As much as poker players may love going to first-rate casino rooms like Borgata’s Poker Room to test their skills, you can bet on one thing. Pretty much everybody learned to play poker at home in a game with family and friends.
And whether you started playing for Oreo cookies, matches or pennies, chances are you have pretty good memories of those games—especially the weird ones that seemed made up out of thin air.
You know which games we mean. There’s the game where you stick a card to your forehead or grandpa’s game where all the red cards are wild.
One of those games that you may have played is Crazy Pineapple, a variation of Hold’em. Yes, not only is the game named after a fruit, it’s named after a mentally unstable fruit. But not in a bad way though. You know, wild and crazy fruit.
Dad had to have made that game up, right? Wrong, it’s a real game, though trying to figure out where it came from is anybody’s guess.
But we do know where it’s landed—at Borgata’s Summer Poker Open. Yes, for the 2015 edition of the open, we’re introducing Crazy Pineapple for Event 7 of the open, Saturday July 18. The tournament carries a $300 + $40 buy-in.
Crazy pineapple is a pretty straight-forward game that uses one simple rule change to dramatically change the game play of a Hold’em hand. Each player is dealt three hole cards before the flop. That’s right, three cards. After the flop, any players staying in the pot has to put one of those cards into the muck. The turn and river play out normally.
This might sound simple, but consider how this would affect your hand. Getting that third card greatly increases the amount of players getting good starting hands and staying in for the flop, which of course greatly increases the chances of players hitting a flop. Most Crazy Pineapple pots are contested by multiple players.
Consider this completely made up hand. You get a King of clubs, Jack of hearts and a 10 of hearts in the hole. What’s your starting hand?
Jack, 10 suited?
Three cards in Broadway?
It’s all three until you see the flop. Let’s say the flop is King of spades, seven of hearts, nine of hearts.
So what do you do? Remember, one of the three hole cards has to go.
Do you keep the King for a pair or discard it and go for the straight flush draw?
Might seem obvious until the turn is a five of clubs and the river is a King of diamonds and you realize you mucked a set of kings for…
Trust us, this kind of stuff will break your heart, and we just made this hand up. But the point is, there was no chance you’d fold pre-flop and the pots in Crazy Pineapple can get, well, pretty crazy. And somebody at the table is going to guess right.
Crazy Pineapple has been gaining in popularity in poker rooms around the country. Its origins, however, are a bit of a mystery, even though the game is played across the country.
If you’ve ever heard of a story on who invented Crazy Pineapple share it with us in the comments section.
We think we can trace it back to our crazy Uncle Gus, who liked to play poker at luaus. It’s as good a guess as any.