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How to play Pineapple:  

Pineapple hold'em is one of my favorite games. It is played like regular hold'em with a few not so minor differences.


In regular hold'em, you start with two hole cards. In pineapple, you start with three, creating many more possible good starting hands, and many more hands that can fit together with the flop.


Like hold'em, there is a betting round at a lower limit after you receive your initial hole cards, and another betting round at that same limit after you see the flop.

Once you have seen the flop YOU MUST DISCARD ONE OF YOUR HOLE CARDS.

This is what makes the game fun and frustrating ... do you hold a pair ... go for a straight or flush ...

For example, this means that if you start with a hand of (8h-Jd-Jh) and then see a flop of 10h-9h-Js, you have a pretty big decision to make. If you want to keep your open-ended straight flush draw, you're going to have to discard one of your trip jacks (do you go for the high hand or take the trips and draw for 4 Jacks ... a pleasant dilemma, but a dilemma nonetheless).

Reality Check ... most hands you see will make you decide between much less powerful hands or draws, but you do have to throw a card away, and so that reduces the strength of the hand you might finish with.

Pineapple really is an odd hybrid of hold'em and Omaha. The average winning hands are definitely stronger in Pineapple than they are in hold'em, because you get to look at more combinations on the flop, and occasionally you will make a stronger hand in Pineapple than you would have in Omaha, even though you get four hole cards in Omaha, because Pineapple does not share the Omaha "you must use two and exactly two of your hole cards in your final hand" rule.

An Example: Omaha vs. Pineapple

Omaha hand was Ac-Qd-Jc-10d, and the final community board was Ah-As-5c-5h-8c, you do NOT have a full house, but rather only trip aces with a Q-8 kicker, because you must play at least two cards from your hand and can't just add the ace in your hand to the two pair on board to make aces full of fives.

In pineapple, had you kept (as any sane person would have done) an ace in your hand after the post-flop discard (you might keep the Ac-Jc, because that would have given you a backdoor flush draw, but most players would probably keep the Ac-Qd, because the queen would give you a higher kicker if the hand came down to a battle of kickers), the five on the turn would have given you a full house, just as if you'd started with A-J or A-Q in hold'em.

You'll find pineapple a fun game to play, because of the extra strong flops and extra key decision about what cards to keep after the flop.