A Poker Hand By Any Other Name: Poker Hand Nicknames
No matter what your experience level with the game, you’ve probably noticed there’s an awful lot of lingo that comes along with the game of poker.
Even above and beyond all the different names for poker (why do Omaha and Texas get their own versions? Who’s holding what, now?) you’ll probably notice how many different terms there are for the on-table action, even including the hands themselves!
Hands, pairs, and even individual cards can have their own nicknames and shorthand that can get tossed around the table, and sometimes it can be hard to know which is which. If you want a refresher course on the nicknames that various hands get, or if you just want some new lingo to toss around the next time you slide up to your favorite poker tables, here’s a list of 5 common poker hand nicknames, and what we think they mean:
Dead Man’s Hand
The Hand: Ace (any suit), Eight (any suit)
The Meaning: One of, if not the most famous poker hand, the combination of aces & eights gets its nickname from the legend that famous cowboy hero Wild Bill Hickok was holding that very hand of cards during the fateful poker game that would end his life. Superstitious sorts may advise you to be careful while holding this hand, but you don’t believe in that sort of stuff – right?
The Hand: King (any suit), Nine (any suit)
The Meaning: Not quite as well-known as the Dead Man’s Hand, but the meaning should be pretty easy to remember the next time you see this hand: take the first letter of King and the number nine, and what do you get? K9! (Or “canine”, meaning man’s best friend!)
The Hand: Jack (any suit), Four (any suit)
The Meaning: Let’s keep the wordplay going a little bit. Take the first letter of Jack and the number 4 and put them together. Still not sure what this has to do with flat tires? Just ask yourself: what’s the jack for?
The Hand: Two aces, any suit
The Meaning: First of all, if you manage to start with this, you’re in a pretty good spot right off the bat. Secondly, this one has a pretty easy-to-understand meaning – what’s the first letter of both American Airlines and ‘ace’? Get two As and you’ll see what we mean.
The Hand: Queen (any suit), Seven (any suit)
The Meaning: This is kind of a long story, but a fun one. According to the legend, years ago (nobody has ever been too sure when) someone ran every possible combination of Texas Hold ‘Em starting hand through a computer simulation. During this simulation, it was found that in random hands, anyone starting with a queen and a seven would win the simulation roughly 50 percent of the time and lose roughly 50 percent of the time, leading it to be considered the “median” starting hand. Getting a computer hand doesn’t guarantee you’re going to win or lose either way, but it does mean the game could get a lot more interesting.
There’s tons of other poker nicknames we could go through, but (in our humble opinion) these are the five most interesting and probably the most important to know the next time you go out looking for poker in Detroit. Check back soon – we just might have more nicknames to explain for you!