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Famous Poker Hands

Famous Poker Hands
by Chad Holloway of Predictem.com

Part of the excitement of playing no-limit Texas Hold'em is looking down at your hole cards, slowly squeezing out those first two starting cards, and assessing the strength of your hand. The range of hands is large, from the worst possible starting-hand of 2-7 off-suit to the power of pocket Aces.

Everyone has their own favorite starting-hand, and most know where their hand ranks in the hierarchy of starting cards; however, what many people do not know are the names these starting-hands have gotten throughout the years. For example, most people have heard A-A referred to as "Pocket Rockets" or "American Airlines" (whose logo happens to be AA), but did you know that they are also called "eyes" or "eyes of Texas?" I'm sure you've run into pocket kings a time or two, perhaps having your opponent flip over their hand and announce, "Cowboys," "Gorillas" (since the K-K shares the initials of the iconic King Kong), or "Ace Magnets." And you have certainly looked down a time or two to find Q-Q staring back at you, which are also known as "Ladies," "Sisters," "four tits," and "Siegfried and Roy."

Starting-hands have gotten their nicknames in all kinds of different ways over the years. Ace-King, which received a nickname from a world event, is known as "Santa Barbara" from the destructive oil spill off the Santa Barbara Coast, but is more commonly referred to as "Big Slick." On the flip side, two hands, A-2 and A-Q, have become known as "Little Slick." The "lollipop hand," A-Q, is named so because it looks sweet but often gets licked. Some hands are even more well-known in different parts of the country; for instance, Q-10 is known as the "Ho-Chunk Nuts" in the Mid-west because of the hands seemingly inability to be beaten at the Ho-Chunk Casino in Wisconsin.

Other starting-hands honor legendary poker players by taking up the player's name. For example, the Jc and 9c is known as the "T.J. Cloutier" because he flopped three straight flushes with the hand in one year. Even better known is the "Brunson," or 10-2, which was named after Doyle Brunson because those were the final hole cards he held on the final hand when he won both the 1976 and 1977 World Series of Poker World Championships. Finally there is the J-J, which is coined the "John Juanda" simply because it represents the poker superstar's initials.

Whether dictated from great poker moments, local casino lore, or just plain poker fun, most every starting-hand has a nickname. The following is a list of some other strange names, compiled from various internet sources and Michael Wiesenberg's article in the August 1, 2007 issue of CardPlayer Magazine, that some players give to their starting cards:

Acey-deucy: A-2
Ajax: A-J
Barbara Hutton (after the dime-store heiress): 10-5
Baskin-Robbins (symbolizing the chain's "31 Flavors" of ice cream): 3-A
Beer hand: 7-2
Broderick Crawford (because of the actor's tendency to say "ten-four" during the 1950s
television show, Highway Patrol): 10-4
Canine: K-9
Colt 45 (after the firearm or even the malt liquor): 4-5
Computer Hand (because it is the exact middle-ranked starting hand between A-A and 2-7 off suit): Q-7
Crabs (because they look like pinchers): 3-3
Darth Vader (the "dark force"): 4c & 4s
Dead Man's Hand (the hand "Wild Bill" Hickok was holding when he was murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota on August 2, 1876): A-8
Dime Store: 10-5
Dolly Parton (from her starring role in the film 9 to 5): 9-5
Eubie (as in "If you play these, you be broke"): 8-6
Five and dime: 10-5
Heinz (from the Heinz slogan of "57 varieties"): 5-7
Hockey Sticks: 7-7
Jack Benny (because the comedian often joked that that was his age): 3-9
Jackson Five (from the Motown music group): J-5
Jesse James (after the gun he was shot with): 4-5
Katie or Katy (because the 10 is often represented with a "T"): K-10
King Crab: K-3
Kojak (after the old television show): K-J
Kokomo: K-8
Little Oldsmobile (after the 88 model): 8-8
Lumberman's Hand (after the 2" x 4" board): 2-4
Marriage (from the game of pinochle): K-Q
Mongrel: K-9
Motown: J-5
Newlyweds: K-Q
Office Hours: 9-5
Oldsmobile (after the 98 model): 9-8
Pedigree: K-9
Pickle Man (representing a Heinz variety): 5-7
Pinochle (from the game): Jd -Qs
Presto: 5-5
Quinine: Q-9
Railroad Hand (because saying it out loud sounds like a steam train): J-6
Raquel Welch (after her curvaceous measurements): 3-8
San Francisco Busboy (a queen with a trey): Q-3
Snowmen: 8-8
Speed Limit: 5-5
Trombones (from the song 76 Trombones in Meredith Wilson's play and movie The Music Man): 7-6
Union Oil (from company's symbol) 7-6
Wayne Gretzky (his jersey number): 9-9
Walking Sticks (which the numbers resemble): 7-7
Woolworth (from the retail five and dime store): 10-5

Related:
Historic WSOP Hand (1999 WSOP)

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