April 5, 2014 -- Today's Open Face Chinese Poker hand is Pineapple-OFC, with a lowball 2-7 middle. For complete rules and scoring specifics for lowball, see our Rules Page. Open Face Odds observes variable-value Fantasyland for Pineapple, and in the 2-7 variant, front-row KK qualifies for 13-card FL, AA+ front is 14-card FL, and a perfect lowball 75432 is 15-card FL.

The hand dealt is 5d 8d 4c 4h 3c, and is classified as a "Cannibal" starting 5. A Cannibal card adds value to one row's primary draw or EV while simultaneously subtracting value from another row because it reduces the number of primary draw outs and/or immediate scoring value in that row. For more detailed theory on this concept, see Open Face Odds' Classification of Starting Hands part III. Cannibals are generally harder to play than Cooperators, where the draw ranges remain separated. An example of a Cooperator in lowball would be 345JJ. The pair of JJ can be set comfortably apart from the 345 and neither row's improvement draw will merge with the other's.

Overall score is based on royalties made, scoop equity estimation, and Fantasyland expected value. Nut low middle scores 8 points in our home game, so is the measurement here.


This set is unabashedly going for the nut lowball (75432) in the middle, which in our scoring system is a 6-10 point royalty, depending on house rules, and is also a qualifier for 15-card Fantasyland. Our house game gives an 8 point royalty for 75432, and that's what we'll score here if it hits.

The back row heart flush is not unattainable in Pineapple with 12 cards to look at, but may cause some problems, as some of the hearts needed (2,7,8,9,10) will be cross-drawing with the middle and front rows.

Back row flush is the goal here, with a secondary goal of catching a big pair in front. KK+ qualifies for Fantasyland, but JJ is 6 points and QQ is 7. And, if the 8-high middle holds, that scores 2 points.

Setting up for a full house back row, instead of splitting the pair. This is probably the riskiest set in terms of fouling, as any 8 or 4 will be merged-draw cards that could either go in the back or the middle. However this set also contains high scoring potential if I run good, since a full house is a real possibility, a perfect lowball middle is alive, and the front will be reserved for Broadway. And, there are plenty of back-out spots.


Not a great pull, but we can work with it. First instincts say to put the 35 in back with the 4, but that sets up major cross-draw problems on later streets with fulfilling the lowball middle. So, we'll keep the flush draw alive and add the King to the front row.

Even though you wouldn't expect to get two of your already set cards (3,5) on the very next pull, and in some ways that's unlucky, it does mean that there is less chance of fouling the middle. However the back row is looking a bit weak right now

This pull is slightly worse for this set, as the low cards pair the middle (a foul), and the flush draw is in serious jeopardy. Pairing the 3 in back is a possibility, and probably the most solid play. However we will gamble here and reposition the back row to a straight draw, with the K in front. This may set up problems in later streets, i.e when a 2 or 6 hits. But what if a pair of 2's or 6's comes in one pull? Hmmm.

The first pull really hurts this set. The only play to keep back and front royalty hopes alive is K5 in front.


Well one part of the plan is coming to fruition - a flush. However, the cross-draws that I mentioned are in full motion. The hearts are going in back for the flush draw, but note they take away outs from the middle row (which has to be 10 or better for the lowball to unfoul).

There's not much choice here to keep any royalties alive and avoid a scoop. The 9's could go in back but wouldn't help scoop equity and foul jeopardy increases. Placing the 9 in the middle allows for more flexibility, and the 10 in front provides a decent kicker for a K-high row as well as potential royalties if a pair were able to be made.

Setting the pair of 9's in back increases foul likelihood, but not setting the 9's in back increases negative scoop equity. An safe but unlimately scoopable play is 9 middle 10 back or front. If I had an opponent who looked likely to foul, I'd set it conservatively. Here, however, we're holding on to Fantasyland hopes either with KK front or nut middle.


Since the original plan was to get to Fantasyland with the nut lowball 75432, we'll stick to it. Pairing the 8 in front would be a decent play if the middle were already closed out, since any heart, 9 or 10 would give 11 outs for the back row to beat the front. However in this spot I don't like having to catch perfectly in middle and back. This set allows for the 4 or 3 to pair up in back to unfoul if no hearts come (or the heart is needed in the middle), whereas pairing the 8 in front means only a 9 or 10 would unfoul the back in the event of no hearts arriving.

The serious gambler would put the 10 in front, but I am choosing to close out my middle and play it safe. Now I am able to catch any A,2,3,4,5,6 to unfoul the back, combos of AK or K6 still send me to Fantasyland, and AT or 6T also score royalties.

The only reasonable play here is to go 2-8 in the middle. Bye bye nut lowball, but that was a stretch anyways when we set the 4's in back. Here, a reasonable chance to unfoul is alive, and who knows, maybe we can still catch a King for Fantasyland, or perhaps an Ace for an AK5 front row.


Foul. It might be a bit of run bad to catch no pair or heart on the last pull, but the set was awkward after the first pull brought pairs to two of the lowball middle. One-to-flush, even in Pineapple, is no gimme. Although 543 was a great start to a nut low middle, I would say that there wasn't enough support in the back row at the beginning of the hand.

FL EV: 0

Looks like closing out the middle 10-high was the right move, as a 6 came but was needed for the back row straight. Any other move would have fouled. Given the difficulty of the starting 5 and the first pull, it was a decent save.

FL EV: 0

The 8-high middle yields a 2-point royalty, and 9944 back row is medium-low strength, as is the KJ5 front. Without a great starting hand nor a terrific runout, this was also a decent turnout.

FL EV: 0



The royalty # is an aggregate of all 3 rows (see scoring chart here). The scoop equity # gives the likelihood of a scoop or being scooped, a range of 12 points from +6 to -6. The FL EV is Fantasyland Expected Value; in other words how many points you will generally score in the Fantasyland round if you qualify. Open Face Odds works with a variable-value system for Fantasyland in Pineapple OFC. At this time we value Pineapple FL at 13-card: 2.3 points, 14-card: 6.2 points, 15-card: 12.4 points.

To run your own simulations or just for practice, try Open Face Odds' training modules, where you can practice setting for Pineapple, Turbo, Fantasyland, and other situations. Click any of these links to find a module:

Pineapple v. 14-card Fantasyland
Pineapple v. 15-card Fantasyland
Pineapple Heads Up
Standard OFC v. 13-card Fantasyland
Turbo Heads Up
Training Page Home