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List of poker playing card nicknames

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This list of poker playing card nicknames has some nicknames for the playing cards in a 52-card deck, as used in poker.

Poker hand nicknames


The following sets of playing cards can be referred to by the corresponding names in card games that include sets of three or more cards, particularly 3 and 5 card draw, Texas Hold 'em and Omaha Hold 'em. The nicknames would often be used by players when revealing their hands, or by spectators and commentators watching the game. With TV and web broadcasting of Poker tournaments, nicknames became much more popular all over the world.[according to whom?]

Card initials Alternative names
flush Golf Bag (set of clubs), Puppy Feet, Puppy Prints (from the design of the club)
flush Well-Dressed, Decked Out
flush Valentine's Day, All My Hearts, Heart-breaker (if it loses)
flush Laborers, Digging Deep, In The Hole (if it loses)
J4o Pure Bluff Catcher
J4s Bluff Catcher, NOT PURE
AA235, 2358K Fibonacci
A3579, 3579J, 579JK What Are The Odds
2357J, 357JK All The Primes
2468T, 468TQ, 68TQA Even Stevens
AAAAK Knights of the Round Table, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
AAAA Team Rocket, Thunderbirds, Musketeers
AAAKK Windsor Castle, The Penthouse, Updown Court, The Pinnacle, Bran Castle (amongst some of the world's largest and/or most expensive buildings and/or mansions)
AAA Athos, Porthos and Aramis
AAKK Big Slick Did the Trick (a rhyme, if the appropriate two-pair hand is formed from the AK starting hand (aka Big Slick); poker professionals will tend to bet aggressively with this hand)
AAJJ Jackasses (play on "Jacks and Aces")
AA88 Dead Man's Hand
AKQJT Broadway (off-suit), Royal Flush (suited)
A3A6 Austin 3:16 (after WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin)
AA23 Princess Leia[1]
A6A8T Golden Hand (from the Golden Mean)
AK47 After the AK-47 assault rifle developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov
KKKK Four Horsemen, Kings of Leon
AAAKKK DUPLEX (Any two cards can be used. Basically two sets of trips. Instead of a 5-card hand called "Full House" you have a 6-card hand which makes a "bigger full house" or Duplex)
KKKAA The Nativity (the famous Biblical story in which the Three Wise Men visit Joseph & Mary to witness Jesus Christ's birth)
KKKQQ Buckingham Palace
KKK Alabama Knight Riders, Three Wise Men, Christmas Special, Ku Klux Klan, Keane
KKQQ Mommas and Poppas, ABBA, Double Date, "Aerosmith" (based on the song title, "Kings and Queens"), The Ice Breaker
KQJT9 Off-Broadway (off-suit), Hail to the King (suited)
QQQQK Elvis in Vegas, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
QQQQJ Bachelor's Dream
QQQQ Village People, Magnolias, Scrabble Player's Dream, The Joy Luck Club
QQQ Six Tits, Daisy Hand
QAAAK The Duck
QQ33 San Francisco waiters (Queens and Treys)
QJT98 Honeymoon in Vegas (if it wins, based on a scene from the movie of the same name)
JA55 Jackass, Jazz
JJJJQ The Strip Club
JJJJ8 Riewoldt On A Roll (after AFL Richmond full-forward Jack Riewoldt)
JJJJ5 Neverland Ranch
JJJ55 Jackson Five
JJJ "Hart, Schaffner and Marx"
JJ55 Rock 'n' Roll, Motown
JJ33 Hookers With Crabs
JT987 Convenience Store Straight, Honeymoon in Vegas (if it loses, based on a scene from the movie of the same name)
TTTT Larry (after Larry Fortensky, Elizabeth Taylor's eighth husband), Shotgun
TTT Thirty Miles of Bad Road, Elk River, Gilroy, Judge Bean, Judge Duffy, Judge Judy, Judge Wapner, San Jose to Gilroy (approximate distance in miles between the two cities), Dallas to Fort Worth (ditto), Judas (his pay was "thirty pieces of silver")
TT Fingers n' Toes (ten of each), Dubs Dimes, Duff McKagan, Top Titties
TJAAT Golden String
TT33 Hot Waitresses (Tens with treys)
TK42A Star Wars, Stormtrooper (Why aren't you at your post?)
T8642 Rizlo, Scotch Straight
9988 Oldsmobile[1]
9966 Dinner For Four, Dubs Sixtyniners
999 Extra Virgin (99 is "German Virgin")
888 Television Subtitles
77744 Sailing Rednecks
777 21, 21 Miles of Rough Road, Jackpot,[2] Slot Machine[3]
7733 Queens of the Stone Age (after their song 3's and 7's)
75432 (off-suit) Kansas City,[4] Sympathy Hand (it is the worst hand possible)
6667J Devil's Convenience Store
666 The Devil, Lucifer, The Beast, Devil's Area Code, Kotch
65432 Rabbit, The World Trade Center Straight[5]
555 Washington Monument, Pork Chop Sandwich, Movie Call (All bogus numbers start with "555")
5432A First Street, Little Minnie, Little Wheel[2], Pup, Puppy, Spoke[3], Steel Wheel (suited)[4], Steel Wheel Bike (suited)[5], The Bicycle[6]
4444A Hole-In-One
4444 Yacht Club
444 Grand Jury
49 Full Cup (Joke from the TV Series Friends, where Chandler and Joey play "Cups")
36TJK The Royal Sampler (from a joke on The Simpsons)
3333T Teddy, EJ, Mr Football (after AFL/VFL Footscray/Western Bulldogs legend Ted Whitten), 1961 (if it loses)
3333 Forest, Four Trees, The Magic Numbers
3322 Socks and Shoes, Mits and Mites, Mites and Lice,[6] Nits and Lice[6]
3A4A5 Pi
2222 Mighty Ducks
222AA Marksman[7]
22233 Tent (smallest full house), Mites and Lice,[6] Nits and Lice[6]
222 Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Texas hold 'em pocket card nicknames


The following is a list of nicknames for pairs of two playing cards, usually hole cards, used in poker derivatives such as Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em poker. These nicknames are usually used by the player when announcing their hand or by spectators or commentators who are watching the game.

Ace higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
Alan Alda An alliteration, Alan Alda was the star of the television version of M*A*S*H[8]
Albert Anastasia An alliteration, first mob boss killed gangland style in 1957[9]
American Airlines (A A or A A) So called due to the commercial airline's acronym and logo, AA (the aces are of different colors to mimic the AA logo)[10]
Apollo 11 So called due to it being the first mission to the moon while ace is considered 1, or because the hand "AA" means "11"
Banditerna (A A) Swedish for "the Bandits"[8]
Batteries AA like a AA battery commonly used in portable electronic devices
Big Smoke AA is a strong pre-flop favorite ("smokes") over Big Slick (AK) or any other two-card hand.
Bullets Looks like bullets, possibly a reference to the Dead Man's Hand, two pair of aces and eights, suggesting that Wild Bill drew a third bullet in the back, which filled his hand in death[8]
Eyes Probably from snake eyes in dice[8]
Eyes of Texas From the song, probably an elaboration on dice[8]
Flying Nazis[11] Probably because an A looks like a plane, and the Nazis had the most successful flying "aces" in their air force
Joe Louis (A A) Two black eyes, what you will get in the ring if you fight Joe Louis[12]
Pocket Rockets Looks like rockets[8]
Needles Looks like needles[8]
Rocky Mountains Looks like mountains[8]
Sharp Tops Sharp on top, see also A4[8]
Snake Eyes From dice[8] snake eyes is the outcome of rolling the dice in a game of craps and getting only one pip on each die
Squirrel[13] Probably named because the hand is "the nuts". Possibly also a reference to the phrase "Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while"[14]
Sticks Looks like sticks[8]
Teepees Looks like teepees[8]
Two Pips[15] A pip is a mark indicating the suit or numerical value of a playing card
Visine (A A) Two red eyes, it gets the red out[16]
AK Anna Kournikova Initials; also looks good, but never wins.[17]
Annalise Keating Initials;
Barry Greenstein(A K) From 5th annual Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica MS, as per Hooter Huon[8]
Big Slick It is a slippery hand that one can easily lose a fortune over[17]
Kalashnikov Due to the name of a gun designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, AK-47.
Big Ugly (offsuit)[17] Imitating Big Slick, but "Ugly" if offsuit
Exxon Valdez (A K) Since it has a lot of black in it.[18]
King Arthur[19] Named after the legendary British leader.
Korean Airlines[19] Named after the South Korean Airline
Mike Haven (A K) Mike played two pre-flops all-in in a row with these cards to win the final table, coming from behind[8]
Salt Lake Pair[17] No explanation found. The "pair" refers to the cards being well matched, rather than of equal value.
Santa Barbara Due to a big oil spill off Santa Barbara[8]
Arian Kollen Named after the Norwegian rapper Arian Kollen. His initials are A K, and he has also won some considerable pots with this hand.
Walking Back to Houston Gamblers who played this hand too strongly were often left with no getaway money.[8] Although other sources state its name was derived because the old time poker players would play this hand so well that they'd leave their opponents walking back to Houston[17]
AQ Antony & Cleopatra[8] A for Antony and Cleopatra his queen. Named after the famous lovers and Shakespearian works
Big Chick Imitating Big Slick[8](AK)
Big Slut[20] Imitating Big Slick (AK). Hands involving Queens are often derogatory, especially if they don't win.
Doyle Brunson In his book, Doyle said he would never play AQ, and busted out of the 2008 WSOP Main Event holding AQ offsuit.
Little Slick[20] Imitating Big Slick (AK)
Mrs Slick[21] Imitating Big Slick (AK)
Rocket Queen A song made popular from Guns N'Roses
AJ Armani Jeans AJ is the acronym used by the brand Armani Jeans
The Unrare n/a
Apple Jacks[11] Backronym of AJ
Ajax[15] Named after the foam cleaner due to the phonetic similarity between "Ajax" and "Ace-Jack", or "A-Jacks"
Blackjack[22] Named after the card game in which AJ (Or an Ace with a picture card or 10) is the highest possible hand
Foamy Cleanser Ajax[8]
Hijack[23] As in "High-Jack"
Jackass[24] Imitative of "Jack-Ace"
Trapasso[25] Likely to be named after the American Football player A.J. Trapasso
AT Bookends 2 ends of the highest straight[26]
Johnny Moss It's speculated that Johnny Moss is associated with this hand because he began playing poker at the age of 10[27]
Dick's Last Resort An all in hand represented by the famous restaurant
A9 Rounders Hand From the movie[8]
McDerment (A 9) A corruption of the last name of Mike McDermott, the character played by Matt Damon in the movie Rounders, whose fortune rode heavily on this hand.[8]
Jesus (Chris Ferguson) Chris Ferguson beat T. J. Cloutier at the final hand of the 2000 WSOP Championship event holding A9 against TJ's AQ[27]
Gimp Hand Because it's so much weaker than Ace-Ten.
A8 Dead Man's Hand See Dead man's hand
Asterix and Obelix[28] Inspired by characters from René Goscinny's The Adventures of Asterix. Asterix represents the Ace due to the matching initial with Obelix representing the 8 due to their similar shape.
A7 Slapshot Nicknamed Slapshot as a hockey reference as sevens are sometimes called hockey sticks and aces are bullets[19]
The Sonnert[29] Named after poker player Bengt Sonnert for his success with it in the World Series of Poker Europe 2008
A6 Mile High Club Airplane and sex[26] (Aces are often nicknamed after planes due to their shape, "six" in German is pronounced as sechs similar to "sex")
Tennessee Ernie Ford Singer famous for the song Sixteen Tons[3]
A5 High Five[11] An Ace is high, combined with a five gives us a high five
A4 Plane Crash[11] Aces are synonymous with flying (e.g., 'Flying Nazis', 'Pocket Rockets' and 'American Airlines') probably due to the shape of the 'A', a '4' is like an 'A', but with a missing 'wing', hence Plane Crash
Stu Ungar Ungar won the last of his three World Series of Poker Main Event titles in 1997 with this hand, making a straight.
Fake Aces Since a 4 looks a bit like an A, the A4 can be called fake aces.
A3 Ashtray Imitates Ace-trey[8]
Baskin-Robbins Nicknamed Baskin-Robbins because of their 31 different flavors of ice cream.[27]
Thrace A portmanteau of "Three" and "Ace", also named after the historical and geographic area in southeast Europe Thrace[30]
A2 Acey-Deucey From the game Acey Deucy[31]
Riewoldt Playing number of St. Kilda Captain, Nick Riewoldt (12)
Hunting Season Aces are known as bullets and twos are known as ducks, hence hunting season[27]
Little Slick[11] Imitation of 'Big Slick' (AK)
Brutus Imitates "et tu". From William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.  As Brutus stab Caesar, he exclaims “Et tu, Brute?”.
George Strait Named after his Ace In The Hole Band and his song "Ace In The Hole"

King higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
KK Ace Magnets Ace Magnets because the ace is the only card you don't want to see[27]
Brokeback[7] Named after the film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two cowboys (KK also being called "Cowboys")
Butchers of Baghdad Reference to 2003 invasion of Iraq and the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
Cowboys[11] No explanation found. The nickname is probably given for a number of reasons, including the association between cowboys and playing poker, the similarity between the "K" of "King" and the "C" of "Cowboys" and both characters are male. It could also come from a common nickname of the King card - the "Cowboy".
Elvis Presley[7] Named after the "King" of Rock and Roll
Gorillas From King Kong[8]
Gorillas in the Mist From the movie starring Sigourney Weaver,[8] a nickname taken from "King Kong" (Also KK)[32]
Kangaroos Kangaroos are used on children's alphabet cards to illustrate a K[8]
Kevin Keegan[33] An alliteration
King Kenny An alliteration; the nickname of former Liverpool player Kenny Dalglish, who would soon be manager of Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United
Knights[33] An association with the feudal king images on the cards
King Kong[11] An alliteration
Kinkerbells[34] Courtesy of Vince Van Patten on Celebrity Poker
Krispy Kreme[11] An alliteration
KQ Tito Hand (suited) If Tito loses
Ferdinand and Isabella A Spanish King and Queen[8]
Lucy and Ricky Lucille Ball and Ricky "the King and queen of television"[8]
Marriage (suited) If it wins, comes from the game Pinochle[8]
Mixed marriage (offsuit) Comes from the game Pinochle[8]
Othello (offsuit)[11] This is reference to Othello and Desdemona, the fated couple from William Shakespeare's play Othello. Possibly also a reference to 'Mixed Marriage'
Royal couple A King and Queen[8]
King of Queens Popular American Sitcom starring Kevin James and Leah Remini.
Throne As befits a royal couple.
Valentine's Day (K Q)[27] A matched couple, both showing their hearts
KJ Bachelor's hand (offsuit) "Jack-King-Off"[8]
Bill Fillmaff (offsuit) The "signature hand" of "Bill Fillmaff", a character parodying poker professionals in general and Phil Hellmuth in particular, portrayed by Internet personality Kevin Bowen[35]
Kalashnikov Jikita Russian poker player Nikita Kalashnikov won $200 with this hand in an online poker room in 2020.
Harry Potter Written by J.K. Rowling[8]
Jamiroquai A British band fronted by singer Jay Kay
Just kidding[11] Backronym of JK, from the textspeak "j/k" (see below)
Joking 'Jo' referring to the Jack; in textspeak, "j/k" is a pseudo-emoticon meaning "joking" or "just kidding"
Jackie Kennedy Wife of JFK
The rookie As said by Daniel Negreanu
Jordy Kooistra Initials of Dutch poker player
King John KJ[8]
Kojak Mimics KJack,[8] thanks to the '70s crime drama starring Telly Savalas, who was himself a poker player and occasional participant in WSOP Main Events[32]
Ralph Perry 2002 World Series of Poker Main Event finalist berated by Antanas Guoga for overplaying the hand
Starsky and Hutch[36] Named after the crime fighting duo from the series of the same name|
Tucson Monster[11] No explanation found
KT Big Al A reference to Wisconsin poker player "Big Al" Emerson[27]
Katie Imitation of K-T[8]
Ken[33] A portmanteau of "King" and "Ten"
Ike Turner Beats QT (Tina Turner – see below)
Woodcutter (offsuit) Possibly from the legend of King Edward and the Woodcutter[8]
K9 Bow-wow[11] From canine
Canine "K"-nine[8]
Dogs From canine[8]
Fido A derivative of canine[8]
Mongrel (offsuit) From canine[8]
Mutt (offsuit) From canine[8]
Pedigree (suited) From canine[8]
Michael Vick From canine, in reference to the former NFL QB's dog fighting conviction
Rin Tin Tin[33] From Rin Tin Tin K9 cop
The Doctor Who K-9, the Robotic Dog from the British Television Series Doctor Who
Sawmill Byron 'Cowboy' Wolford says:
Milton Butts and I were playing poker in Bryan, Texas, where they had a good game going on the weekends. We'd been playing for a couple of days when a hand came up in which I had a K-9. I made a pretty good hand with it, but lost the pot and went broke. As I was driving back home to Houston with Milton, feeling kind of disgusted about going broke with that K-9, we passed by a sawmill where a man was sawing logs in the lumberyard. "As hard as that guy works for his money, I'll bet he would never go broke with a K-9", I told Milton. And that's how K-9 got named "Sawmill." Some of those names are still going around – Doyle Brunson mentioned the sawmill hand in his book, Super/System[37]
K8 Kate A portmanteau of "King" and "Eight"[30]
Feast What the 'King ate'[8]
Cheeseburger What the 'King ate' the King being Elvis Presley
Kokomo Imitative[8]
K7 Columbia River The Columbia River is famous for its salmon runs. "King Seven" sounds like "King Salmon"[27]
Kevin Sounds like Kevin[38]
K6 Kicks Nicknamed "Kicks" (if Pig Latin is used) for phonetic reasons[30]
K5 Knives[33] A combination of "King" and "Five"
Seattle Special/The Home Team The nickname refers to Seattle's NBC affiliate, channel 5 with call letters KING Seattle TV channel 5 based in King County, Washington, United States. Their news team's slogan is "The Home Team"[30]
K4 Core[33] A portmanteau of "King" and "Four"
Fork 4K sounds like "Fork"[27]
Fork Off (offsuit)[33] 4K sounds like "Fork" plus "Off" for offsuit
Forking Idiot[33] From "Fork". Probably a suggestion that you would have to be an idiot to play the hand
Oppression of the Masses The answer to the question: "What is a king for?"
K3 Alaska Hand From Alaskan King Crab[8]
Commander Crab A derivative of King Crab[8]
Swedish Meatballs SWEDES[8]
King Crab 3 looks like a crab[8]
Mortans Hand Best hand he played [8]
Sizzler The home of all-you-can-eat King Crab[8]
K2 Big Fritz (suited) An unconfirmed reference to German poker player Andreas Fritz[30]
Donald A reference to Donald Duck,[30] the "King" of ducks (since twos are also known as "ducks")
The Tracey Originated by a 1-2 no limit crusher at Parks poker room
Hand of the Night A reference created by Chris Hinst during his weekly poker night. Named because he kept getting this same hand.
King Gnu (offsuit) A reference to King Gnu.

Queen higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
QQ Lady Gaga Queen of music & Queen of pop culture.
Calamity Jane[11] No explanation found, but the nickname is likely to come from Cowgirls the female equivalent of Cowboys (KK). Calamity Jane was also a friend of Wild Bill Hickok, a gunfighter who died during a poker game.
P-CO The last two queens of England
Canadian Aces Because Canadians revere the Queen[26]
Canadian Rockets Because Canadians revere the Queen[26]
Four Tits Vulgar[8]
Hilton Sisters Paris and Nicky Hilton[8]
Anna Kournikova Very pretty but seldom wins.[8]
Ladies[3] Because they're the only female cards. Queens tend to have derogatory names, especially when they lose, so Ladies is more likely to be used when they win.
Pair of Wire Cutters Dykes[8]
Pocket Tubmans (Q Q) Reference to Harriet Tubman[8]
Quiggities Reference to Jiggities (see JJ below)
San Francisco Wedding A gay reference[8]
Siegfried & Roy Two Queens[8]
Snowshoes[3] Probably because they're the shape of a traditional snowshoe
QJ Quack[3] Combination of Queen and Jack
Maverick From the Maverick TV show theme song, "Livin' on jacks and queens. Maverick is a legend of the west"[8]
Hawaii According to the pros if you don't play QJ for a year you'll save enough money to go there.
Oedipus an allusion to Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the ancient Greek tragedy in which Oedipus (the "J" in this pairing) unwittingly kills his father and marries his mother, Jocasta (the "Q")[32]
Pinochle (Q J) The big hand in the game Pinochle[8]
JQuery JQuery never loses
QT Cutie[39] For phonetic reasons
Goolsby Named for Everett Goolsby, well known Texas gambler. Crony of Doyle Brunson, Cowboy Wolford and Benny Binion[8]
Tarantino Quentin Tarantino, a famous movie maker[32]
Q-Tip[40] A backronym of QT. A Q-tip is a cotton swab.
Tina Turner It always gets beat.[41]
Quint Imitative[8]
Robert Varkonyi In the 2002 WSOP, Varkonyi knocked out Phil Hellmuth and eventually won the final event with this hand[8]
Q9 Quinine "Queen Nine" sounds like "Quinine", an early anti malarial drug,[27] from lowball[8]
Snow and a Ho 8 is a snowman, Q is a ho
Frigid Bitch From "Snow and a Ho"
Face Sitter A vulgar reference to analingus, what the 'queen ate'[8]
Bitch Called Hope Tempting to try for a straight, but rarely succeeds
Kuwait Nicknamed "Kuwait" for phonetic reasons[27]
Q7 Computer Hand (offsuit) From an apocryphal story that a computer proved that these were the most commonly occurring cards on the Flop.[42]

There is also a story of an early computer simulation in which Q7 was a break-even hand[8][2] Nickname for the IBM Q7 (AN/FSQ-7) SAGE computer. This type of vacuum tube computer was physically the world's largest computer ever built.

Dike a lady with a mullet
Q6 Arnold Palmer's ex-wife Palmer was nicknamed the King.
Nesquik From "quix"
Quix Phonetic similarity.
Sad Ole Bess A play on Queen Elizabeth I's other nickname, "The Virgin Queen," AKA the Cherry Queen
Q5 Granny Mae If both spades, an old-time player, Granny=Queen, Mae=5th Month, some say Q5 spades was her favorite[8]
Q4 Housework A joking response to the question, "What's a queen for?"
Prince Maker A joking response to the question, "What's a queen for?"
Shuli Popularized in the notorious underground "Emergency Poker League" or "EPL", frequented by elite players of the Canadian circuit
Q3 Gay Waiter 'Queen' with a 'tray'[8]
San Francisco Busboy 'Queen' with a 'tray'[8]
Windsor Waiter 'Queen' with a 'tray'[8]
Q2 Daisy A reference to Daisy Duck,[30] the "Queen" of ducks (since twos are also known as "ducks"). See also "Donald" – K2
Queen Liz A reference to Queen Elizabeth II

Jack higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
JJ Brothers[25] Two similar looking males, i.e. brothers
Jiggities Popularized by YouTuber Brad Owen. Likely a reference to Family Guy's Quagmire's catchphrase.
Fishhooks They look like them, and because fish get beat with overpairs[8]
Jar Jars Jar Jar Binks is one of the most hated Star Wars characters, just as JJ is for many experienced poker players
Ice-JJ-Fish Like the rapper, they rock[8]
Jaybirds Starts with J[8]
Bowers Named after the Jacks from the card game Euchre where jacks are the highest trumps and are called bowers, in turn from the German Bauer (literally, farmer)
Jonatan Johansson An alliteration, former Finnish footballer and Charlton Athletic forward, nicknamed 'JJ' by the fans
John Juanda[11] An alliteration, John Juanda is an American professional poker player
Colostomy Bag Vulgar, from "Pocket Jacks", 'Jacks' being a UK/Irish slang term for a toilet
Rentboys Two young men, similar to pocket queen's "Prostitutes" nickname
Knaves Aplenty Literally, a plethora of Jacks, a Knave being an alternative term for a Jack.
Kid Dy-no-mite Signature expression of the character JJ from the TV show Good Times[19]
One Eyed Jacks (J J) Both side views[8]
JT Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake's initials
The Two Jakes The movie sequel to Chinatown starring Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel[8]
Greek Passport A Greek immigrant won with this to buy an Australian Residency
John Terry Named after the England Football Captain.
T.J. Hooker After the '80s action drama starring William Shatner[32]
J9 Braggars Jacks and nines are wild in the game of braggars[8]
T. J. Cloutier (J 9) T.J. flopped three straight flushes with this hand in one year[40]
J8 Jeffrey Dahmer He 'ate Jack', serial killer who ate his victims[8]
Jacket Sounds like jacket[8]
J7 Jack Daniels[40] Named after Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey
J6 Coop Deville [8] Named after the legend of Houston, TX
Kevin Cusick Famous callout of J-6 and predicting a two pair before being dealt
Insurrection J6 short hand for January 6 United States Capitol attack.
J5 Jackson Five Michael Jackson's childhood group[8]
Motown Record label for Jackson Five[8]
J4 The Robbi Named after Robbi Jade Lew, who improbably called Garrett Adelstein with this hand on "Hustler Casino Live" to take down a $269,000 pot[43]
The New Motown Motown was named for the Jackson Five, but now there's only four
Austin Squatty Named after John "Austin Squatty" Jenkins due to his penchant for raising and reraising with this hand[8]
Flat tire What's a 'jack for'?[8]
Kid Grenade After a poker dealer who when he played was "liable to go off at any moment"[44]
J3 J Lo As in "J-lo", "lo" meaning "low card" or perhaps the resemblance the 3 has to a derrière[45]
Lumberjack A Tree and a Jack
Minus Michael and Jermaine Jackson 5 without two members, preferably clubs to resemble Afros.
J2 The Prince and the Pauper (suited) After Mark Twain's novel set in 1547, which tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII. They end up changing places.
Heckle and Jeckle Nicknamed Heckle and Jeckle after twin cartoon jaybirds (2 Jays) that first appeared on television in 1946 (Heckle and Jeckle were, in fact, magpies).[30]
Jack Shit Popular English phrase referring to "nothing", in this context referring to the fact there is a Jack with the worst possible kicker and also something widely regarded among poker players as a "nothing" hand.

Ten higher card

Card Initials Alternative name Explanation
TT Audi[13] Named after the famous Audi TT car
Binary[40] In Binary, 1010 equals 10 (in decimal notation)
Bo Derek Actress from movie 10[19]
Dimes[30] A dime is a coin worth ten cents or one tenth of a United States dollar
Dynamite[46] Comes from T and T sounding like the explosive TNT
McDonald's Named after the ten piece McNugget
Potatoes The zero (0) in 10 looks like a potato, and potatoes are sometimes called Taytos. Alliteratively, Pocket Potatoes.
Tension Imitative[8]
TNT[46] Comes from T and T sounding like the explosive TNT
Train Tracks An alliteration
T9 Mobile Hand Named after the "Text on 9 Keys" mode on mobile phones
Countdown Countdowns usually start at ten, nine...[27]
T8 Tetris Imitative[8]
T7 Bowling Hand The difficult Seven-ten split[8]
Daniel Negreanu (10 7) His favorite hand [3]
Split A bowling reference, a seven-ten split[8]
T6 Sweet Sixteen Six and Ten. Should be mumbled with sarcasm as you fold it[47]
Filet-O-Fish This hand looks good but in reality has no value
T5 Dime Store From 5 & dime[8]
Homosexual A gay reference, as you cannot make a straight with a ten and a five in your hand.
Five and Dime[48] From nickname "Dimes" as a dime is a United States coin worth 10 cents. A Five and Dime is a type of variety store.
Merfs A draw poker game where tens and fives are wild[30]
Woolworths The Five and Dime store chain[8]
T4 Ex-Girlfriend Named after a Las Vegas local's highschool girlfriend, because it sounds like the last name "fortin"
Broderick Crawford From 50s "Highway Patrol", who said "10-4" into radio[8]
CB Hand Ten-four is CB radio language for OK[8]
Convoy From the old trucker song, ten-four good buddy[8]
Good Buddy Old trucker radio language, ten-four is CB language for OK[8]
Over and Out Two-way radio language for end of conversation, ten-four is radio language for OK[8]
Roger That Two-way radio language for OK, ten-four is also radio language for OK[8]
Truckers' Hand Following the CB radio craze of the '70s, for the same reasons as "Broderick Crawford"[32]
The Trucker[49] From CB radio[8]
T3 Kitchies The T3 must be offsuit; refer to Dipthrong's kitchen for origin
Fast Connection Refers to the T3 telecommunications connection[30]
Alexisdg8 A famous Canadian player from Quebec won his first tournament with this hand
Hot Waitress Ten with a tray (trey)[30]
T2 Terminator 2 T2 is abbreviation for Terminator II[8]
Whirlygig Contemporary[8]
Doyle Brunson (a.k.a. Texas Dolly) Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson twice won the WSOP in 1976 and 1977 turning these hole cards into full [houses][8]

Nine higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
99 Barbara Feldon Played Agent 99 on Get Smart[8]
Hitlers Nein, nein!
German Virgin What a German Virgin would say: "Nein, nein!"
Phil Hellmuth (9 9) He won the 1989 WSOP with this hand[8]
Red Balloons (9 9) From the 1980s song 99 Red Balloons by Nena
Popeyes Look like Popeye's arm muscles[19]
Pothooks[50] The 9 looks like a traditional pothook
Wayne Gretzky Hockey player's uniform number[8]
98 Oldsmobile The Olds 98 car[8]
97 Persian Carpet Ride A term Antonio Esfandiari coined for his favorite hand, making joking reference to his Persian heritage. He used the term on Poker After Dark, apparently after his friends teased him about the hand, no further explanation given.[51] However, Esfandiari also used the term on the commentary track of the World Poker Tour Season 2 DVD set, so the term dates back to at least 2004.
96 The Dirty 69, sexual reference[8]
Big Lick 69, sexual reference to Big Slick[8]
Breakfast of Champions 69, sexual reference[8]
Dinner For Two 69, sexual reference[8]
Good Lover 69, sexual reference[8]
Happy Meal 69, sexual reference[8]
Mighty Meal 69, sexual reference, 96 suited, stronger than a Happy Meal (see above)
Big Love 69, sexual reference
Joe Bernstein A gambler from the 30s, a sharp road gambler. Joe was known as a dapper dresser at the poker table[8]
Jaka Šubic Famous Slovenian improv comedian and poker player.
Percy (offsuit) 69, sexual reference[8]
Prom Night (suited) If suited because they wear a tux on prom night, 69 sexual reference[8]
Burger and a Grape Snow Cone Reference to Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee"
95 Betty Hutton From a version of stud with nines & fives wild[8]
Dolly Parton From the movie 9 to 5[8]
Hard Working Man Works 9 to 5[8]
94 Joe Montana 49ers quarterback, borrowed from 92 Montana Banana; when he was benched, the joke was 49 unsuited[8]
Lost World Series Refers to the lost baseball World Series of 1994. Could also refer to the fate of a player who plays these cards incorrectly.[3]
San Francisco 49 refers to San Francisco's Football team, the 49ers, which in turn refers to men of the 1849 gold rush in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of San Francisco[27]
93 Jack Benny For years Jack Benny claimed to be 39 years old[30]
The Sandy Sandy Dunlop became 2013 champion of the Black Cat Poker tournament with these hole cards
92 Montana Banana It is a widely asserted myth that this nickname originates from the legalization of poker in Montana by Proposition 92. However, poker was legalized in Montana by the Card Games Act, 23-5-311.[52] The nickname is referring to how it is more likely that bananas will grow in chilly Montana than that this hand will make money.[42]

Other sources suggest it is Joe Montana's quarterback rating[19]

Twiggy From the 70s model's top measurement of 29[8]

Eight higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
88 Dawg Balls/Doggie Balls Looks like them[8]
Piano Keys There are 88 keys on a piano[40]
Rocket 88 Big car was Olds 98, smaller car called Olds 88[8]
Racetracks Goes round and round like a race track[8]
Snowmen Looks like two snowmen[8]
Lindros Eric Lindros wore Jersey #88
Dale Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the #88 car in NASCAR
Two Fat Ladies[53] Looks like two fat ladies[8] taken from bingo[54]
Lacey Looks like shoelaces tied in a bow
Octopuses/Octopi An octopus has eight tentacles
Pretzels Looks like two pretzels[8]
Wurlitzer The number of keys on the Wurlitzer electric piano[8]
Time Travel The time travel speed (88 mph) used in the Back to the Future trilogy[8]
Infinity on the Side Looks like two infinity symbols on their side
Ovechkin A reference to the hockey player Alexander Ovechkin, who wears jersey #8.
87 RPM The very first record format was a 10-inch disc that spun 78 revolutions per minute[30]
Tahoe From the seven/8 variation of holdem[8]
Crosby A reference to the hockey player, #87 Sidney Crosby.
86 Pooch Bill Puccio swears these cards win every time
Jagr Named after hockey player Jaromír Jágr, who wore number 68 his entire career.
Rick James Named after Singer/Celeb Rick James, who died on 8/6.
Eubie If you play these, you be broke[8]
Henry Bowen A Texas gambler[8]
Maxwell Smart From TV show Get Smart, Agent 86, see also 99[8]
Pacheco Nuts (offsuit)[55] The California Grand, in Pacheco is right alongside Highway 680.
85 The Hamilton This hand is so named after a well known Scottish player. It is of course not a powerful hand but can on occasion make a well disguised straight. Its main function, though, is to tilt other players.[8]
Chad Football player Chad Ochocinco wears uniform number 85. Ochocinco, translated literally from Spanish, means "Eight Five."
84 Big Brother From George Orwell's book titled 1984[8]
Boris Backhand From boris89 winning 217,752.13 on this hand [8]
Orwell Author of the book titled 1984[8]
83 Most Feared Hand in Hold'em[8] A tongue in cheek reference to it being the third worst hand in poker
Raquel Welch Raquel Welch still claims to be 38[27]
The Octocrab Looks like a crab, which has 8 legs. Popularized by YouTuber Ben Deach.[56]
Luigi The closest hand to the Mario hand
82 Tadpole An answer to the statement, "What the duck ate."
The Ball Buster This hand is not technically the worst but it is still horrible.
Mario A reference to the ball buster

Seven higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
77 Axes Looks like them
Scythes A seven looks like a scythe
Len Goodman Renowned judge from Strictly Come Dancing, known for his famous catchphrase, "Seven!"
Candy Canes Looks like them[40]
Hockey Sticks Looks like them[8]
Mullets Because of the hair style, flat in front, long in back[8]
Saturn Saturn VII rocket[8]
Sunset Strip From the title of the television series 77 Sunset Strip[8]
Walking Sticks[40] Looks like them
76 Trombones From the song 76 Trombones, from the musical The Music Man and its film adaptation[8]
Union Oil Union 76 gas stations[8]
75 007 (7 5) Reference to James Bond's winning hand in the 2006 movie Casino Royale
Vietnamese Slick Year the Vietnam War ended
Heinz The H. J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has 57 varieties of condiments, the most famous being ketchup[27]
Pickle Man A reference to Heinz of 57 sauces fame[8]
The Corrigan A reference to the one and only Josh Corrigan, an icon of the Newcastle poker community, also coined the “Newcastle Nuts” by Novocastrian locals
Pistol A reference to the famous pistol made by Fabrique Nationale the FN Five-seven
74 Double Down[57] A Double Down is a player decision in Blackjack, in which you are betting that your hand can be won with one more card. A player may only double down on his first two cards dealt. When a player doubles down, the original bet is automatically doubled (a second chip appears) and the player receives one more card.[58] Since there are more 10 point cards than any other, doubling down is most worthwhile on an 11-point hand, 7-4 being worth 11 points.
Ghost Dog[25] Almost undoubtedley from the film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai starring Forest Whitaker, but no explanation found
Kalashnikov Most likely refers to the famous AK-47 and AK-74 assault rifles designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov
73 Dutch Waiter Sven with a Tray
Joe Hachem Joseph Hachem won the 2005 World Series main event holding 7 3 when the flop came 4 5 6[27]
Swedish Busboy Sven with a Tray, see also San Francisco Busboy and Dutch Waiter[8]
72 Beer Hand (offsuit) It's called the Beer Hand because it's either time for a beer; or if you win with this you need to get other players a beer; or only a person full of beers would play this hand.[27]

The beer hand has the worst chance of winning of all possible pocket cards in a full table playing Texas Hold'em. It is slightly better in short-handed games because the fact that it is not possible to make a straight or flush without hitting four appropriate community cards is less important in short-handed games.[59]

Hammer (offsuit)[53] The Hammer isn't specifically the 72 hand. At least not officially. In poker, the hammer is defined as the last position (the cut-off), particularly when you're heads-up. The 72 offsuit got the nickname as a result of a competition to play "The Hammer" on "The Hammer" and has been adopted into legitimate Oxford Dictionary poker parlance[60]
W.H.I.P. (offsuit) Worst Hand In Poker[38]

Six higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
66 Boots Looks like them[8]
Cherries Nicknamed because of similarity to the shape of the number 6[30]
Kicks Get your kicks on Route 66[8]
Route 66 The road from Chicago to LA[8]
65 Bus Pass[13] UK bus passes are often available to citizens over the age of 65 (although this age varies)[61]
Ken Warren Won with this hand at World Series of Poker[8]
64 Billion Dollar Hand[13] In reference to The $64,000 Question
Gilchrist Named after the Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist for his ability to always hit 6's and 4's[30]
Arlo Royal Arlo if suited, named after Arlo Payne, a long time regular poster to the usenet newsgroup rec.gambling.poker[citation needed]
63 Blocky Another nickname of Broomcorn from the story in Doyle Brunson's Super/System. He used to play 63 as an ambush hand[8]
Jimmy Summerfield (offsuit) Kevin Larsen says:
One time while playing with Jimmy, she [the dealer] had noticed that trash cards were hitting the flop quite often especially 6's and 3's, so Jimmy wins a huge pot after she told him to play the 63 off he was holding. Thus was born the "Jimmy Sommerfield".
Once, while playing down on the coast, a player wins a big pot. He slaps his cards down on the table and announces "I've got a Jimmy Somerfield!". Then Jimmy says "Let me introduce myself", and shows the player his ID.
I was dealing a four eight game one night to Jimmy, a few other dealers and a bunch of locals. A fairly loose game. The pot is capped six or eight way action. Jimmy announces preflop "I've got my hand !" Nobody believes him when the flop comes 6 6 3 He gets four or five callers to the river. Monster Pot![62]
Spanish Inquisition Nickname given to this starting hand by Iron Men of Poker. Refers to the fact that "Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition", a reference to the classic Monty Python quote.[63]
62 Aimsworth Byron 'Cowboy' Wolford says:
I was in San Antone playing a big no-limit game with Jack Straus, Sen. Red Berry, and a bunch of the old-time players. Jack was on top of you all the time, but in full ring games, he wasn't as tough as he was shorthanded or heads up. He had two aces and I took the flop with a 6-2. A deuce came on the flop, he made a bet, and I called him. Off came another deuce on the turn, he bet, and I called him. A third deuce came on the river and we got all in. When I showed him that 6-2, he said, "What the hell were you drawing at there, Cowboy?"
"Oh, I wasn't drawing at nothing", I answered. "Just aiming at another deuce. I guess I'm Aimsworth."[37]

Five higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
55 Sammy Hagar After Hagar's song, "I Can't Drive 55"[8]
Nickels Five cents per nickel[8]
Presto There is debate as to where this term originated. The most commonly accepted source of the nickname is that many years ago, before Rec.gambling[64] was split into several groups, followers of the group who were blackjack players were fond of saying "Presto!" as they turned up a 21. This became a sign of recognition of fellow travelers. Around this time (circa 1991), the World Rec Gambling Poker Tournament(WRGPT), of which the first few were played slowly over email, came into being. During WRGPT2(92-93), the attribution of pocket fives as the "Presto Hand" was made by the player Howard Simonson, after using pocket fives to knock out several players from the tournament some number of times. [If a copy of the table-talk from WRGPT2 can be found and cited, this can be absolutely confirmed] Consequently, the term stuck among the rec.gambling minions, and has become a common poker term today.[65] There is also suggestion that the hand won more often than it should due to a computer glitch.[19]

However, there is a counter-argument that there used to be a club in London called the Presto Club. The address was 55 Victoria Street, London. Therefore, whenever someone was dealt 55 in hold'em, they'd say they were dealt "Presto", because of the club's street address. When English players played events worldwide, the word spread, and it caught on everywhere.[66]

Snakes[19] Looks like two snakes
Speed Limit 55 MPH,[8] the maximum speed limit in the US in the National Maximum Speed Law era
54 Colt 45 The gun, and the beer[8]
Jesse James Because the outlaw was rumored to have been shot by a .45[8]
Moneymaker Winning hand of Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion[27]
53 Bully Johnson A poker player that Doyle Brunson described as being "laid back and quiet". He played this hand after being raised preflop and caught a straight on the flop to beat another guy's trip aces[30]
Juggernaut Well-known Magic: The Gathering artifact card with power of five and toughness of three.
52 Bomber B-52 bomber[27]
Pick-up As in 52 card pick up[27]
Quarter 25 cents[8]
Two Bits 25 cents[8]
Ivey Named for one of the greatest bluffs on High Stakes Poker, when Phil Ivey raised pre-flop with a five-deuce offsuit, was re-raised by Lex Veldhuis with KJ suited, and then went all in causing Lex to fold his hand.

Four higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
Sailboats The fours look like sails on a boat.
Obama Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States
Dark Force (4 4) Dark Side Of The Fours[27]
Darth Vader (4 4) The two black fours are the "Dark Side of the Fours"[8]
Diana Dors Her top measurement[8]
The Harley (4 4) Favorite hand of BCP pro Harley Quin after flopping quads with these hole cards: "The Fours are strong with this one..."
Luke Skywalker "May the Fours be with you." Usually referenced with one black four, and one red four.[40]
Princess Leia (4 4) An extension of the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader reference[8]
Fourtale n/a
Magnum The .44 cal gun[8]
Midlife Crisis[67] Likely to be named after the approximate age of the average midlife crisis (actually given as 46)[68]
43 Waltz In music, waltzes are always in 3/4 meter[27]
Books "What's a tree for ?"
42 Jack Bauer[27] The main character in 24
Lumberman's Hand A common piece of lumber is a two by four[27]
The Principle[27] Canadian Politician, Steven Hicks Favorite hand. He always said he played it On Principle
The Answer In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the computer decided that the answer to everything in the universe was 42[8]

Three higher card

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
33 Crabs Because a 3 looks like it has pincers[8]
Lucky Dragon Favorite Chinese hand that "never loses"
Treys "Trey" dates back to the 14th century, and is a name for a card or a die showing three points; originally from Old French treis.[69]
32 Can of Corn[8] This nickname likely comes from baseball where a "Can of Corn" is an easily caught fly ball. Supposedly comes from a general store clerk reaching up and dropping a can from a high shelf.[70] Likely to be analogized due to the ease in which 32 is caught since it is the lowest possible non-hand (22 being a pair).
Little Pete[8] No explanation found
The Diaper "The Dirty Diaper" if offsuit. As made famous by Nick Rigby in the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event
Michael Jordan From his jersey number (23)[32]
Polish Big Slick A bad Polish joke mimicking AK Big Slick[8]
The Nut Low[71] In this instance 'nut' meaning 'most' rather than 'best', low hand (i.e., the lowest hand)
Hooter Hand (suited) Named after famous poker dealer Houth "Hooter" Houn who played this hand as aggressively as AK.
Crubs (if clubs) From the card game Hearts[8]

Pocket Twos

Card initials Alternative name Explanation
22 Desmond[13] Named after Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Ducks[72] From deux, the French word for two, also a two looks like a duck,[8] also used in bingo[54]
Deuces From Old French for two[73]
Quack Quack[40] From two little ducks, also bingo reference to the number 22[54]
Swans/Swarovskis Looks like Swarovski Crystal swans[8]
Richard Nixon From the famous photo of Nixon getting on a helicopter giving two victory signs

One-eyed royals


The phrase one-eyed royals is jargon referring to the three face cards showing only one eye: the Jack of Spades (J), Jack of Hearts (J) and King of Diamonds (K). The faces depicted on these three cards are shown in profile, resulting in only one eye being visible. The variant form "one-eyed Jacks" excludes the King of Diamonds. The cards are also sometimes referred to as "one-eyed Jacks and the Man with the Axe", which relates to the King of Diamonds being the only one to bear an axe instead of a sword. These cards are frequently designated as wildcards in home games of draw poker. Other such phrases include "Suicide King", denoting the King of Hearts (K) bearing a sword through his head, and 'Bedside Queen', denoting the Queen of Spades (Q) bearing a staff that resembles a wooden bedpost. The name "Allergic Queen" also refers to the Queens facing away from the flowers they hold.

See also



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