Pineapple Poker is a variant of Texas Hold’Em and Omaha Poker as the player is dealt 3 Hole Cards, rather than 2 in Hold’Em and 4 in Omaha. Pineapple isn’t readily available at most online poker rooms, though it’s popularity is growing.
Pineapple Poker is very easy to learn, especially for those who already understand the rules and general game play of Texas Hold’Em. The only real difference is the use of 3 Hole Cards. However, there are 2 versions of Pineapple Poker, one with the preceding name and another known as ‘Crazy Pineapple’. There’s also a third version that goes by an entirely different name – Tahoe Hold’Em. Each version is typically played as Hi/Lo (8 or Better).
Original Pineapple Poker
Players are dealt 3 hole cards. Each player must immediately discard one of the 3 Hole Cards before any betting or the Flop is revealed.
Players are again dealt 3 Hole Cards. After the Flop, but before the Turn, players must discard 1 of their Hole Cards.
Pineapple Poker aka ‘Tahoe Hold’Em’
Each player is dealt 3 Hole cards, which they may keep throughout the entire hand. However, players may not use more than 2 of the Hole cards to make their final 5-card poker hand.
Pineapple Poker – Objective
For this tutorial, we’ll assume a game of the original version, ‘Pineapple Poker Hi/Lo’. To create a 5-Card Poker hand ranking higher than any of your opponents. Also to create a Qualifying Low hand (8 or Better). Winner of the High hand splits the pot with the winner of the Low hand. The same player may actually win both hands. If no player has a Qualifying Low hand, the High Hand winner takes the entire pot.
Lingo and Terminology – Pineapple Poker
Hole Cards: Hole Cards refers to the original 3 cards dealt face down to each player.
Community Cards: Community Cards refers to the 5 cards dealt to the center of the table throughout the game of Pineapple Poker. Each player will utilize these 5 cards, combined with his own Hole Cards, to make a 5-card poker hand.
Flop-Turn-River: This is how the Community Cards are dealt. The first 3 cards, revealed all at once, is the Flop. The Turn is the 4th card dealt. The 5th and final card is the River.
Dealer Button: A small white button is clockwise moved around the table at the start of each hand to determine the Dealer position. While this player does not actually deal the cards, it relates to the order of betting.
Small Blind: The Small Blind Bet is placed by the player seated directly left of the Dealer Button, called the Small Blind Bettor. The Small Blind bet is placed before any cards are dealt, and is equal to the lowest stakes for the current Pineapple Poker game. For example, in a game of $1/$2, the Small Blind is $1.
Big Blind: The Big Blind Bet is placed by the player seated directly left of the Small Blind Bettor, known as the Big Blind Bettor. The Big Blind bet is also placed before any cards are dealt, and is equal to the highest stakes for the current Pineapple Poker game. For example, in a game of $1/$2, the Big Blind is $2.
Qualifying Low Hand: In order to qualify for a Low hand, the player must create a 5-card hand with no card higher than an 8, hence the term ‘8 or Better’, and no combinations. However, Straights and Flushes are not considered combinations in a Low hand. Therefore, the lowest possible hand is – [5-4-3-2-A]
Check: A player may Check, choosing not to place a bet, but remain in the current hand, only if no previous bet has been placed in the current round of betting.
Call: A player may Call any previous bet in the current betting round, wagering an amount equal to the previous bet.
Raise: A player may Raise, choosing to wager a higher amount than the previous bet in the current betting round. Only 3 Raises may be wagered in a single round of betting.
All-In: To wager All-In is to bet all remaining chips. A player may not win an amount from any other player that is higher than his own All-In bet. (Example: The All-In bet totals $500, another player has wagered $600 – If All-In Bettor wins, he receives $500 and the other player is returned the remaining $100.) If a player loses an All-In bet, his chips are depleted and he is out of the game.
Fold: To forfeit the current hand, throwing in the cards and losing any chips previously placed into the pot.
Muck: To Fold a hand without letting the other players see your Hole Cards.
Pineapple – Betting System / Game Play
Small Blinds and Big Blinds are placed, followed by the dealing of each player’s Hole Cards. After seeing the Hole Cards, each player must immediately discard 1.
1st Betting Round: Starting with the player seated left of the Big Blind, the player may either Call the Big Blind bet, Raise or Fold. Betting continues in this fashion around the table. If no Raises are wagered, betting can end with the Dealer Button, unless the Small Blind bettor wishes to Raise.
The Flop: 3 Community Cards dealt to the center of the table.
2nd Betting Round: Another round of betting, this time starting with the Small Blind Bettor.
The Turn: A 4th Community Card is dealt.
3rd Betting Round: Another round of betting, same as the last.
The River: A final, 5th Community Card is dealt.
4th Betting Round: The last round of betting commences.
The Showdown: Players must now reveal their highest 5-card hand, Using any combination of Community Cards and their own Hole Cards. The highest hand wins the High hand. Now, players will do the same, but attempting to create a Qualifying Low Hand. The player with the lowest qualifying hand wins the Low Hand. High and Low hand winners split the pot.
Note that it is possible for the same player to win both pots. It is also possible for no hand to Qualify as a Low Hand winner. If this occurs, the High Hand winner takes the whole pot.
Pineapple Poker – High Hand Ranks
- Royal Flush (A-K-Q-J-10 suited)
- Straight Flush
- 4 of a Kind
- Full House
- 3 of a Kind
- 2 Pair
- High Card (Ace is always highest)
Pineapple Poker – Qualifying Low Hand Ranks
- Best – 5-4-3-2-A
- Worst – 8-7-6-5-4
Where to Play Online Pineapple
Pineapple Poker is not an easy game to find in online poker rooms. In fact, there is only one distinguished online poker room known to offer Pineapple Poker. Pineapple Poker enthusiasts fear not, for this is sure to change as the game grows in popularity.