Anaconda Rules

Anaconda Poker, also sometimes known as Pass the Trash, is a variation of Seven Card Stud Poker. The biggest difference between Anaconda Poker and every other form of poker is that after the players get their cards, they get to pick which cards they keep and then pass their trashy cards to the players to their left.

This game is quite popular in home games but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see it spread in a real casino. Players with strong memory skills can do quite well at this game, but it’s best played as a casual game because it’s a lot of fun and generates interesting conversation.

Antes and Deal

At the beginning of each hand, each player must pay an ante to receive cards. This is just a small bet that’s usually equal in size to 10% of the lower betting limit. So if you’re playing in a $10/$20 Anaconda game, the antes would be $1.00.

Each player is then dealt seven cards face down. The player to the left of the dealer receives the first card, and then each player to the left receives one card in turn. This process continues until every player has seven cards.

First Betting Round

The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer. This player may bet, check or fold. The betting action continues to the left around the table until all the players have had a chance to bet and all bets have been matched. The bets in this round should be placed in increments of the lower betting limit.

First Pass

Now each player chooses three cards from his hand and passes those cards to the player to the left. Each player will simultaneously lose and gain three cards in this fashion.

Second Betting Round

Another betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer. This round of betting is played in the same manner as the previous round.

Second Pass

In this round, each player chooses two cards to pass to the left.

Third Betting Round

After the players get their new cards, there is another betting round. This round also begins with the first player to the left of the dealer. From here on out, the bets should be made in increments of the upper betting limit.

Third Pass

Each player chooses one more card to pass to the left. This is the final pass.

Fourth Betting Round

There is one more round of betting identical to the previous betting round.

Pick Five

Now each player chooses five of the seven cards to make up his final five card poker hand. The remaining two cards can be discarded. The players then put their cards face down in a stack in front of them.

At the signal of the dealer, each player then reveals one card of his choice.

Fifth Betting Round

There is one more round of betting.


Any players remaining after the last betting round now reveal the rest of their cards. The player with the best five card poker hand wins the pot.

Optional Showdown Rules

In some versions of Anaconda, the game may be played with alternate rules for revealing the cards. After the fifth betting round is completed, the dealer will then tell the players to reveal one more card, followed by another betting round. This continues until each card is shown.

In this version, there are more betting rounds and hands take longer to play. I don't recommend playing this way, but if you are looking for a long game this is perfect.