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Pineapple Poker

How to Play Pineapple Poker
by K. Swope of

Pineapple is a variant game of Texas Hold’em. The structure is exact with only one exception. A player receives three hole cards instead of the normal two. Players then have a choice as to what two card combination to keep while discarding or folding the third card before betting begins. Therefore, Pineapple is run in this fashion, a dealer button is used to designate the dealer for each round. The two players to the immediate left of the dealer become the force bet “small blind” and “big blind” respectively. The blinds vary according to the set level of monetary action. For instance, in a $2/4 limit game the small blind is half of the low bet, or one dollar. The big blind is equal to the low bet, or two dollars. In a no limit game blinds are set in accordance with the buy in amount for that given table. Normally a $100 buy in no limit game would require $1/2 blinds.

Each player is dealt three hole cards face down. Players must then decide to call, raise, or fold their hands. The remaining players must then discard one of the three hole cards received leaving a standard Hold’em hand in which to use after the flop.

As in Hold’em three community cards are dealt face up all of which are shared by players. Another round of betting occurs. The dealer then proceeds with one community card known commonly as the “turn” and a last single community card frequently referred to as the “river”. Betting is permitted after each community card and the players may use any sequence of hole cards and community cards to make the best possible five card hand.

The standard format of hand rankings are used in Pineapple ranging from High card to Royal Flush.

Very Basic Strategy

Pineapple can be played strategically similar to Hold’em. Starting hands that would be considered powerful in Hold’em such as pocket Aces or pocket Kings will also prove dominant in Pineapple. However, linking straight cards such as K-Q or 3-6 and flush hands like Js-9s or Ah-7h will prove more difficult to reach with a higher number of opponents. Since each player receives an extra card; the more players at the table eliminates up ten extra cards from the deck. This is costly when trying to calculate odds or potential “out” cards.

In no limit the ability to bluff an opponent is accomplished without near as much struggle then in a limit game. Trying to buy a pot in limit poker almost never works. Although, one constant remains in both types of play, this constant is position. Sitting in the dealer seat or just to the right of the dealer a.k.a the “cut-off” seat are always the best strategic positions in poker. Evaluation of opponents becomes readily easier, and weaker hands hold more moxie when others must act ahead of you in the game. Acting last at the table offers the chance to accumulate more intel then anyone to your right. Use your position to the fullest on every opportunity possible, your opponents, most certainly will do the same.


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