Pineapple Poker is a variant of regular poker, but comes with enough of a difference to justify a category and rules of its own. Players who are familiar with poker variants such as Texas Hold'em, will understand the rules of Pineapple Poker in a moment, and it is this similarity – and difference – that makes Pineapple Poker so popular at internet and regular poker rooms around the world.
There are a number of sub-categories under the Pineapple Poker title, the most sought after being Crazy Pineapple, which brings slightly different rules.
Click for details on history, hand rankings/nicknames and poker terminology/glossary.
The Main Differences Between Pineapple Poker and Texas Hold'em
If you know the rules of Texas Hold'em Poker, you’ll be able to learn how to play Pineapple Poker very quickly. However, this does not mean that that the two are one and the same. It will take more than a basic understanding of the differences between the two to become skilled at Pineapple Poker, and you will need to play the game online or off to improve your skill levels. The main difference between the two is that, in Pineapple Poker, the player is dealt three hole cards at the beginning of the game, instead of two, and they are given the opportunity to discard one of their cards immediately at the beginning of the hand. Thereafter, the game proceeds the same way as regular Texas Hold ‘em does.
Objective of Pineapple Poker
Pineapple Poker is played around a traditional poker table and a standard deck of fifty two cards is used. The game is played against other players around the table, and the winner is the player who manages to create the best five card poker hand from one or both of the hole cards, and three or four of the community cards.
How to Play Pineapple Poker
Posting the Blinds
In Pineapple Poker, it is usual for players to post a big blind and a small blind. As is usual in other poker variants, the player who is seated to the left of the dealer is the one who posts a small blind, while the player seated to the left of that player (who posted the small blind), posts the big blind.
Pineapple Poker Game Process
- Pineapple Poker begins with the dealer dealing each player around the poker table with three cards that are face down. These face-down cards are known as pocket cards.
- The player who posted the big blind (ie. the one seated to the left of the dealer) begins the betting round, which continues clockwise around the poker table.
- All bets and raises in this game are set at the lower limit.
- Players are allowed to make a maximum of four bets per round each.
- The Flop: The dealer reveals three face up community cards to the players around the table.
- The second round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer, and bets and raises are still kept to the lower limit.
- When this round of betting is completed, all the players around the table need to discard one pocket card.
- The Turn: The dealer now deals another community card, which is known as the turn.
- A new round of betting kicks off, with bets and raises set at the higher limit.
- The River: The dealer deals the final community card, in a round known as the river.
- The Showdown: The final round of betting in Pineapple Poker is known as the showdown, and bets and raises are set to the higher limit.
- Two pocket cards remain in the game.
The Winner in Pineapple Poker
During the Showdown stage of a game of Pineapple Poker, all those players still left standing in the game need to show their cards. The winner is that player who manages to make the best five card poker hand made from one or both of the hole cards, as well as three or four of the community cards. If there are two players who have equal hands, the pot is split between them.
Crazy Pineapple vs Pineapple Poker
As mentioned above, one of the most popular variants of Pineapple Poker is Crazy Pineapple. This game can be played in hi-lo format split eight or better. The main difference between Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple Poker is the point in the game where players need to discard one card. In Crazy Pineapple, players are dealt three cards, however the discard is made after the flop (and not before). Therefore, once the hole cards are dealt, the first round of betting begins before the flop. Once the flop is dealt, players are then required to discard one card. In traditional Pineapple Poker, the card is discarded before the flop.
Tips and Strategies in Pineapple Poker
- Tighten Up: Poker experts advise that the more cards dealt to a player in a game – no matter what variant is being played – the tighter the game play should be. Since more cards are dealt to players in Pineapple Poker than are dealt during Texas Hold'em, for example, players are advised to ‘tighten up’.
- Aces are tricky in Pineapple Poker as two are considered simply another pair in this version, compared to Texas Hold'em where they are worth more. In addition, any hand you discard an Ace from increases the value of the hand.
- Another hand that is considered great in Texas Hold'em but less so in Pineapple Poker is a King-Queen. This duo has little chance of taking the pot in Pineapple Poker, but is considered strong in other variants.
Poker players are naturally curious about variants to their favorite game, and Pineapple Poker certainly offers an interesting twist to traditionally popular variants such as Texas Hold'em. With the growing popularity of the game comes more online poker sites offering this game, and the more players, the higher the prize pools become!
Posted by CCJ Team