A few months ago, I shared some of the fun poker variants that we have been playing around the kitchen table. One of the variants I described was Crazy Pineapple. In Crazy Pineapple, each player is dealt three cards rather than two. After the flop, each player throws out one card and play continues like regular No Limit Hold ‘Em.
Fast forward a couple of months to early March. My husband and I were in South Florida on a poker vacation (we played seven different poker rooms in 10 days!) While perusing the Seminole Coconut Creek tournament schedule, I noticed that they offer a weekly Crazy Pineapple tournament. Even better, it was only $60 and a Survivor. In a survivor tournament, the top 10% of players all receive the same payout (in this case $400) and play ends at that point. I adore a survivor tournament.Crazy Pineapple is a blast to play. Next time we encounter the game, we will definitely be all in. Click To Tweet
So this particular tournament had three draws for me: it was cheap, it was a Survivor tournament, and it was Crazy Pineapple! This was a no-brainer. So my husband and I headed to Coconut Creek, and laid down our money.
Crazy Pineapple Play
First of all, Crazy Pineapple was as fun to play in a casino as it was around the kitchen table. There’s something about the format of Crazy Pineapple that just makes people smile. Play was very friendly, and seemed more casual than I’ve experienced in most hold ’em tournaments.
The aura of fun was a good thing because the dealers had trouble remembering that they were laying out crazy pineapple. They had to be reminded fairly often to deal 3 cards to each player. And even more often to collect that extra card after the flop. Fortunately, everyone was good-natured and no one seemed irritated by these missteps.
Crazy Pineapple pre-flop play was incredibly loose. With three cards to choose from, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you’ll hit something with two of them. Pre-flop raises tended to be low, and pre-flop folds rare. Everyone wanted to see that flop. When there was a big raise, it was fairly certain someone had a monster. Or perhaps they forgot they had to throw one card away and thought they had a monster. In either case, probably a good time to get out of the way.
Another thing to note when playing Crazy Pineapple is that huge hands are much more common than in regular hold ’em. That extra pre-flop card really does change things. Woe unto players who thought that their two pair hands were good. By the river, it was incredibly likely that someone had made a flush, a boat, or even quads. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single hand in which Ace high took down the pot.
Would We Play Again?
Definitely. Even though neither of us moneyed in the tournament, I came close. I bubbled the final table, where 6 were getting paid. We also felt that we had an edge over a number of older players who played the game as if it were limit hold ’em. Also over some young guns who thought they could bluff their way through coordinated boards. The problem with heavy bluffing in Crazy Pineapple is that it is highly likely that another player has actually hit that coordinated board.
Just as importantly, Crazy Pineapple is a blast to play. Next time we encounter the game, we’ll definitely be all in.
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Many years ago this game was spread at Ruidoso Downs in southern New Mexico. It was as you described it, wild and crazy!
No one actually knew how to play. Everyone just put in their money and waited to see what happened! I don’t think they even have poker there anymore, just slots and race track.
I am doing my best to get someone in New England to run a crazy pineapple tournament. So far, no luck.