What is Anaconda?

Anaconda is a popular form of seven-card stud poker, usually played with between three and seven players. Across each betting round, players select a set number of cards from their hand and pass them to a player next to them – usually to the left. Once all cards have been passed and all rounds concluded, players select the best five card hand from the seven they now hold, and this hand enters the showdown against all other players still in the game.

Anaconda Explained

Anaconda is a form of stud poker, as it involves hidden cards, but it also bears similarities to draw and community games. The aim of the game is to have the best possible hand at the end of the game, formed from cards which have been passed to the player by their neighboring opponents. Players bet after each pass of the cards, and the game is concluded when all passes are completed. Most games of Anaconda are played to traditional poker rules, though lowball and High-Low split versions are also commonly seen.

Players usually receive seven cards to begin the game, and must pass three to the player on their immediate left. After viewing their new hand and betting on it, they must hand another two cards to the same player. Another round of betting follows, and then a single card is passed left. The player must assemble a five card hand, discarding two, with which to enter the showdown.

The game Anaconda has several names around the world, including ‘Pass the Trash’ and ‘Screw your Neighbor’. These relate to the strategy of passing cards you don’t want onto your opponents, and keeping the best cards until the end of the game. Some games of Anaconda will alternate which player receives the cards, or start with six instead of seven and discard only one.The rules vary slightly between different regions and card rooms, but the general principle always remains the same.

Looking to get into poker? Read the Casinopedia beginner’s guide.