Games You Can Play – P6: Pineapple (High Only)

The third member of the flop game family, Pineapple (a.k.a. Crazy Pineapple), has nothing close to the following of Hold ’em and Omaha. We found only a few sites out of the top 15, as ranked by PokerPulse.com, to offer the game. That said, Pineapple is an interesting game that offers players some difficult choices. Here are the basics.

In Pineapple, you are dealt three hole cards, but you throw one of the cards away after the second betting round is completed. As in Hold ’em, the goal is to make the best five- card hand you can using any combination of your two remaining hole cards and the five cards on the board. The player to the left of the Dealer button posts a small blind equal to one-half of a small bet (e.g., $1 at a $2–$4 table), the player to the left of the small blind posts a big blind ($2 at a $2–$4 table), and each player receives three cards face down. There’s a round of betting, during which all bets and raises are $2, and the dealer flops three cards in the middle of the table. At this point there is another round of betting and, when it’s done, each player still in the hand discards one of their hole cards. From this point on, the hand is played exactly as if it were a Hold ’em hand. After the dealer displays a fourth card in the middle, the turn, there is a round of betting where all bets and raises are double the amount in the first two betting rounds ($4 in a $2–$4 game). The dealer then flips over the river card, there is a final round of betting, and any players left display their cards to determine the winner.

♠♥♣♦ Note

For practice creating five-card hands from any combination of your two remaining hole cards and the five board cards, see the “Hold ’Em Practice Hands” section earlier in this chapter.

Seven-Card Stud

Flop games such as Hold ’em and Omaha are the most popular games in online and brick- and-mortar poker rooms, but the old favorite seven-card Stud still has a solid following. Some players insist that seven-card Stud is a simpler game than Hold ’em, but we don’t believe them. Yes, you can determine each player’s possible hands from the cards they have showing, but you can do the same thing in Hold ’em. One skill you need in seven-card Stud that you don’t need in Hold ’em is remembering which cards have been thrown away and are no longer available to improve anyone’s hand. When you play online, you can use a spreadsheet or other tool to keep track of these dead cards, so the burden isn’t quite as onerous. If you plan to play seven-card Stud in a brick-and-mortar casino, where you can’t use such aids, you should play online using only your memory, at least part of the time.

Playing the Game

In seven-card Stud, each player throws in an ante before the cards are dealt. If you play $2–$4 seven-card Stud, the ante is typically 25¢. Online you play seven-card Stud eight- handed, so at a full table the eight antes add up to $2, a small bet. After the antes are taken, each player receives three cards: two face-down and one face-up, as shown in Figure 4.11. We’ll indicate hidden cards by putting them in parentheses, so a hand with A♠A♦ underneath and the K♦ showing would be written as (A♠A♦)K♦.


Figure 4.11 The player with the 4♥ showing must make the bring-in bet.

You will recall that the player with the lowest card showing may not fold, but must instead make a forced bet, called the bring-in, which is usually of an amount less than the small bet in the game. For example, the bring-in might be $1 in a $2–$4 game. And, yes, this is an occasion where card suits might matter. If two players are tied for the lowest valued card, you break the tie based on suit ranks. The suits are ranked, from lowest to highest:

clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. If two players have Fours showing, but one of them

is the 4♥ and the other is the 4♠, the player showing the 4♥ must make the bring-in bet.

The player who makes the bring-in bet can choose to “bring it in” for a full bet ($2 in a $2–$4 game) instead of the smaller bring-in amount. If you have the aforementioned (A♠A♦)K♦, you might consider bringing it in for a full bet to try to win as much money as you can.

When a player posts the bring-in, the player to that player’s left may fold, call the bring-in, or complete the bet to the full amount for this first round. In a $2–$4 game, calling the bring-in would only cost $1, and the first raise would be to $2. Once it is $2 to go, players may raise two more times in $2 increments. After every player has either called all bets or folded, the dealer deals another face-up card to each of the remaining players, as shown in Figure 4.12.


Figure 4.12 Every player receives a second face-up card, but now the player with the highest hand showing gets to act first.

This betting round is called fourth street because each player has four cards. On this bet- ting round, and all subsequent rounds, the player with the best cards showing is first to act. Again, if there is a tie between the hands showing, such as if two players show an Ace and a King, the suit of the highest card determines who acts first.

On fourth street, all bets and raises are (again assuming a $2–$4 game) in $2 increments unless a player has a pair showing. If a player’s two upcards are paired, that player may choose to check, make a small bet of $2, or make a big bet of $4. Whichever amount that player chooses is the increment for the round. If the player with the pair checks, all bets and raises are of the smaller amount ($2 in this case).

After the action on fourth street is com- pleted, the dealer gives each remaining player a fifth face-up card. On this round, fifth street, all bets and raises are of the larger amount. The same pattern holds true for sixth street. The seventh card, which is usually called the river and very occasionally seventh street, is dealt face down so that each player has four cards face up and three cards face down. After
a last betting round, the players turn over their cards and make the best five-card hand possible out of their seven cards to determine a winner. In the case of a tie, the pot is split between the players with the best hands—suits don’t come into play.

What If We Run Out of Cards?

You might have done some quick math and determined that if all eight players stay in for the entire hand, thus requir- ing seven cards each, you’d need a 56-card deck. You can’t add cards to the game, but there is a procedure in place in case this unlikely event occurs. If there are fewer cards in the deck than are required to give all remaining players a final face-down card, the dealer in- stead turns up a common card in the middle of the table. Like the board cards in flop games, such as Hold ’em, this com- mon card is assumed to be in every player’s hand.

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