What Is Pineapple Poker

What is Pineapple poker? What is a winning Pineapple poker strategy? Where can I learn to play Pineapple poker?

If you’re asking these questions – we’ve got the answers!

Those looking to get into the high-octane world of Pineapple poker have come to the right place. Stay with us as we take you through the ultimate guide to what is Pineapple poker, how to play, and how to hone your skills like the pros. 

What Is Pineapple Poker?

First, let’s answer the most important question of all – What is Pineapple poker?

Open Face Chinese poker and Pineapple poker in today’s poker world represent the same game with two names. It’s one of the fastest-growing poker games today, and despite its name, it was actually developed in Finland.

The objective of Pineapple poker is the same as standard Chinese Poker. Every player has to make or set three poker hands, which are then divided into rows or lines. The top line consists of three cards, while the middle and bottom have five cards each. Of course, the best hands win.

The game of Pineapple poker doesn’t use chips and there’s no betting involved, but rather a points system.

When making your hand, it’s important to know that the bottom five-card row has to have a higher value than the middle five-card hand. Also, the middle five-card hand has to be higher than the top three-card hand.

We’re now seeing Pineapple poker played more in online casinos like CoinPoker, where players from around the world can access a variety of stakes and games.

The Rules of Pineapple Poker

Just like in regular Chinese poker, the back or bottom hand has to be stronger than the middle. That means that, in turn, the middle has to be stronger than the top or front hand.

In Pineapple poker, straights and flushes do not count in the top hand, and only high cards, pairs, and Three of a Kind are relevant. By not setting their cards properly to follow the order, a player can foul or miss-set, causing them to lose six points.

Not only that but if a player fouls, their hand is forfeited. In a case where all players foul, no one would win or lose any points in that hand. 

So for a hand to be valid, the back has to be the strongest out of the three in accordance with traditional poker hand rankings. An example of a valid hand would be:

Front: 3, 3, 5 (Pair of Threes)

Middle: A, A, 5, 5, 10 (Two pairs: Aces and Fives)

Back: 8, 9, 10, J, Q (Straight)

And an example of a foul hand, where the strength doesn’t go front to back, would be:

Front: 2, 2, 5 (Pair of Twos)

Middle: 3, 3, K, K, 9 (Two pairs: Threes and Kings)

Back: 8, 8, Q, Q, J (Two pairs: Eights and Queens)

How to Play Pineapple Poker

The next step in answering the question What is Pineapple poker has to be learning about the rules of the game. One of the exact reasons players have been enjoying the game so much is that it has fun, but sometimes complex, rules. In fact, it’s regarded as the poker game that requires the most skill.

The first thing to know is that Pineapple poker uses a normal 52-card deck, and can be played with two to four people. It’s a game that is played over eight rounds, and the starting hand of each player consists of five cards. The other eight cards that each player needs are dealt one after the other during the eight rounds.

Once players have set their hand and their turn is concluded, the hand can’t be changed. The player to start first is the one left of the dealer button. Once all players receive their last card, they have to make the comparison and score their hands.

In Pineapple poker, the goal is to have the highest possible score at the end of the rounds or to receive as few minus points as possible. We’ll explain exactly how points are awarded a bit later. 

Position of the Dealer

For at-home games, one player is chosen to be the dealer, usually by a random shuffle and deal. The player who has the highest card starts as the dealer. 

The dealer position is designated with a button, which is passed to the left after each hand. However, there is an exception to this rule and it happens when a player is in Fantasyland. At that moment, the button freezes until all players are back to playing standard Pineapple poker.

Scoring in Pineapple Poker

We can’t really answer the question of What is Pineapple poker without going over how to score rows and grab points. The point system might seem a bit difficult at first, but remember, it’s still poker. And as is with any other form of poker, the goal is to have a higher value hand than your opponents. In an ideal situation, all three of your hands would be the best at the table.

When comparing hands, you must do so without all the opponents at the table. Here are the basic principles:

  • If a player beats all three hands of their opponent, they scoop and get +6 points.
  • If a player gets beaten in all three hands, they foul, and lose -6 points.
  • A player who wins two out of three of their hands gets +1 point.
  • A player who loses two out of three of their hands gets -1 point.

In a three-handed game, the player to the left of the button would compare first, and the comparisons would then go clockwise. By knowing the correct scoring method, you can make your games much faster and smoother.

Now, this scoring system sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, it would if Pineapple scoring ended there. However, Pineapple poker is notorious for having scoring bonuses, also known as royalties. These points are often worth more than plus/minus one, so pay close attention.

Scoring Bonus System/Royalties

The most common bonus is the scoop, which goes to the player who has the best three hands and receives +6. However, in Pineapple poker, in order to receive royalties, you don’t even need to beat someone’s hand. All you need is a qualifying hand.

For the bottom hand, the royalties go as follows:

Qualifying Hand Points
Straight+2
Flush+4
Full House+6
Four of a Kind+10
Straight Flush +15
Royal Flush +25

Royalties for the middle hand are worth double the bottom hand and go as follows:

Qualifying Hand Points
Pair+2
Straight+4
Flush+8
Full House+12
Four of a Kind+20
Straight Flush +30
Royal Flush +50

Finally, we have the royalties for the top hand pairs, which go:

Qualifying Hand Points
Pair of Sixes+1
Pair of Sevens+2
Pair of Eights+3
Pair of Nines+4
Pair of Tens +5
Pair of Jacks+6
Pair of Queens+7
Pair of Kings+8
Pair of Aces+9

There are also bonus points for Three of a Kind in the top hand, and they are:

Qualifying Hand Points
Trip Deuces+10
Trip Threes +11
Trip Fours+12
Trip Fives+13
Trip Sixes+14
Trip Sevens+15
Trip Eights+16
Trip Nines+17
Trip Tens +18
Trip Jacks +19
Trip Queens+20
Trip Kings+21
Trip Aces+22

All of the bonuses listed are paid out during comparison, and they’re paid regardless of whether a player has won that row. Another key thing to know is that bonuses can actually negate each other. If two players, for example, hit a pair of sixes in their top hand, they would each receive zero.

What About Fantasyland?

Now, we can’t talk about what is Pineapple poker and OFC without going over one of its most popular (but optional rules). If players want to play in Fantasyland, they all have to agree before the game even starts.

So what is Fantasyland? 

In order for players to get into Fantasyland, they need their front hand to be a pair of Queens or better. Once they have that, and they haven’t fouled, their next hand will be in Fantasyland.

As we mentioned earlier, once a player is in Fantasyland, the button doesn’t move until they leave it. Also, other players aren’t allowed to quit out of the hand when someone is Fantasyland.

But why is being in Fantasyland important? Well, because it comes with a substantial perk.

The player who is in Fantasyland will get all of their 13 cards dealt at once and they can set their hand properly. Also, until all players at the table complete their hands, the player in Fantasyland won’t have their cards exposed.

As you can tell, there is a big benefit to being in Fantasyland as you’re able to make your rows perfectly each time. However, once you’re in Fantasyland, making a pair of Queens or better would be too easy. 


So to stay in Fantasyland, you’ll have to do a bit better.

On the bottom row, you’ll need Four of a Kind or better hand, including a Straight Flush and a Royal Flush. The middle row has to be a Full House or better and the top row has to be Three of a Kind.

Pineapple Poker Variations

One of the best things for all Pineapple poker lovers is the fact that the game has variants of its own. So to really answer the question of What is Pineapple poker, we also have to answer the question of What Pineapple poker variants are out there? Let’s take a closer look.

Simple Pineapple

Simple or Regular Pineapple poker is the game we’ve been talking about thus far. It’s the game that in online casinos across the world is also known as OFC and follows the same rules as the variant.

Pineapple OFC

Pineapple OFC is a Pineapple poker variation that allows the game to stay the same with one crucial change. Instead of receiving and placing a single card during each turn, players will be dealt three cards, and they have to place two, discarding one, face down.

This key element drives more action into the game, but it also allows for a greater degree of skill. It’s one of the reasons Pineapple poker took off in the first place.

Hi-Lo

There’s even a sub-variant of Pineapple OFC in the Hi-Lo format. The game is created by changing the requirements for the middle hand so that it must be a lowball hand. So the middle is won by the lowest hand and it can’t contain any pairs, straights, flushes, or a card that’s higher than a 10.

In Pineapple OFC, the best middle hand to make is 2-3-4-5-7 with more than one suit. The hand is also what’s known as The Wheel.

Now, players only have to make two high hands, the front, and the back, giving them the chance to score much higher. Since the middle hand doesn’t need to be stronger than the front one, a pair of aces, for example, can easily be covered by just two pairs at the back.

Given that it’s now easier to make a higher score, there’s another tweak to the game when it comes to Fantasyland. Instead of scoring two Queens, players must be holding two Kings or better at the front. They can also qualify for it by making The Wheel in the middle.

Hi-Lo scoring goes just like regular Pineapple, with a key exception for the middle hand. It goes as follows:

Qualifying HandPoints
10-High0
9-High1
8-High2
7-High4
The Wheel8

But to stay in Fantasyland during a Hi-Lo game, players need Three of a Kind at the front, The Wheel in the middle, and Four of a Kind or better at the back. 

What’s more, in Pineapple Hi-Lo, players can even get into something called Super Fantasyland. By making The Wheel in the middle and Kings or better at the front, they will receive 15 cards for their next hand. Of course, they have to discard two to make the best 13-card Pineapple hand.

Pineapple Poker Strategy

The next step in fully knowing and understanding what is Pineapple poker is diving into strategy. Without a strategy, you would be going in blind and hoping for the best. And as we all know, poker is as much a game of luck as it is of skill.

Careful With Big Pairs

Putting big pairs in your front hand can be quite risky, so make sure the reward justifies it. Pairs of Queens, Kings, and Aces give you a chance to get into Fantasyland, and they can be a risk worth taking. However, pairs of Jacks or below are almost a surefire way to get a foul.

Avoid Long Shots

When you need to make two cards to make a hand, your chance of going on top becomes pretty slim. Not chasing two cards for two separate hands is going to be a key step in your Pineapple poker strategy.

Learn How Not to Foul

Many beginners get into the game of Pineapple poker only hoping to make it into Fantasyland. While that’s a good goal to aspire to, it’s often very difficult, especially when you’re new to the game. So instead of making it into Fantasyland, players will miss-set their cards, causing them to foul, and lose six points. When you’re still a beginner, focus on setting all three hands correctly, making sure the back row is the strongest. 

Stick To Your Hand Plan

No matter how good your Pineapple strategy is, it won’t mean much if you abandon it halfway. If you’re drawing a hand on the deal and setting the draw accordingly, you should carry on the rest of the hand under the assumption you’re going to catch. Being indecisive and abandoning strategy in Pineapple poker can end up costing you loads down the line.

Count Dead Cards

Like in Seven-Card Stud, you should learn to count dead cards. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time and points by going after a hand that’s now impossible to make. A good rule of thumb is not to chase after a draw unless you have six live-outs (or more).

To Sum Up: What Is Pineapple Poker

So what is Pineapple poker? As you can see, it’s a fast-paced, high-thrill game that is slowly, but surely, taking over the world. Once you master the basic rules and hands, you should have no trouble excelling at the game and taking home all the points.

And if you want to sharpen your skills and start winning big at Pineapple poker – head on to CoinPoker. The crypto-based room was created for players by players, and there’s a table for every skill level.

Not only that, but CoinPoker has the lowest rake in the industry, which is called Community Contributions. To ensure a safe and fair game for every player, CoinPoker boasts revolutionary decentralized RNG software. It allows players to participate in the shuffling process and verify that their cards were dealt fairly.

About Play Pineapple Poker

Play Pineapple Poker is the latest passion project thought up by the legendary poker pro, Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier. It’s a platform designed to teach people how to play Pineapple Poker and Open Face Chinese Poker to get the most out of the game.

With Play Pineapple Poker, we aim to show players the best strategies, the latest trends, and industry news. Not only that, but we want to show you the best places to take your game to the next level.

About Isabelle Mercier

Isabelle Mercier made a name for herself when she won the €800 No Limit Hold’Em tournament at the Masters Classic of Poker 2002 in Amsterdam. Two years after that, she won first prize at the World Poker Tour Ladies’ Night Tournament. That’s when Mike Sexton nicknamed her “No Mercy.”

Since then, Isabelle has traveled the world, playing poker, and taking part in tournaments. She’s an ambassador for CoinPoker, regularly plays OFC, and participates in tournaments on the platform.

FAQ: What Is Pineapple Poker 

Q1: What Is Pineapple Poker?

A1: In today’s poker world, Pineapple poker and OFC are two names for the same game. Pineapple poker is a poker variant in which there is no betting system, only points, and players have to make a 13-card hand.

Q2: How to Play Pineapple Poker?

A2: Pineapple and OFC poker rules are the same and players have to set their 13 cards into three rows or hands – the top, middle, and bottom. The bottom has to be the strongest, then the middle, followed by the top.

Q3: What Is OFC Pineapple Poker?

A3: OFC Pineapple poker is a poker variant in which, instead of the regular 13 cards, players are dealt 15. Out of those 15, they have to discard two to make their best hands. It’s a much faster, more dynamic spin on the traditional game and it has gained lots of popularity in recent years.

Q4: Where to Play OFC Pineapple Poker Online?

A4: CoinPoker hosts one of the best OFC Pineapple poker games online. CoinPoker’s lobby has various stakes and OFC Pineapple variants, making the platform perfect for beginners, enthusiasts, and pros.

Q5: What is Fantasyland?

A6: Fantasyland is a type of bonus round seen in OFC and Pineapple poker. Players can get into Fantasyland by having a pair of Queens or better in the front hand and by not fouling. Once they’re in Fantasyland, players will receive all 13 of their cards dealt at once and set them face down until they’re ready to act.

Q6: How to win in Pineapple poker?

A6: As with any other game, there’s no guarantee you’ll win. However, knowing the point system and how to set your cards properly is an excellent first step toward victory. Also, getting into and staying in Fantasyland and winning royalties will be crucial components of a winning strategy.

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