How to Play Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple
Tired of playing plain old Texas Hold’em? Try these variations on the game—Pineapple Poker or its close relative, Crazy Pineapple. Pineapple poker is almost identical to Hold’em, so first make sure you’re familiar with the rules to that game. Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple start out a little differently but they end up the same.
How to Play Pineapple Poker
Just as in Hold’em, the two players to the left of the dealer post blinds or forced bets before the deal, but this is where the similarities end—at least for a while. Instead of being dealt two hole cards as in Texas Hold’em, each player gets three hole cards to begin in Pineapple Poker.
Now comes the betting round. If you’re playing regular Pineapple, every player discards one of his three hole cards. Now everyone has only the regular two hole cards they would have had in a Texas Hold’em game. Play continues just like in Texas Hold’em. Hand values are a little inflated, but nothing too crazy happens.
After the betting is complete, the flop is dealt—five community cards face up on the table—and another round of betting begins.
The “Crazy” in Crazy Pineapple
Here’s where it gets “crazy.” In Crazy Pineapple, players have held on to their three starting cards up until this point. After the second round of betting is completed, this is when players can discard one of their three cards. Having seen how the flop hits their hands, players can make far better decisions about which two cards to keep and which one to throw away. This makes for big hands, big pots, and big bad beats. That ought to keep the boredom away.
From here on, the game is identical to Texas Hold’em. The turn is dealt, a round of betting happens, the river is dealt, there is a final betting round, then there’s a showdown if anyone is left. Players can use any combination of the two hole cards in their hands and the five board or community cards on the table to make the best hand, and the best hand wins the pot.
Like Hold’em, Pineapple can be played limit, pot-limit, or no-limit. No-limit is especially interesting as opposed to Hold’em where if you get all in pre-flop, you’re just a passive observer for the rest of the hand. If all the money goes in pre-flop in Pineapple, there is still one more decision to be made that will affect the outcome of the hand.
Crazy Pineapple High-Low Split
Introduce Pineapple Poker and Crazy Pineapple to your home game and it will make things a little crazy. If you want to make the night not just crazy but absolutely insane, play Crazy Pineapple High-Low split. The decisions players face on the flop when deciding whether to go for high or low will make them sweat and squirm no matter the stakes. And if there’s an eight qualifier on the low like in Omaha Eight or Better, the game can really test your nerves.