How to Play Action-Packed Estonian Twist Poker Game

Estonian Twist

Playing a standard game of poker requires a surprising level of commitment considering you need cards, chips, a table and several hours worth of time.

It doesn’t have to be like that, though, and we recently highlighted a collection of fun, quick games that use poker hand rankings.

Estonian Twist was arguably the most popular and prompted the most question so we’d go into a little more detail about the game in a special blog post.

Here’s the basic rundown of Estonian Twist:

All you need is a deck of cards and some willing opponents (3-6 is ideal).

It’s kind of like Crazy Pineapple in that every player gets three cards and then discards one after the flop. Other than that it uses No-Limit Hold’em rules with standard poker hand rankings (royal flush good, jack-high bad).

The major difference is that in Estonian Twist there’s no betting so you’re essentially all-in every hand (it is a gambling game).

Another way that Estonian Twist differs from Crazy Pineapple is that there are two discards. The first one you discard a card to the player on your left. Then you discard into the muck.

Chips 2
You won't be needing chips.

Make sense? Here’s how it works turn-by-turn:

1. Each player gets three cards face down that only he or she is allowed to look at.

2. The flop is dealt.

3. Each player tosses one card of his or her choosing to the opponent on their left.

4. Every player then throws one card into the muck, leaving them with two cards.

5. The turn.

6. The river.

7. Best hand wins.

Basic Strategy Tips

There isn’t a ton of skill involved with Estonian Twist but there are a few things you can do that definitely improve your chances.

1. You’re obviously going to want to toss useless cards that don’t connect with the flop.

2. Big hands are more common in Estonian Twist so be careful with your pairs.

3. Be very cautious when giving opponents draw-heavy cards.


4. If all three cards on the flop are one suit you can st guarantee someone will make a flush.

5. Despite what you might think, having three-of-a-kind in your hand is usually bad since you have to discard one of your outs.

6. Here are a couple of the best starting hands (you want one pair as well as straight and flush draws):