Chances are that if you’ve spent a bit of time playing Hold’em in recent years you’ve also dabbled in some Omaha or Stud at one time or another as well, but there are also a number of less well known poker variants that are worth trying.
One of them is a game called Pineapple – a sort of Hold’em-Omaha hybrid that is easy to learn and a whole heap of fun as well. There are in fact a number of different types of Pineapple but for now let’s just look at the two most common – Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple.
Pineapple sits right in between Hold’em and Omaha in that players are dealt three cards each rather than the two they receive in Hold’em or the four they receive in Omaha. A round of betting ensues … and now is where it gets interesting.
In Pineapple, each player must throw one of their three cards into the muck before the flop is dealt, giving each player a much greater opportunity than in Hold’em to start with a strong hand. For example, if you were dealt A-7-K you would simply discard the 7 and be left with the very strong A-K as your starting hand. Play then resumes as it would in a normal Hold’em hand.
In Crazy Pineapple, players also muck one of their cards but not until after the flop. The opportunity to see a flop first really opens this game up and you can expect players to reach showdown with much stronger hands than they would in the regular version of the game. Why? Because seeing a flop with three cards provides far greater opportunity to flop strong hands such as two pair or good straight or flush draws.
With that in mind, the best starting hands in Crazy Pineapple are hands that feature both a high pair and a second high, suited card – hands such as Kc-Kh-Qh or Js-Jd-As. Good three-card Broadway hands such as A-K-J with two of them suited are also strong.
It can be tricky at times to know exactly which card to throw away but if you love action this could be the game for you and even if it takes a while to master, you’ll certainly have a lot of fun along the way.