How to play Crazy Pineapple

What is Crazy Pineapple?

Crazy Pineapple, or Pineapple Poker, could be best described as a zany version of Texas Hold ‘Em. It lies somewhere between Hold ‘Em and Omaha but the principle is closer to Hold ‘Em with a few key differences. In Hold ‘Em you are dealt two hole cards but in Crazy Pineapple you start with three. The game progresses in the same way as Hold ‘Em but the player is required to get rid of one of their hole cards after the second round of betting.

How to play Crazy Pineapple

Let’s look at it in a bit more detail. This is how to play Crazy Pineapple. It can be played as a hi-lo split game but the below just refers to playing the high game.

  1. Blinds are posted to the left of the dealer as per Hold ‘Em and three hole cards are dealt to each player.
  2. After the initial three hole cards are dealt there is a round of betting based on the strength of those cards.
  3. On completion of the pre-flop betting round, the ‘flop’ of three cards is dealt to the board, exactly as you would expect to see in Hold ‘Em.
  4. Another round of betting ensues. However, AFTER this round of betting is complete, all players that are still in the hand must discard ONE of their hole cards. The decision as to which to discard will be based on their strengths at the flop and best predicted strengths on the turn and river.
  5. With just two hole cards, the game falls back in line with regular Texas Hold ‘Em and is played out in exactly the same way. Another round of betting takes place after the turn and again after the river.
  6. The best hand will be made out of the combination of both remaining hole cards and three community cards, one remaining hole card and four community cards or all five community cards to determine the winner.

Betting rounds

Quite a lot of money can often get fired into the pot in Crazy Pineapple on account of the perception that there is more chance to make a good hand due to the three starting hole cards as opposed to two. Players will stick around a bit longer in Pineapple, even with poorer starting hands, in order to take a look at the flop. Fall out occurs more readily at the discard. This is a beginner’s approach to the game i.e. those who play Texas Hold ‘Em think they will do well in Pineapple believing that because there are more cards dealt, there will be more playable hands. In fact, it is opposite, the more cards dealt, the less hands you should play – starting hands should be selected carefully to avoid the schizophrenia that can mar judgement up to the discard.

There’s plenty of chance to make a lot of hands in this Hold ‘Em variant but they could be mid-level and catch you out. Trips win the pot regularly and pairs are common; you need to make sure you’re confident that your pair is high enough when trying to take the pot as the additional early card gives more opportunity for matches for all players on the pair. The best starting hand for Crazy Pineapple is A-A-K, two suited. This hand is strong in itself and offers multiple opportunities for improvement.

The total number of bets allowed per player is four per round, consisting of a bet, a raise, a re-raise and a cap. The cap describes the third raise in a round after the initial betting and dictates that no more raises can take place – betting is capped. The only actions that can be taken on a capped pot are calling or folding.

Crazy continued...

Other variants of Crazy Pineapple include regular Pineapple in which the third hole card is discarded before the flop, Lazy Pineapple, or ‘Tahoe Hole ‘Em, in which the three hole cards are kept by the player throughout the game but only two can be used to make the five card hand. Super Hold ‘Em is an additional version of the game where the player keeps all three cards and can use all of them to make his or her final hand. Crazy Pineapple and Lazy Pineapple are usually played as hi-lo split games.

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