Crazy Pineapple Poker
Crazy Pineapple is a variant of Texas Hold’em and there is only one big difference between the two variants: each player is dealt three instead of two pocket cards, one of which he has to discard after the flop. All other rules are the same as those of Texas Hold’em.
What makes Crazy Pineapple so exciting, is the fact that you have more possibilities to build your hand because of the third pocket card; obviously chances are higher that more people get better hands than in Texas Hold’em. Exactly for this reason, you need to be extra careful with Crazy Pineapple – while in Texas Hold’em the chances of winning with one or two pair are relatively high, there is a straight or a flush at most Crazy Pineapple tables. This is the reason why it is crucial to not overestimate your hand and always remember that you have yet to part with one of your pocket cards. The fact that this card has to be discarded only after the flop – in contrast to Pineapple Poker, where you have to throw one card away right after the first betting round – and the second betting round, gives this game even more tactical appeal. Usually it is only played with fixed limits, although the rules can also be easily transmitted to no limit and pot limit games.
At the very beginning of each Crazy Pineapple game, the two players sitting next to the dealer (the person marked with the dealer button) have to place their blinds. This happens before the cards are dealt, no matter whether you are playing in a real or an online poker casino. The blinds are there to make sure that there is money in the pot so every winning hand can actually win money. Since the dealer button moves clockwise from player to player with each round of the game, every player has to pay a blind at some point. The player to the left of the dealer places the Small Blind; the player to his or her left has to place the Big Blind, which is usually twice the amount of the small blind. After the blinds, the first cards are dealt. Each player, starting with the one to the left of the dealer (the small blind), is dealt two cards face down. These cards are called Pocket Cards or Hole Cards.
First Betting Round
The first betting round is started by the player to the left of the big blind, using poker language, this player is "under the gun," since he or she is the one who has to act first. Now this player may fold his cards, call or raise.
- Fold: This means the player discards his or her hand entirely and may also lose the bet he or she has already made.
- Check: This means a player neither bets, nor folds his or her cards. He or she simply passes on to the next player. (This is only possible as long as no player has placed a bet yet).
- Call: When another player has already placed a bet, to call the bet means to bet the same amount as well.
- Raise: To place a higher bet than has been placed by any other player so far.
Following the first betting round, the first three of a maximum of five community cards (these cards are the same for all players and players can use them to build their hand) are dealt face up on the table. These three cards are called the flop. Now, the first remaining player to the left of the dealer button (i.e. a player who has not already folded before the flop) starts the second round. The second betting round follows the same rules as the first.
After the first post-flop betting round, each player has to part with one of his pocket cards, which means that after that, they have to build a normal Texas Hold’em hand out of their two pocket cards and three community cards. Should a player still have three cards in his hand after the showdown – probably due to a mistake – this is referred to as a dead hand. Another card is then dealt face up next to the flop. This card is called the turn. Now there are four community cards on the poker table and another betting round begins, starting with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer button.
Third Betting Round
Depending on whether you are playing a game of Crazy Pineapple limit, pot limit or no limit, the rules may change at this point in the game (though Crazy Pineapple is usually only played with fixed limit). Detailed explanations for the specific game type are explained below. The last community card is dealt face up next to the flop and the turn, which makes for a total of five community cards. A final round of betting begins; again the first remaining player to the left of the dealer button starts.
Fourth Betting Round
The last betting round works just like the first three. As soon as all betting rounds are completed, the so-called "Showdown" begins. The showdown is the final phase of a game, during which remaining players have to show their cards. The player who has managed to build the best hand out of his two pocket cards and three of the community cards is the winner of the pot. Should two players have the same hands, they share the pot. In the rare case that the best hand is made up entirely of the community cards, all players that are still in the game share the pot. Should you, upon seeing one of your opponent’s cards, note that you have the losing hand, you can choose to discard it face down ("muck"). Obviously you can always reveal your cards to the other players to compare your hand with those of the others. The last player who bet or raised during the last betting round has to be the first to show his cards, should there be no player who bet or raised during the last round, who has to show his or her cards first may depend on the rules of the individual casino or poker room. After every hand played, the dealer button is moved clockwise around the poker table and the next hand begins.
The first person to act in every round – once the cards have been dealt or revealed – is always the first player to the left of the big blind, or in the first round, the player to the left of the dealer. Each player may now decide on how much to bet, based on their cards. Depending on the number of players who will bet after, this may be a complicated decision.
If you do not like the cards you were dealt, you have the opportunity to discard (fold) them and thus leave the current round of the game. Should you be the big or small blind or should you have called someone’s bet already, you will lose the money you had already bet. However, apart from that, since you have folded, you cannot lose any more money during this round.
If you want to keep your cards and stay in the game, you can, for example, check. This is only possible if no one before you has placed a bet yet and that you do not either. Now the player after you has the opportunity to check as well, or to bet. If any of the players in the round place bets, you need to – as soon as it is your turn – decide whether you fold, call or raise.
To call means that, in case a player before you has placed a bet, you bet the same amount as he or she does; you call the bet.
Bet and Raise / Re-raise – According to the Limit
If you find you have been dealt decent cards, you can bet a certain amount of money on your hand being the winning hand. Should a player before you have already placed a bet, you can raise the bet. Depending on the betting structure the amounts you can bet or by which you may raise may be fixed.
- Fixed Limit: On a $ 5 / $ 10 table you may bet $ 5 in the first two betting rounds and up to $ 10 in the last two. In each round, players may bet once and raise three times (bet, raise, re-raise and again re-raise or ‘cap’). After three rounds of betting the cap is reached, this means that in this betting round, no more bets can be made. In this case, the next card is dealt – or if it was the last round – the showdown begins.
- No Limit: Here the betting structure follows these rules: each player may bet all the money he or she has on the table, regardless of the size of the pot. As a rule, the minimum bet has to at least equal the amount of the Big Blind and if you decide to raise, your raise must be at least equal to that of the player before you.
- Pot Limit: In a pot limit game, players may bet a sum between the minimum bet and the total size of the pot. In a $ 5/$ 10 pot limit game, the small blind is $ 5 and the big blind $ 10. The first player could call the big blind (i.e. $ 10 in this case) or raise to any amount up to the total pot size. The raise has to either equal or exceed the previous bet. So in this case, the maximum possible raise would be $ 25 ($ 5 small blind, $ 10 big blind and $ 10 the call) which means that player #3 may actually bet a total of $ 35. So should player #3 raise the pot limit, the total amount in the pot would then be $ 50.
Now if the next player (let’s say player #4) wants to continue playing, he or she at least has to call the $ 35, i.e. the bet player #3 has made. Should player #4 want to raise to the pot limit he would have to put $ 120 into the pot. That is the total pot size ($ 50) plus the maximum raise of $ 70 ($ 35 call + $ 35 raise). The number of betting rounds per hand is not limited and in each round calling and raising continues until every player has either called, or folded their cards.
Primarily, players go ‘all-in’, when they have a particularly good hand. This is because: when one or more other players call this move and the player who went all-in wins anyway, his or her winnings in this round increase considerably. Another possibility would be, that a player goes all-in to bluff and merely signal that they has a good hand, in order to make the other players fold and thus win the pot. Apart from the situation described above, players could also go all-in for the following reason: In case a player lacks the necessary amount of chips to call or finish a hand but has good cards and wants to stay in the game anyway, he or she does not have to fold. The player can also go ‘all-in’; and bet all of his or her remaining chips (even if they are not sufficient to cover the sum needed to call) and can stay in the game, without being able to act any further though. All the money that is in the pot up until the point when the player goes all-in is what the player can win. All money put into the pot afterwards is put into a separate pot (‘side pot’). Should the player who is all-in win the showdown, he or she wins the main pot, whereas the side pot goes to the player with the second best hand. When a player goes all-in and the other players decide to call the bet, they merely have to call the sum he or she bet. Even after the best of all explanations, you still need to practice playing at an online poker table. We have created reviews of the best online poker schools to show you where you can practice your game.
Crazy Pineapple Poker and its sibling Pineapple Poker are often called ‘cousins’ of Texas Hold’em because they are only slightly modified versions of this classic game. The two new variants – first Pineapple and then Crazy Pineapple – were possibly created in search of more excitement in the game. Today, Crazy Pineapple is by far the more popular of the two. As for the question of when these new variants were created, it is probable that they are products of the recent poker hype. Although this rather young poker variant is not yet represented at the WSOP, it has still gained quite a lot of popularity with many poker players – including the professionals. Poker pro Gus Hansen finds this game quite exciting and likes to play it in online poker rooms.