Poker Home Games – Pass The Trash

August 20, 2007

Pass the chips, pass the remote, pass the ketchup….and while you’re at it, pass me the two spades I need to complete the flush.
Aww yeah, pass the trash. Where the end result of your hand isn’t only up to the luck of the draw, but also the decision making skills of your opponents at the table.
Over my years playing cards, I’ve learned two distinct and quite different ways to play pass the trash (as well as different numbers of cards dealt), so let’s go through the basic rules of the game, and then break down the two ways I know how to play.

1.) Players are dealt seven cards, all at once, all face down. Organize your hand as you choose.

2.) One round of betting.

3.) Now you must choose 3 cards, no more or less, to remove from your hand and pass over to the player to your left (or right, it doesn’t really matter). You’ll give them these cards face-down, and they will then become part of your opponent’s hand.

***Doesn’t it just SUCK when you have to break up that full-house you were dealt? I know how you feel, I’ve had to do it many times before.***

4.) Likewise, you’ll receive three new cards from the player to your right to add to your hand.

5.) Now you’re going to factor in your new cards and make your best 5-card poker hand from the cards you have.

6.) A final round of betting and then show your cards.

***Note, with either version of the game, you can play a stud version, deal out 5 cards to everyone, and then you pass 2.***

That’s the first version, pretty simple, straightforward betting structure similar to 5-card draw, etc… The next version will take a little more explaining.

1.) Game begins the same as previously described, everyone is dealt 7 cards, face down.

2.) Initial round of betting (if you prefer…you don’t have to because in a minute the pot is going to have many more opportunities to grow)

3.) Pass your three cards to the left. ***Remember what you passed, because knowing even one card that your opponent may be using will be extremely useful by the end of the hand.***

4.) Here’s where things change. After you’ve passed and received your pass from the person to your right, you’ll choose the top 5 cards to make your poker hand, and then discard the other two into a garbage pile.

5.) Now, you’ll be flipping these cards up one-by-one, similar to a seven-card stud game, so choose wisely in terms of how you want to arrange your cards (especially if you’ll be bluffing).

***Note, the betting order is determined based off who currently has the highest hand showing after each flip, so if your goal is to avoid opening the bet, you may want to structure your cards accordingly as much as you can to save the “hand” for a later flip up.***

6.) Once everyone has their order set, everyone flips up the first card, and a round of betting ensues.

7.) The continues through the first four cards, with a round of betting after each flip.

8.) OK, now at this time it comes down to a major decision, especially if the pot has grown to a healthy amount. The person with the highest hand showing must decide if he’s IN or OUT. If he’s IN, he says so, but he keeps his fifth card hidden for the time being.

9.) Now, going around the table in descending order of strength of hand, each player must decide if he or she also wants to go IN or OUT. (Is that first guy bluffing with his two pair? Or did he make that full house? Damn, why didn’t I remember what I passed him like J.P. told me to! Heh…heh…)

10.) At the end of the round, if more than one person went IN, you flip up your fifth card to reveal your final hand. If you win, you win the pot. If you went IN and lost, you must match the pot, and the game continues with a new hand.

Yeah, I told you the pot would grow.

11.) If the game continues, the next hand you can pass to the right instead of the left, to keep the same person from receiving a pass from the same person over and over again (again, doesn’t really matter, but it helps change things up.)

***Note, one important piece of strategy to remember during the final round here. If one person goes IN, they are basically trapped. They have put themselves in jeaopardy of matching the pot if someone else goes IN and beats them. And there is only one way for them to back out. That is, when you decide to go IN or not, you also have the option to say IN and raise…however, you then open the door for the other players who already have gone IN to back out and fold their hand, thus not worrying about having to match the pot.***

It’s a gamble for the raiser….but hell, that’s why we’re here, right? It’s also a great way to bluff back with your rags to someone who has a made hand already showing on the table. Until they call with the full-house, and you realize you screwed yourself even worse :)

As you can imagine, this game can run for many hands and build a huge pot to match. Somehow, it seems that when the money in the middle passes $100, that “trash” you’re waiting for becomes ever so much more valuable.

Play pass the trash at home, and play texas holdem online at