’ (effectively Call the largest bet but not put any funds in as their bet is already equal to the highest bet).
Once the first betting round is complete, 3 cards are dealt in the middle of the table. These are Community cards (cards that can be used by any player) and is known as the Flop. These cards are dealt face up so all players can see them.
Another round of betting now takes place, starting with the player to the dealers left (the player in the small blind position) unless this player folded in the first round of betting in which case it will be the next player who starts the betting. Action continues until all players who are still in the hand have either Folded or placed a bet the same as all other players. As there is no forced bet in this round, all players can Check if they wish which means no further bets are made, although if one player does decide to bet, all other players will need to either match this bet by Calling or Fold.
In Crazy Pineapple Poker, all remaining players now need to discard 1 of their 3 hole cards at this point before the next card is dealt. An example of how a Crazy Pineapple online game will look after the flop has been dealt.
A 4th community card is now dealt face up. This one is known as the turn and means all players now have 6 cards they can use, thier own 2 that only they can see and the 4 community cards that all players can see and use.
Another round of betting takes place at this point following the same procedure as after the Flop. Some tables have a minimum amount that can be bet at this point, normally double the minimum of the last 2 rounds, so double the big blind.
Once this round of betting is complete, a 5th and final community card is dealt face up for all players to use. This card is known as the River and means players now have the 7 cards available to them in order to make the best possible 5 card hand.
A final round of betting now takes place, the same format as after the Turn.
Once this betting round is complete, the first player remaining in the hand to the left of the dealer shows their cards. The action then continues around the table with each player showing their hand to determine who wins. Please note that whereas the first player to show needs to do so if the next player cannot match that hand, they can Muck their hand which means they agree they have lost but don’t show the other players what they had. If their hand is better, they need to show their hand to this effect. The hand needs to be made up of 5 of the 7 cards available, a player can use all 5 community cards, 1 of his/her own cards and 4 of the community cards, or both of his/her own cards and 3 of the community cards. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.
Crazy Pineapple Strategy
One big difference to Texas Hold’em is the third hole card each player receives. This gives you additional information that you can use to your advantage. This is not always significant, but it can be – for example, if you have 3 of the same suit, the chances of hitting a flush are reduced as you need to discard one and there are therefore fewer cards of that suit to come out of the remaining pack. Also, if you get 3 cards of the same value, whilst this may look good if you can use all 3, as you need to discard one the chances of hitting 3 of a kind are severely reduced as there is a maximum of 1 other card of that value in the pack.
When playing Pineapple Poker it is worth having an idea of how to play Omaha as in this version of poker you can use 2 of 4 hole cards. Therefore strategy can be very similar. Look out for hands that are connected, either by value or by suit.
High pairs are as always a good starting hand, although lower pairs are harder to play as you can mostly only win by hitting 3 of a kind.
In Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple Poker, the chances of hitting 3 of a kind on the board are slightly higher than in Texas Hold’em, although not by much.
This is down to the fact that you already have one card in your hand that is taken out of the game, however, the difference is so tiny that it’s not really relevant to your game.
Don’t play too many hands in the hope that you hit something on the flop. This will go wrong in many cases, especially in Crazy Pineapple, when everybody has three cards to connect with the flop. The extra card means players will on average get better hands more often than in Texas Hold’em and therefore a hand that would be strong in that version is not so strong in Pineapple or.
Crazy Pineapple Poker Tips
Play for free first…
If you play Crazy Pineapple online, try and play for free first until you get the hang of the game. Although the rules are essentially the same as in Texas Hold’em, the fact you get to choose which of your 3 hole cards to discard give the game an extra twist and you should get used to the strategy involved in this before playing for real money.
What may be a good hand in Hold’em isn’t as good in Crazy Pineapple…
As players have 3 hole cards to choose from until after the flop, the winning hands in Crazy Pineapple are likely to be better on average than in Texas Hold’em, therefore treat pairs and 2 pairs with caution especially if there is a straight/flush draw on the board.
Enjoy the game…
There is no point in playing if you don’t enjoy the experience, so always remember that you are playing to enjoy yourself as well as win money. If the enjoyment goes out of the game, it is time to stop playing.
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