Yes! Pineapple is my favorite unique poker game. Do you know my job title? I think it’s to make poker fun. I’m not just talking about at the poker table. That wouldn’t make sense anyway because I don’t talk much during Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. I’m referring to all of poker: poker games, unique poker games, poker books, poker articles, and the poker community.
I don’t understand people who complain their lives away. We all have challenges, but your attitude is going to make all the difference in the world. If something or someone is negative in your life, get rid of it! That’s how you find happiness.
For example, if you have a poker friend who always talks about their bad beat stories, complains about their significant other, whines about the bills they have to pay, and is an overall Debbie Downer, get the hell out of there!
I know a few people who have no money whatsoever, no significant other, a ton of debt, and they still have a positive attitude toward life. I’d rather hang out with that person than the Debbie Downer or a wealthy person who is boring as hell.
This is a relatively long way of saying that you can also make poker fun again. I’m not saying you have to write books and stuff, but I am saying that you have more control than you think.
Personally, I love Texas Hold’em and Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. I know some people find it boring, but it’s still the Cadillac of Poker, and there is so much analysis that goes into it. I love trying to figure out human-related puzzles, so it’s fun for me.
If you don’t fit into that category, no sweat. You have options. I’m first going to write about different variations of Texas Hold’m poker tournaments. I would consider these unique poker games. After that, I’ll write about other unique poker games. Make sure these are on your radar because some of these unique poker games can be found in some poker rooms, and some of them are even poker tournaments.
Unique Poker Games: Texas Hold’em Version
If you have never played online poker or in a live poker tournament series, then you might not be familiar with the follow unique poker games. Either way, I’ll do my best to provide some poker strategy and poker tips.
Let’s begin with 8-handed Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. A lot of people believe that you should open up your range in this variation of the game. I can sum this up for you in an instant: If you’re the player who doesn’t change anything from a ten-handed game, then you’re going to be more patient than your opponents. Most of your opponents will speed up a little, but not changing your game is what actually gives you the edge.
A 6-handed Texas Hold’em poker tournament is different. This is a far cry from a ten-handed game. However, don’t make the mistake as many others. Many poker players believe that a 6-max game is all about aggression. Yes, you want to be aggressive, but you still want to be Tight-Aggressive and smart.
You want to open up your pre-flop raising range, but this doesn’t mean you should gamble. This version of the game allows you to get a better idea of when you’re ahead and when you’re not. Be aggressive, but play smart. It’s okay to fold.
Turbo Texas Hold’em tournaments are a lot of fun. You don’t have to sit there all day and night. You will have the answer within 3-8 hours, depending on the tournament. There are some exceptions, such as large fields on the WSOP Circuit, but it won’t be much longer than that.
My turbo wins have come from playing tighter, not more aggressive. I always take this approach because I know that at least 90% of my opponents are speeding up their play. If I were to do the same, then I’m just like everyone else.
I’d rather trek down the unbeaten path and have an edge. These players are going to be knocking each other out left and right by the middle of the tournament. You will see all-in hands like KJ vs. 76-suited for 25 and 21 BB. This is not good poker. All those folks can go play recklessly in traffic. I’ll wait on the sidewalk and cross when the little green dude lights up across the street and I know it’s safe to cross. I’ll also be carrying a bazooka.
For the Monster Stack tournament, you best settle in. This is a serious grind. Other than the Main Event, it’s the biggest grind out there. Even the Main Event is less of a grind because your adrenaline is running a little. With the Monster Stack, you’re there all day and night and almost everyone is playing tight because they started with 30k in chips. I’m referring to the WSOP Monster Stack.
You don’t want to take the opposite route and attack on this one. Good players will call your ass. I believe the best approach is to buy-in very late. You want to make sure you have enough BB so you can still play poker, but there should be plenty of opportunity for that when you start with 30k. Even if you buy-in super late, the game will become easier because it will be more push/fold for you.
If you double-up twice, you’re likely to be above the average chip stack. Do you want to grind it out vs. mostly strong players for hours and hours? Or do you want to spend those hours doing something away from the poker room and know that winning two all-ins will put you above the average chips stack and only a few hours from the money? I’ll go with the latter.
Then we have the Bounty Poker Tournaments. I don’t play these much differently than a regular tournament because I don’t want to force anything. Don’t go to the game, let the game come to you. I would definitely recommend playing the same poker hands as you would in a regular poker tournament. The prize pool is going to be much more important than the bounties.
All-in or Fold type tournament is an easy concept to understand. I used to play this in a five-handed home game. We called it Cutthroat because the pots would balloon to incredible amounts. I played pretty tight because there were no blind levels and therefore no blind increases. Won almost every time. I haven’t played this game with blind levels, but I sure would like to play.
Speaking of fun, if you want to play a variation of poker where you don’t have to worry about losing all your chips on the river, try Fixed Limit. Not all poker rooms offer Fixed Limit poker games these days, but you can still find them. You can also find all kinds of stakes for Fixed Limit, depending on where you’re playing.
This poker game is all about the math. If you continuously put yourself in mathematically advantageous situations, you’re going to come out ahead. The reason for that is simple: Not all of your opponents are going to continuously put themselves in mathematically advantageous situations.
Fixed Limit is old-school fun, but there is also new-school fun, such as Short Deck Hold’em, which is otherwise known as Six-Plus Hold’em. It’s called Six-Plus Hold’em because all the 2, 3, 4, and 5 cards are removed from the game. This leads to players being dealt big hands more often, and they hit their draws more often.
This, in turn, makes Short Deck Hold’em an action-packed game. The game began in Macau, but it’s in the growing stages of popularity in the United States.
Let’s take a look at some other unique poker games.
Other Unique Poker Games
One of the most fun and unique poker games is PLO, Pot Limit Omaha. In this variation of poker, you get four hole cards instead of two. You still want to make the best five-card hand possible using your hole cards and the five community cards, but you must use both cards in your hand. You cannot use one card in your hand and four cards on the board like you can in Texas Hold’em.
In PLO, you want to be drawing to the nuts. You’re not going to win much if you’re valuing one pair or two pair. You also don’t want to overvalue straight draws because that straight you’re seeking might not hold even if you hit.
There is a lot more flop action in PLO because the difference in value between starting hands is much narrower. You also won’t see as much bluffing as you do in Texas Hold’em poker games. There is one big similarity, though. You definitely want to value position. Also, mostly want to stick to big cards, and you almost always want to play your double-suited hands.
You will find yourself playing more poker hands in PLO than in Texas Hold’em. This is going to lead to more variance. You will have some killer sessions, and you will have some sessions where you get killed. This is despite the fact that the maximum bet is the size of the pot. You cannot bet any amount at any time like you can in No Limit Texas Hold’em.
And, as a side note yet a very important note, if you’re not a winning Texas Hold’em player, start playing fewer poker hands. That alone should lead you in the right direction.
Omaha 8/b means Omaha 8 or Better, but it’s also called Omaha Hi-Low. The pot is divided between the best high hand and the best low hand. In order to qualify for the low hand, all five cards must be 8 or lower. Just like PLO, you get four cards and five community cards. You want to make the best five-card hand.
Then we have my favorite Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple. If you have never played these poker games, then you probably freak out in your mind when you hear these names. However, the poker rules for Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple are simple.
In Pineapple, it’s basically the same game as Texas Hold’em except for two differences. One, you’re dealt three hole cards and discard one. Two, the betting is different. In both Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple, the first round of betting is the amount of the small blind, and the last two rounds of betting is the amount of the big blind. There is a four-bet max.
The only difference between Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple is that in Crazy Pineapple, you discard one of your three hole cards prior to the turn.
An important note here is that some Pineapple and Crazy Pineapple poker games are no limit. Makes sure you check the poker rules prior to playing in any tournaments, or cash games for that matter.
This article is probably the driest one I have written. It’s all about the facts. Since there were so many topics to cover, I didn’t really have time to have fun, which probably comes across. But, just like anything in life, you must make sacrifices.
Even though you won’t find as many poker tips here in the poker strategy sense, I would definitely recommend bookmarking the page. This way, you can go back and do a quick read through the unique poker games. If you’re not playing well in Texas Hold’em, then you might want to switch it up.
Look at professional athletes. A football player who has underachieved will often break out and become a beast after moving to another team. Sometimes, a change of scenery can do you wonders.
I would also like to point out that the best poker players in the world know every variation of poker forward and backward. When they see a tournament schedule for a tournament series, they get more excited about unique poker games than Texas Hold’em.
Don’t get me wrong. Texas Hold ’em is still the best game out there, but everyone likes a little variety now and then. One warning on those poker tournaments for unique poker games: You will almost always have a tougher field than in Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. This is a good thing, though. It will make you stronger. Play Good and RunGood!
Unique Poker Games – FAQs
A: I like PLO Hi but it’s just a matter of preference.
A: Crazy pineapple is just like Texas hold’em except you are dealt three hole cards and must discard one of those cards prior to the turn.