Players looking for something alternative and quirky somehow always find their way to Pineapple Poker. The variation is more known in private poker circles than as a popular casino game, but certainly a worthy version to learn.
There are obvious similarities Texas Hold’Em and Omaha Poker, so it shouldn’t be hard to master. Take a look at the steps we’ve prepared in this short, to-the-point guide.
Be Familiar with the Rules of the Game
If you already know how to play Texas Hold’Em, the learning curve for you shouldn’t be too steep. The main difference is that players in Pineapple poker start with three hole cards as opposed to two cards. The objective, of course, is to form the best poker hand out of hole cards and community cards and win.
The final hand must contain 5 cards, one or two hole cards and three or four community cards.
Pineapple poker is normally played with 3 to 8 players with a standard 52-card deck. Sometimes, 2-10 players can play. The cards are ranked as follows: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. A (low).
Posting the Blinds
The game begins with placing the Big Blind and the Small Blind. The player directly to the left of the dealer puts out Small Blind and the player to their left is the Big Blind.
Once these are assigned and placed, the dealer can proceed to deal cards.
The Deal and Pre-flop Betting Round
Each player initially receives 3 hole cards (not two like in Texas Hold’em). They have the opportunity to evaluate their hands and discard one of the 3 cards they had received.
This happens before the first betting round begins. During betting, players may fold, call, or raise. Folding means surrendering cards, calling is matching the most recent bet placed and raising means increasing the current bet.
Once everyone has finished their turn, the dealer will place the flop at the center of the table – 3 community cards. Every player can use these 3 cards to improve their hand. The flop cards are placed face-up.
The Second Round of Betting Into the Turn
The second round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer. Each player can act on their hand for the second time. When the betting is complete, the dealer now deals another community card, known as the turn.
The Third Round of Betting Into the River
A new round of betting begins, in the same manner as before. After all the actions, the dealer deals the final, fifth, community card, in a stage known as the river.
The river is the final card that is dealt in a poker hand before the final round of betting occurs.
After a final round of betting, it becomes clear if the game will enter into a showdown. This happens when the remaining players must turn over their cards to determine the winner.
If only one player remains after the final betting, he or she takes the pot.
During the showdown, all those players still left standing in the game need to show their cards. The hands are compared and the best 5-card poker hand wins. The best hand to have is, of course, the Royal Flush.