If you’ve been following the card game scene for a while, odds are you’ve heard of a game called Pineapple poker. And if you haven’t, you shouldn’t blame yourself all that much. It’s a well-loved home game, but it rarely sees any kind of casino exposure. Therefore, there isn’t exactly an overabundance of exposure for this variant of poker. Nevertheless, it should be talked about, especially given its rising prominence. So what is Pineapple poker?
Pineapple poker is a kind of community card game that enjoys a great deal of popularity, particularly in South America and Australia. The game first made an appearance on poker room tables in 2010 in Colombia. But enough with the history lesson, let’s get to the actual rules of the game.
Pineapple Poker Rules
Fans and players of Texas Hold’em will be pleased to know that Pineapple plays very much the same as that. That means there are community cards, a small blind and a big blind, and all other Texas Hold’em trappings. However, a few rules make it stand out enough to warrant it being a different game in its own right.
The first significant shift from Texas Hold’em rules happens as soon as the dealer distributes the cards. When you play, you’ll notice that you’ll receive 3 hole cards instead of two. This gives you more options at the very start as you can choose which card to throw out later.
Once the last starting card is dealt, two of the players to the left of the dealer make their blinds. After that, the betting portion of the game may commence. Everything about the wagering rounds remains extremely similar to Texas Hold’em. But you still need to get rid of the third card in your hand.
When you discard the third card varies from one subtype of Pineapple to another (we’ll touch upon that a bit later in the text). In classic Pineapple, the player must rid themselves of this card pre-flop. After the community cards face up on the table, they have to put your unwanted card away, and they don’t have to reveal it to others on the table.
Beyond that, the rules don’t really stray from the Texas Hold’em formula. At first glance, there’s not much more going on in Pineapple. But this slight difference in your starting hand actually shakes up the gameplay quite a bit. The extra option allows for a bit more poker strategy. If you grew tired of Texas Hold’em but want something you’ll learn easily, Pineapple works great.
Popular Variants of Pineapple Poker — How to Play Crazy Pineapple Poker and Lazy Pineapple Poker
We have mentioned some variations of the Pineapple poker game. Now’s a good time to explore them a little. Crazy Pineapple and Lazy Pineapple are the most common subcategories you’ll find. Both bear many similarities to their originator but have their own twists. Here’s a quick rundown of how they work.
- Crazy Pineapple: the setup is the same — each player receives 3 cards. But they get to keep the third one all the way until the flop. Therefore, they have more knowledge of what’s going on at the table. Thus, they can risk a little more and usually stake more cash.
- Lazy Pineapple: Initially, it’s all the same as Crazy Pineapple. The participants start playing with 3 cards and hold on to them for longer. This time though, they only discard their third card after all the bets have been placed. That gives you more than enough time to change your mind about the hand you’re playing with.