The popular home poker game of Anaconda can be played with a number of variations. In Anaconda 3-2-1, players may be dealt seven instead of six initial cards and then, after all passing of cards is complete, choose two cards to discard to make their final hands. Jokers may be included in the deck as wild cards, to which players can assign any value. Anaconda may be played high, low, or high-low split, with the two players with the highest and the lowest-ranking hands splitting the pot.
Instead of Anaconda 3-2-1, Anaconda 1-2-3 can be played. In this Anaconda variation, one card, two cards and finally three cards are passed to the player on the left. The final pass of three cards can do serious damage to players who are holding strong hands, like straights or flushes, and turn the game around for players with weak hands.
Popular Anaconda variations played with other names include
Roll ‘em Anaconda
Roll ‘em Anaconda is played the same as Anaconda 3-2-1, with passes of three, two and then one card to the player on the left, and one card discarded by each player. However, once players have made their hands, they place their final five cards in a face-down stack on the table. They then expose only the top card, and another betting round ensues. This continues, with a new card exposed and a betting round following, until all but one player has folded or remaining players’ full hands are exposed. The player with the best hand wins the pot. This Anaconda variation adds excitement by allowing for four additional betting rounds. In some games, no betting rounds occur between card passes – with bets placed only in the final four rounds.
Howdy Doody is an Anaconda variation that’s always played high-low split. In this game, 3s are wild in high hands and kings are wild in low hands. A player must declare whether their hand is high or low.
In this Anaconda variation, the pot is split between the player with the winning hand and the player to that person’s immediate right. The idea is that the player on the right probably supplied many of the winning player’s cards by passing them left.