More Poker Related Stuff: Texas Holdem Omaha Poker Poker Rooms Poker Tournaments

Poker School

Famous Poker Hands

Famous Poker Hands
by Chad Holloway of

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

Historic WSOP Hand (1999 WSOP)


Check out all the guaranteed tournaments, SnG's, satellites and qualifiers Bovada Poker has to offer! They are truly a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need in an online poker room!

Party Poker - The PartyPoker "Monthly Milion" plays on the 1st Sunday of every month. The tourney starts at 12:45EST. (Note: Party does not accept USA players)


Bovada Poker - Sign up, deposit and get an instant 10% bonus. Get a 100% bonus up to $500 which is released as you earn points. If done right, this could equate to a 110% bonus!

Featured Articles

The Difference Between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em - Cash games, tournaments, no limit, pot limit, fixed limit and more. Loki breaks it down!!

Tilt - It's a classless way to play online poker, but this article is a good read if you'd like to learn how to put other players "on tilt."

Satellite Poker Tournaments - What are they? How do they work? Jason explains.


Famous Poker Players - Short bios about some of the greatest poker players ever to take a seat at the tables!

Female Poker Players - Biographies of all the best women poker players in the world.

Legends of the Game - Bio pages of legendary poker players, many of which have died and gone on to leave their mark on the poker world.

Poker Hall of Fame - Inductees along with their feats listed in chronological order.

Poker Players Alliance - This advocacy group is fighting for YOUR right to legally play online poker. Join today!

Home Poker Games - Everything you need to know about hosting your own game.

What is Rake? - This is how card rooms earn their money off of poker games. K. Swope talks about this fee in detail.

Perspectives Weekly - Check's Jay Todd each week as he brings us all the current news in the online gambling industry.

Poker Quotes - Famous and funny poker sayings from around the internet.

Famous Poker Hands - Sure, you know that "AA" is often times dubbed "bullets" or "american airlines" but what about other hands such as "JJ" and "88"? Chad tells all!

Poker Questions - Burn cards, clubs, spaces, diamonds, hearts, the deck, community cards etc. You've got a question? We've got an answer!