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Deuce-To-Seven Pineapple Open Face 101

by Kevin Haney |  Published: Jul 27, 2022


Deuce-to-Seven Pineapple (2-7 POFC) is a variation of Pineapple (POFC) in which the middle handle is used to make the best 2-7 low. While it sounds more complex, it is actually easier to play than POFC (high only) since the placement decisions of the cards we receive are often more clear cut.

Typically, low cards go in the middle, middling cards such as queens and jacks go on the bottom, and we will often try and make a pair of aces or kings up top. In many cases, there is less variation in how experienced and beginners would play their hands, making 2-7 POFC the ideal game to pick up first.

The three-card top and the five-card back hands remain the same where the goal is to make the best possible high holdings. In order to avoid fouling, the back hand must end up superior to the top hand and a ten or better low hand is required in the middle. As in Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball, straights and flushes count against you in the middle and will cause you to foul.

The royalties/bonuses for the top and back remain the same as POFC and are as follows:

Top Bonus Top Bonus Top Bonus
6-6 1 2-2-2 10 J-J-J 19
7-7 2 3-3-3 11 Q-Q-Q 20
8-8 3 4-4-4 12 K-K-K 21
9-9 4 5-5-5 13 A-A-A 22
10-10 5 6-6-6 14
J-J 6 7-7-7 15
Q-Q 7 8-8-8 16
K-K 8 9-9-9 17
A-A 9 10-10-10 18
Bottom Bonus
Straight 2
Flush 4
Full House 6
Quads 10
Straight Flush 15
Royal Flush 25

The royalties/bonuses for the low hands in the middle are:

Middle Bonus
Nine 1
Eight 2
Seven 4

In order to enter Fantasyland (FL or “The Land”) we require a qualifying hand with either kings or better up top or a wheel (7-5-4-3-2 low) in the middle. Queens up top will no longer take you there as they do in POFC. If you are lucky enough to make both a pair of kings or better up top and a wheel in the middle, you qualify for a special fifteen-card Fantasyland.

Even though queens are no longer a pathway to FL it’s much easier to earn a trip to “The Land” in the 2-7 version than it is in POFC, however, empirical data has shown that the value of getting there is less.

In order to remain in FL you require trips or better up top or quads or better on the bottom. On some platforms a wheel in the middle may also send you back, so make sure you know the rules as this will definitely impact your FL setting strategy.

Basic Strategy

The bonuses received for the middle low hands are relatively small compared to those that you can receive for the top and bottom rows, and this greatly impacts our approach to 2-7 POFC.

A wheel in the middle has extra value in that it will send you to FL; however, the second nut low 7-6-4-3-2 only provides four bonus points which is the same as a pair of nines up top. And a pair of sevens in the front provides the same amount of royalties as an eight low does in the middle.

The game would be more complex if the bonuses in the middle were bigger as that would create more difficult decisions. However, as currently structured our best overall strategy is to most often try and make a pair of kings or aces up top, start building a qualifying low early, and attempt to cover our big pair up top with two pair or trips on the bottom.

In regular POFC, it’s often correct to try and build straights and flushes on the bottom especially when many of the cards we need are live. When we complete one of those made hands on the bottom, we can secure a trip to FL with as little as a pair of kings in the middle and queens up top. And making a pair of kings in the middle only requires two specific cards while the other three can be anything.

2-7 POFC is different in that the low requires five unpaired cards under a jack that don’t make a straight, otherwise we will foul. This means that when we are trying to make a flush or a straight on the bottom we must also be allocating cards to the middle as well and they will often compete against each other. In addition, any high cards in our straight or flush draw can limit our potential to make a pair of kings or aces in front.

All of this means that we should pursue straights and flushes much less often in 2-7 POFC than we would in POFC high. That said, some hands start out or develop in a way where drawing to these holdings is probably our best play, it’s just less common.

Early on if we have wheel potential, we should often pursue it, otherwise we shouldn’t tend to unduly favor the middle low hand at the expense of the other lines. Our focus should always be geared towards making a pair of kings or aces up top, which will gain us big royalties and a trip to FL.

It is very important to start building a low hand early. With our initial five-card deal, we should in most cases place at least two cards in the middle towards our low. However, in some initial sets, we may only place one or zero low cards in the middle, but generally require a very good reason to do so as the odds of not making a qualifying low go up.

Later on in the hand we should never put big royalties or a trip to Fantasyland at risk in an attempt to make a better low. For example, if we have a trip to the Land locked up or a straight flush on the bottom, we should not hesitate to lock up a weak 10-7-6-3-2 low in the middle. Potentially fouling your hand going for a few more bonus points in the middle just isn’t worth it.

Fantasyland Setting

This is a relatively straight-forward aspect of the game and we should usually simply set the hand that maximizes the amount of bonuses. For example, in the hand shown below we will get more royalties by playing the aces up top as opposed to keeping the seven low in the middle:

Top Royalties Top Royalties
A-A-K 9 9-9-K 4
10-7-6-5-3 0 7-6-5-3-2 4
9-9-2-2-J 0 A-A-2-J-10 0
9 8

While it is very important to examine all possibilities, simply maximizing bonuses is not always the most optimal way to play set our FL hand. For example, if the second setting with the nines on top and the seven low in the middle would scoop your opponent and the first setting would not, option #2 would become the preferred play because we earn an extra five points when we sweep.

Whenever you are dealt trips it is critical to explore if you can possibly make a qualifying hand playing them up top. Missing an opportunity to set trips in the front is very costly as the possibility of making these hands is one of the biggest benefits of getting to FL.

While FL setting is a relatively straight-forward process, we can also gain some insights on how to most effectively set our initial five cards in future hands. For example, you will often find that in FL your optimal play is often to put a high pair up top by weakening your low and putting two pair in the back.

In our placement of the first five cards, our main focus is to build a hand that can make a pair of kings or better up and not get overly stingy when it comes to the potential of our low draws. Over the next several installments, we will examine several initial setting decisions and the various factors we should consider when making them. ♠

Kevin Haney is a former actuary of MetLife but left the corporate job to focus on his passions for poker and fitness. He is co-owner of Elite Fitness Club in Oceanport, NJ and is a certified personal trainer. With regards to poker he got his start way back in 2003 and particularly enjoys taking new players interested in mixed games under his wing and quickly making them proficient in all variants. If interested in learning more, playing mixed games online, or just saying hello he can be reached at