Crazy Pineapple Poker Rules – Another Fun Variation to Learn
Over the years, poker players have invented dozens of different variations of the games. Some of these have become extremely popular, while others have remained on the fringes.
Crazy Pineapple Poker is a variant that has gained lots of popularity in private game circles, as it tends to generate a lot of action and is very fun to play.
If you haven't played it before, you can learn the Crazy Pineapple Poker rules and basic strategy before introducing it to your home game next week.
The great thing about Crazy Pineapple is that it’s a game that hasn’t been nearly as solved as Texas Hold’em, which means there is room for new strategies and improvement in everyone’s game.
Before you start playing, let’s talk about the most basic Crazy Pineapple Poker rules and how to set up the game.
Crazy Pineapple Poker Rules
So what exactly is Crazy Pineapple Poker and how do you play it? Well, if you know how to play the game of Texas Hold’em, you should be able to learn Crazy Pineapple quite fast as well.
The two games are played in a very similar way, with players dealt into the hand the same way and the blinds posted the same way.
The biggest difference between the two is that players in Pineapple Poker get three cards to begin with instead of three.
However, Pineapple is not Omaha, and you will need to end the hand with just two cards. There are two main variations of Pineapple Poker, and these are Crazy and Lazy Pineapple.
In Crazy Pineapple, you will need to discard one of your three cards when all flop action is finished and before the turn card is dealt.
Lazy Pineapple, on the other hand, requires you to discard one card only before the showdown, with the river card already on full display.
This effectively means you simply won't use one card at showdown.
When it comes to Crazy Pineapple, all gameplay will go exactly the same as it does in Texas Hold’em, with the UTG player being first to act and first to discard their card after the flop.
You should also keep in mind that the discarded cards are not shown face-up in Crazy Pineapple, so make sure to keep your card well concealed from other players when you discard it.
Basic Crazy Pineapple Poker Strategy
The beautiful thing about Crazy Pineapple Poker is that, unlike Texas Hold’em, it is not a solved game where most players have a good idea about the optimal strategy.
In Crazy Pineapple, on the other hand, all plays are open, and different hands can still be played in many different ways, with no real authority on what is best.
This will give you plenty of ability to create your own strategies and figure out the game and your opponent as you go, but there is still some basic strategy you should follow.
All Crazy Pineapple strategy starts before the flop, where you need to choose your starting hands.
Remember that by the river, the game will turn into Texas Hold’em, which means hands like pocket aces and pocket kings are still very strong.
Yet, these hands don’t win in Crazy Pineapple nearly as often as they do in classic Texas Hold’em, and you will need to be careful.
Hands with three broadway cards, suited aces, and pairs with another suited card can be quite powerful in Crazy Pineapple, and position is very important.
Since Crazy Pineapple Poker is usually played in live game scenarios, the game is very often crazy with action.
This means that a calm and tight approach where you try to play as many hands as you can in position and select your starting hands carefully can be highly profitable.
Crazy Pineapple games tend to get out of hand, with many players speculating more than they should and throwing chips around as soon as they are stuck a couple of buy-ins.
The more action-packed the game becomes, the more incentive you will have to play tight, keep an eye out on your position, and look for situations where you can stack your opponents with marginal holdings.
Before the flop, you should always fold hands with three of a kind and usually discard hands with three suited cards, as these things diminish your ability to make the big poker hands that you want to make.
Once the flop is dealt out, you should look at all your options and decide which one makes the most sense to pursue.
If there is little flop action, keeping a top pair type of hand can be a good idea, as your opponents are likely weak.
On the other hand, in poker hands with a lot of action, hands like straight draws and flush draws will have more potency, as you will often need to improve your hand on turn or river to scoop the pot.
Crazy Pineapple Poker rules introduced new strategy elements that don’t exist in Texas Hold’em and sometimes gives you the ability to choose between several different hands.
Much like Pot Limit Omaha, Crazy Pineapple is a game of draws where straights and flushes win many hands, and one pair hands lose a lot of their strength.
Yet, don’t play Crazy Pineapple as if it were Omaha, as each hand of this game will end with you having just two cards by the turn, leaving you with just one option that you can legitimately pursue.
Why Isn’t Crazy Pineapple at the WSOP?
Over the decades, the World Series of Poker has offered all sorts of poker games, with the likes of Chinese Poker, Razz, and many other variations featuring even to this day.
So why exactly hasn’t Crazy Pineapple Poker, or Pineapple Poker in general, ever been played at the WSOP?
The truth is that the game simply hasn’t gained enough popularity, especially among the higher stakes players, to get a spot in the WSOP.
With mixed game tournaments these days offering games like Big O, Baducey, and more, there is no legitimate reason for Pineapple Poker not to be played in at least one tournament at the world’s biggest poker festival.
Yet, to this date, Crazy Pineapple has only made an appearance at a few of the smaller European poker festivals, with major tournaments in the game still waiting for their time.
The only way to get Crazy Pineapple to the WSOP is by popularizing the game, so if you enjoy playing it, I highly recommend telling your friends about it and trying to spread it as often as you can.
Should I Play Crazy Pineapple in My Home Game?
If you are running a home game or have some influence over the way your home game runs, I highly recommend trying to introduce the players to Crazy Pineapple Poker.
If your home game runs on Texas Hold’em alone, over time, it will become boring and unappealing to the regulars, who will want some change.
Switching over to PLO can be a big change that many players won’t go for, and for a very good reason.
After all, PLO tends to play much bigger and is strategically much different than Texas Hold’em.
Crazy Pineapple is the perfect middle ground for NLH players who are simply looking for a little change of pace and something extra to spice up their game.
What's even more, Crazy Pineapple Poker rules won't require your dealer to learn how to calculate the pot all the time, showdowns will still happen with two cards, and the game, in general, will play more like Texas Hold’em than anything else.
Overall speaking, Crazy Pineapple Poker may just be the easiest and best poker game to introduce to your home game, so talk to your fellow players and see what you can do to make it happen.
Can I Play Crazy Pineapple Poker Online?
Despite the game being so fun to play, Crazy Pineapple Poker has not yet gained the kind of popularity it would need to be featured on major online poker sites.
Poker rooms on the internet have started offering 5-card and 6-card Omaha, Short Deck Hold’em, and many other games, but Crazy Pineapple hasn’t quite made it just yet.
While a few minor poker apps do let you play Crazy Pineapple, you won’t find any serious Crazy Pineapple Poker action online, which means live games are your best bet if you want to play this game.
Yet, this poker variation is definitely gaining some popularity in recent months and may just make a surge in the near future.
Thus, I would look out for Crazy Pineapple Poker appearing even on the biggest online sites out there in the foreseeable future.