Poker Hand Nicknames: Behind the Cards Story Revealed - BLITZPOKER

Poker Hand Nicknames: Behind the Cards Story Revealed

Poker Hand Nicknames

Playing poker and acting cool at the tables are different skills. In poker games, players often use poker hand nicknames for certain hands. You might hear terms like “Walking Back to Houston”, “Big Slick”, “Snowmen”, “Mowtown”, and even “Anna Kournikova”. These are just fun nicknames for different hands in the game. They’re not as important as knowing how to play well, but they can be enjoyable to use. Enjoy the playful banter of these amusing poker hand nicknames at BLITZPOKER.

While most of these names are for starting hands in Texas Hold’em, some are for complete poker hands. Let’s explore these amusing poker hand nicknames used all over the world.

Poker Hand Nicknames

Over the years, players have bestowed some fancy monikers upon different hand combinations, infusing the game with creativity and character. From the ever-reliable “Pocket Rockets” to the suave “Big Slick,” these nicknames not only serve as handy descriptors but also inject a sense of camaraderie at the tables. So, join us as we journey through the lexicon of poker hand nicknames.

Pocket Aces — Pocket Rockets, Bullets & American Airlines

Pocket Rockets, also known as “Aces” or “Pocket Aces,” are an intimidating starting hand in the game of poker. The nickname “Pocket Rockets” stems from the visual resemblance of the letter “A” to a rocket, symbolizing the explosive power of this hand.

Similarly, the term “Bullets” is another common moniker for a pair of aces. By turning the letter “A” on its side, it bears a resemblance to a bullet, with the top of the letter resembling the tip of a bullet. This nickname, like “Pocket Rockets,” is frequently heard at the poker table, emphasizing the lethal potential of holding a pair of aces.

Another playful nickname for Pocket Aces is “American Airlines.” The initials “AA” evoke the branding of one of the most well-known airlines in the United States. Just as American Airlines represents top-tier service and reliability in air travel, pocket aces represent a top-flight hand in poker. When you’re dealt “American Airlines” as your hole cards, the sky’s the limit for your potential winnings.

Pocket Kings — Ace Magnets & Cowboys

“Ace Magnets” is a somewhat ironic nickname for pocket kings. This nickname humorously suggests that pocket kings have a knack for attracting ace cards onto the flop in Texas Hold’em. When an ace appears on the flop while holding pocket kings, it can be frustrating for the player, often leading to a disappointed check of the flop.

On the other hand, “Cowboys” is a colloquial term used in poker to describe a pair of kings. The association likely stems from the shared initial sound of “kings” and “cowboys.” Holding a pair of kings can indeed make you feel like you’re back in the saddle, ready to take charge of the hand, even in less fortunate gaming sessions.

Pocket Queens — Ladies

Here’s a nickname for a poker hand that’s easy to understand. When you have two queens in your hand, it’s called pocket queens, and they’re known as the ladies.

Pocket queens can be great if you’re lucky, but they’ve also caused problems for many guys, both in poker and in other situations.

Pocket Jacks — Hooks

This nickname, “Hooks,” comes from how the letter “J” looks like a fishing hook. When you have two jacks in your hand, it’s called pocket jacks, and they might trick you into thinking you have a strong hand, but later, you might end up losing to more experienced players.

Pocket Tens – Dimes

A ten-cent coin is commonly called a “dime,” so there’s no big mystery about this nickname.

Additionally, the phrase “nickel and dime games” that has been around in poker for a while is used to talk about small stakes (or micros), so that’s another reason why you’ll often hear this phrase at the tables.

Dimes are a pretty good poker hand, and players seem to prefer them over hooks. Probably because they’re not picture cards, so they’re easier to let go of and don’t cause as many players to lose all their chips.

Ace-King — Walking Back to Houston, Big Slick, Space Cowboy, Anna Kournikova

Ace-King, also known as Big Slick or Anna Kournikova, is considered one of the top starting hands in poker, especially when both cards are of the same suit.

However, it’s important to remember that this hand can sometimes lead to significant losses, so it’s wise to proceed with caution.

The nickname “Anna Kournikova” originates from the initials of the cards, AK.

Another commonly used term, “Big Slick,” is widely recognized in poker circles and frequently mentioned by commentators during televised games.

Walking Back to Houston, perhaps the most famous poker hand nickname, originates from the Texas poker games of the past. Barry Greenstein attributes this term to poker legend T.J. Cloutier, who described Houston players losing all their money with ace-king and having to walk back home from Dallas.

Space Cowboy combines “Ace from Space” and “Cowboy” to create another nickname for ace-king, blending two popular poker terms into one.

Ace-Queen — Rocket Queen, Anthony and Cleopatra

Rocket Queen combines the concepts of a “rocket” and a “queen” into one nickname. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Rocket Queen is also a reference to a song by Guns N’ Roses.

Another term you might encounter for Ace Queens is Anthony and Cleopatra. While not as common as other poker hand names, it’s still useful information to know, even if you won’t hear it as frequently.

Pocket Nines — Wayne Gretzky, Phil Hellmuth

Named after Wayne Gretzky’s jersey number, 99, the greatest NHL player of all time. Pocket nines are good, but not as legendary as Gretzky.

The renowned Phil Hellmuth won the 1989 WSOP Main Event with pocket nines. You might not play it like Hellmuth, but playing it well can still be rewarding.

Pocket Eights — Snowmen, Dale Jr

The shape of the “8” resembles a snowman, but pocket eights are just a moderate hand unless it improves after the flop.

Named after Dale Earnhart Jr.’s No. 88 NASCAR car. Dale Jr. is slightly favoured in a race against hands like ace-king.

Pocket Sevens — Hockey Sticks, Candy Canes

The “7” resembles a hockey stick, similar to what Wayne Gretzky would use.

Another reference to the shape of the “7”, that candy canes can be sweet but aren’t exceptionally strong.

Pocket Sixes — Route 66, Kicks

Route 66 is Pocket Sixes nicknamed after the famous US highway, Route 66, which also inspired the next poker hand nickname.

Another nickname for pocket sixes is “kicks” which it got from the song “Get your kicks on Route 66”, reflecting the nostalgic feeling associated with the highway.

Pocket Fives — Nickels, Presto

Nickels: Similar to how pocket tens are called “dimes”, pocket fives earn the nickname “nickels”. These are cards with a value of five, often symbolised by a coin of the same denomination.

Presto: This nickname traces its roots back to the 1990s when poker discussions thrived on gambling forums. Even before the poker boom, players were captivated by the potential of this hand, sparking fascination and intrigue.

Pocket Fours — Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Sailboats

Darth Vader: In poker lore, two black fours are ominously referred to as “The Dark Side of the Fours”, drawing comparisons to the iconic Star Wars villain, Darth Vader. This nickname adds a touch of drama to the game, hinting at the power and menace associated with this hand.

Luke Skywalker: Continuing the Star Wars theme, pocket fours are affectionately known as “Luke Skywalker”, echoing the famous line “May the force be with you”. Despite being lower in rank, this nickname imbues the hand with a sense of hope and possibility.

Sailboats: The shape of the number four resembles a sailboat, hence the nickname “Sailboats”. However, despite its whimsical association, this hand often encounters rough waters in the fierce currents of poker gameplay.

Pocket Threes — Treys

Treys: Derived from the French word for three, “treys” is a widely used term in various games to refer to the number three. In poker, pocket threes are affectionately called “treys”, reflecting their numerical value and significance in the game.

Pocket Twos — Deuces and Ducks

Deuces: Just as “trey” represents three, “deuce” is a common term for two in card games, stemming from the French word for two, “deux”. Pocket twos are often referred to as “deuces”, highlighting their numerical value and role in the game.

Ducks: The number two bears a resemblance to a duck, and the word “duck” sounds similar to “deux”, the French word for two. Hence, pocket twos are affectionately nicknamed “ducks”, symbolising their status as the lowest pair in Texas Hold’em. Despite their humble rank, pocket ducks can sometimes surprise opponents, especially when facing off against stronger non-pair hands like “Big Slick”.

King Jack – Kojak, Jackie Kennedy

The nickname “Kojak” for King Jack originated from the popular TV series in the 70s. It’s easy to see how “King Jack” can morph into “Kojak”, making it recognizable in the poker room.

The hand is denoted by the initials KJ or JK and, like many others, received another nickname after a celebrity. Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady to President John F. Kennedy, lends her name to this hand.

However, it’s important to note that getting too aggressive with a “Kojak” hand can quickly turn your stack into history, as it may not perform as well in big pots as it appears.

Jack Ten – TJ Hooker, Justin Timberlake

Named after the famous TV show character, Jack Ten is commonly known as the TJ Hooker hand. Another alias for this hand is Justin Timberlake, owing to the initials JT which represent both.

King Nine – Canine

This nickname derives from a simple play on words, with “K” for King and “nine” resulting in “canine.” Despite its playful name, King Nine isn’t necessarily your best companion in poker. Exercise caution, especially with off-suit variations of this hand.

Ten Seven – Daniel Negreanu

Although seemingly nonsensical, this nickname gained prominence when renowned player Daniel Negreanu adopted it as his favourite hand. While his true preference may lie with a pair of aces, Negreanu has been known to favour Ten Seven more than most players. It’s also referred to as the Bowling Hand due to the dreaded 7-10 split in bowling.

Ten Two – Doyle Brunson

Despite being rarely played in Hold’em, this hand holds a special nickname. Doyle Brunson’s back-to-back WSOP Main Event victories in 1966 and 1967, with this exact hand, immortalised it in poker lore. Though players may aspire to replicate Brunson’s success, achieving victory with Ten Two, or the Doyle, is often difficult.

Club Flush — Golf Bag

An all-club flush earns the nickname “Golf Bag,” reminiscent of a bag filled with golf clubs.

Ace-to-Five Straight — The Wheel

The Ace-to-five straight is commonly known as “the wheel.” In games like Ace-to-Five lowball, the wheel represents the best possible low hand.

Ten-to-Ace Straight — Broadway

A “Broadway Straight” refers to the ace-king-queen-jack-ten version of a five-card straight. The cards comprising this straight are also known as “Broadway” cards.

Jack-Five — Jackson Five, Motown

The combination of a jack and a five gives rise to the “Jackson Five” nickname. Despite the fame of the musical group, playing this hand too frequently may lead to financial losses rather than gains. Inspired by the record label that introduced us to the Jackson Five, “Motown” serves as another nickname for the jack-five in poker.