Crazy Pineapple Poker Rules – Learn How to Play This Card Game

crazy pineapple

7 minutes

Posted by: Ivan


Poker pineapple and crazy pineapple are some of those games that have risen in popularity ever since the Asian poker market has begun booming.

One of the main reasons for this is that this version of poker is extremely popular in Asia, so most of the Asian online poker sites have it on offer.

With this said, the rest of the world is pretty new to this game hence the rules can be pretty confusing, especially because there are a couple of variants of the game.

For this reason, we have decided to break down crazy pineapple poker and explain all of the pineapple poker rules.

Pineapple Poker Rules

The objective of poker pineapple is the same as in Texas Hold’em; to collect the best possible hand using hole cards and community cards.

Basic information about pineapple poker:

  • Between 3 and 8 players can play the game
  • Pineapple poker is played using a 52-card deck (standard poker deck)
  • Card rankings are the same as in Texas Hold’em (A is the highest card and 2 is the lowest card)

In pineapple poker, the cards are dealt in a similar fashion to Texas Hold’em with the main difference being in the number of hole cards that the players receive at the start of the hand.

While in Texas Hold’em each player gets two hole cards, in pineapple poker each player receives three cards dealt face down.

After each player receives three hole cards, they then need to decide which of the cards they will discard and will continue playing the hand with the remaining two hole cards.

crazy pineapple poker

The game then continues in the same way as Hold’em. The dealer burns one card and proceeds to deal the first three community cards (the flop). This is followed by a round of betting.

Then, the dealer repeats the process of burning one card and dealing the 4th community card (the turn) after which another round of betting follows. This is then repeated one more time to deal the 5th and final community card (the river).

In pineapple, the player with the best 5-card combination wins. The game can be played as both limit and no-limit and the players are not required to show the card they are discarding.

Crazy Pineapple Poker Rules

The rules of crazy pineapple poker are pretty similar to those of regular pineapple. The dealer gives each player three cards.

However, in crazy pineapple players keep all three of their cards during the pre-flop and flop betting rounds and only discard one of their cards on the turn.

The game continues with the same rules as regular pineapple poker or Texas Hold’em.

Lazy Pineapple Poker Rules

Lazy pineapple or Tahoe Pineapple got its name because the players are not required to discard one of their cards until all of the action in the hand has ended, meaning at the showdown.

Players can discard one card and show the other two that they use for their final 5-card combination.

Three-Card Hold’em Poker Rules

Although it has a completely different name, Three-card Hold’em is also often considered one of the pineapple poker variants.

In this version of pineapple poker, the players can hold on to all three of their hole cards through the whole hand as well as use all three of their cards to make the final 5-card combination.

Pineapple Poker Strategy

If you are experienced in No Limit Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha, you should not have any problems adjusting your strategy to fit the regular pineapple poker.

With this said, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind if you want to play this poker variant in the optimal way.

pineapple poker

Like with all poker variants, the first thing that you want to pay attention to is hand selection. Make sure to pick poker hands that are connected either in ranking or in suits. And, just like in Hold’em, high pairs are always a good way to go.

The second thing is to always remember which card you discarded as this information can be really helpful on later streets. For example, you can use it to remove certain combinations from your opponent’s range.

Crazy Pineapple Poker Strategy

The rules of crazy pineapple are similar to those of pineapple. However, since the players can hold on to 3 cards until the showdown, the strategy is a bit different.

How to Select Starting Hands in Crazy Pineapple

You first need to think about which starting hands you should play. This is one of the things that most players that are new to this poker variant get wrong.

For example, you might assume that three aces are a good starting hand. However, when you think about it, you can use only two of them to make a 5-card combination. The worst part is that by having the 3rd ace in your hand you are blocking your own set outs.

Some of the best starting hands include combinations that can make trips, straightes, and flushes.

For example, a hand like AAQ is a good hand as you can make trips with aces, a broadway straight with AQ, and the nut flush with the AQ.

However, keep in mind that in crazy pineapple, a hand like AAT or AA5 is considered even stronger than AAQ.

poker pineapple

The main reason for this is that in this poker variant one of the biggest threats to pocket aces are straights, and a straight must contain either a 5 or a T.

Based on the same principle, you should avoid playing hands that consist of cards with different ranks and different suits, and are not connected. For example, a hand like J52 should be thrown into the muck.

Use Your Hold’em Experience

If you are a beginner, one of the easiest ways to identify a good starting hand in crazy pineapple is to ask yourself, how many 2-card combinations, that I can make from my three hole cards would i play if I was playing No Limit Texas Hold’em?

For example, if you look down at your hole cards and you see KQJ the three possible 2-card combinations that can be made are:

  • KQ
  • KJ
  • QJ

This makes it perhaps not a premium, but a solid starting hand in crazy pineapple.

Based on the same principle if you have a starting hand of J52 (possible combinations J5, J2, 52), you should be folding as you would probably not play any of these starting hands in Texas Hold’em.

Avoiding Marginal Hands

When it comes to avoiding marginal hands, crazy pineapple should be approached more like Pot Limit Omaha than Texas Hold’em. The main reason for this is the number of cards that each player has during the whole hand.

pineapple card game

For example, a hand like top pair top kicker is fairly strong in Texas Hold’em and considered a weak hand in Pot Limit Omaha. In crazy pineapple, this hand is what we call a marginal hand, because the farther in the hand you are, the weaker it becomes.

One of the things that most strategy articles recommend when it comes to playing a hand-like top pair in crazy pineapple is to make strong bets before and on the flop to discourage your opponents from continuing with non-made hands that have a lot of equity.

Also, beware of continuing with these kinds of marginal hands against multiple opponents.

With this said, in crazy pineapple, you will encounter stronger hand combinations a lot more than in Texas Hold’em. For example hands like trips, straights, and full houses are fairly common in this game, just like in Pot Limit Omaha.

And finally, be aware of flushes. They are much more frequent in crazy pineapple than in Texas Hold’em, which also means that if someone is playing their hand like a flush, there is a high chance that they have it.

Final Thoughts on Crazy Pineapple Strategy

Because the players are allowed to keep all three of their hole cards throughout the whole hand, the strategy for crazy pineapple is a bit different than that for other pineapple games.

While most pineapple variants are played similarly to Texas Hold’em, crazy pineapple is played more like Pot Limit Omaha.

So, you should have this in mind when choosing which hands to play preflop as well as how to play these hands once the flop is out.

Ivan Potocki

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