Pineapple Poker Rules
Pineapple Poker is one of the most exciting Holdem Poker variants. The basic Pineapple Poker variant follows the same flow of Holdem, however you are dealt three hole cards, rather than two. You must then discard one of those hole cards before the flop. The game then proceeds the same as Holdem.
This is the usual sequence of events in this Holdem Poker variant (excluding any betting for simplicity’s sake):
- Each player is dealt 3 face down cards known as “hole” or “pocket” cards.
- The players must then choose to discard one of those hole cards.
- The dealer then reveals the “flop”, three face up community cards which can be used by anyone in combination with their hole cards to make their best five card hand.
- After that, the dealer reveals the “turn” and river” cards in two separate rounds, two more community cards.
- The players must then combine their hole cards with the community cards to make their best five card hand.
Pineapple Poker Variants
Two of the most popular Pineapple Poker variants are called “Crazy Pineapple” and “Lazy Pineapple”.
Crazy Pineapple is different in that you hold onto all three hole cards until after the flop. This creates a much different dynamic in which players often will pursue draws, increasing the value of straight and flush draws and decreasing the value of pairs. Many players make the mistake of holding onto their high pair with no draws, only to lose to a low pair or flush.
It is advisable to stay away from the showdown without the first or seconds nuts, due to the many combinations of hands available to each player after the flop. The game is also often played in hi-lo format, which makes the winning hands even more varied. This definitely makes for a more dangerous, but much more exciting game than Holdem!
Lazy Pineapple is the other popular Pineapple Poker variant. The main difference in this variant is that the three hole cards are kept through the entire game. However, you can only use a maximum of two of the hole cards to complete your hand. With the variety of hands available at the end of a game of Lazy Pineapple, only extremely strong hands tend to win.
Pineapple Poker Strategy
Even though Pineapple Poker is a Holdem Poker variant, different strategies must be applied. Due to the possibilities of hands, pots are often contested multi-way, and hands that may seem strong to a Holdem player may actually be weak in this Holdem Poker variant.
Generally speaking, you will need to tighten up your game when playing Pineapple Poker. While a hand like AA is very valuable in Holdem, AsAc9h is not nearly as strong in Pineapple poker due to not holding any flush or straight draws. Premium hands are often considered to be Big pairs with a flush or straight (or better yet, both) draw. An example of this would be KsKhQs, offering a high pair, an open ended straight draw, and a high flush draw.
Pineapple Poker is similar to Omaha (another popular Holdem Poker Variant) in that you usually need a better hand by the river than Holdem Poker to compete for the pot. Oftentimes the 3rd or 4th nut simply lose out due to the variety of hands available. So, similar to other Holdem poker variants, bluffing is less valuable unless you have a great read on an opponent, as the more people in the pot the more likely it is that someone will have the nuts or close to them.
There is no arguing that Pineapple Poker is an action game. The variety of hand possibilities, especially when playing Crazy Pineapple, ensures there’s never a dull game and will liven up any home game. With these strategies, you will be on your way to being a Pineapple Poker shark!