Anaconda from the Basement
by Michael Wiesenberg © 2019 Great Bridge Links
Anaconda is a form of seven stud found only in home games in which cards are passed to left and right, sometimes multiple times, and sometimes with five cards chosen at the end and rolled, that is, exposed one at a time, with a bet after each exposure. Also called pass the trash, Screwy Louie. Michael shares some tips …
We played Anaconda regularly in the nightly game that lived in the basement of my dorm at Stanford. Of course, we used chip declaration, rather than the cards speak mode of public card rooms, and we also had a bet after the declare.
Interesting situations frequently came up, such as you might have 2-3-4-5 on the board with a 6 in the hole. Does the fellow who also has 2-3-4-5 showing have better than you for low? And that fellow with K-Q-K-K, does he really have a queen in the hole for a full house, or a king for quads? Should you declare high? Should you declare low only? Should you declare both ways? The scooping rule was that unless you clearly won both ways when you declared both ways, you were out of the pot, and the pot was then split between the best remaining hand that declared high and the best remaining hand that declared low.
Just as interesting might be if you had an ace in the hole and declared both ways. If your low opponent also had an ace in the hole and declared low only because either he was afraid of your hand or afraid of the high hand, he would end up with half of the pot instead of the one-fourth he would get if you had also played it safe. Since you had been tied for low but declared both ways, you would be out of the running.
Even more interesting would be if both of the low hands had wheels and both declared high-low. Since each had tied the other, each eliminated the other. The fellow who had the K-Q-K-K showing might actually have had a 7 in the hole. Even though he didn’t have the highest hand, he would end up with the whole pot because the two wheels were both knocked out of contention and he had the only hand remaining in contention.
Now, in this same situation of two high-low hands knocking each other out, perhaps another player had 7-6-5-4 showing and a deuce in the hole. Who knows what he was hanging around for, but he stoutly declared low. He would split the pot with the three kings, even though he actually came in third for low while the three kings came in third for high. These situations came up all the time not just in Anaconda, but in any split game, since all high-low games had a declaration.
Anaconda. (n) A form of seven stud found only in home games in which cards are passed to left and right, sometimes multiple times, and sometimes with five cards chosen at the end and rolled, that is, exposed one at a time, with a bet after each exposure. Also called pass the trash, Screwy Louie.
bet after the declare. (v phrase) A variation found in home games in which there is an extra round of betting after players have made their declaration. The showdownfollows this round of betting.
cards speak. (v phrase) The rule followed in many cardrooms that what a player says about their hand has no relevance: only the cards shown are of importance, and those cards, when placed face up on the table, are to be “read” by the house dealer, or any player at the table.
declaration. (n phrase) 1. Verbal showdown. If prior to showing your cards you say, “I have a full house,” that statement is a declaration. 2. In a high-low split game, using chips or voice to indicate whether you’re going for high, low, or both. Such a declaration is usually done after all the betting is over, and is either consecutive or sequential. This is not common in public cardrooms, where high-low split games are usually played cards speak.
scoop. (v) Declare both ways in a high-low split poker game that has a declaration. 2.Win both ways in a high-low poker game that has a declare. (Just because you declareboth ways does not necessarily mean you’ll win both ways.)