texasholdemNames, names names.  It’s amazing the slang used in gambling for all sorts of things. If you visit the casino, you heard the basics before:

  • Action – the amount of money a player wagers during a playing session
  • Camouflage – any action made by a skilled gambler to hide his activities from the casino.
  • Eye in the sky – refers to surveillance cameras situated on the ceilings of the casino’s gaming area.
  • Whale – a high roller

But, poker players have their own slang, jargon…..whatever you want to call it. And, Texas Hold’m leads them all.

Here’s a list of Texas Hold’em starting hands and how they got their names –  a definitive list of names that are still actually used, and the convoluted (fancy word for “what may be a lie”) story behind them.  Thanks to the work of Al Moe, here it is. Check out his Bio below his article before you leave.

acesAce-Ace –  Aces only come around about once in every 221 hands, so your really enjoy them, except when they get cracked (beaten). That’s why sometimes a player will say they had eggs, and they got scrambled. Other names for the best starting hand in the game are: pocket rockets, bullets, and the nuts.

Ace-King – Big Slick (Those Texas Boys again, when you’ve got a slick of oil coming up from the ground you are pretty happy – it’s almost as good as AA, but you ain’t got no cash yet).

Ace-Queen – Little Slick or Big Chick are the favorites, Killer Queen is a backup, because it loses to AK.

Ace-Jack – Blue Dot Cleanser (Ajax used to be in every American kitchen).

Ace-Deuce – Acey Deucy, Top and Bottom, No Field Goal (no kicker to go with the ace).

pair-of-kingsKing-King – Cowboys, King Kong, Knuckleheads (when they are played hard and lose to AA)

King-Queen – Royal Family, Marriage.

King-Jack – Kay Jay, Kojak (1970’s police show).

King-Nine – K9 (canine), Dog hand, Big Dog.

Queen-Queen – Ladies, Bitches,

Queen-Jack – Maverick (1950’s western “Living on Queens and Jacks”)

Maverick, the Tv Show, 1957 - 1963
Maverick, the Tv Show, 1957 – 1963

Queen-Ten – QT, on the QT (silently, secretly, especially since QT makes a nice straight that is often over looked).

Queen-Nine – Quinine (an early anti-malaria drug).

Queen-Seven – Computer Hand (1980’s computer simulation showed the hand to be right in the middle of all hands, a break-even hand).

Jack-Jack – Jakes, Meat hooks, Fish hooks, U-turn and 0 and 20 (never wins).

Never wins!
Never wins!

Jack-Five – Motown (Jackson Five).

jackson-five
Jackson Five

Jack-Four – Tire changer (what’s a jack for?).

Ten-Ten – Audi (Audi TT), Dynamite (say it slow,TNT).

woolworths
Woolworths Dept. Store.

Ten-Five – Woolworths Five and Dime (old stores with lots of goods for five and ten cents)

Ten-Four – CB Hand, Good Buddy, Broderick Crawford (1950’s cop show using the term 10-4 which meant “everything is alright).

Ten-Two – Doyle Brunson (who won two WSOP Championships with 10-2 on the final hand).

barbara-feldman
The original “agent 99” in Get Smart – Barbara Feldman

Nine-Nine – Barbara Feldman (Played Agent 99 on 1960’s Get Smart TV Show), Gretzky (the Great One’s hockey number).

Nine-Eight – Ninety-eight, Oldsmobile (the Old’s 98 was a hot car starting in the late 1940’s)

Nine-Five – Workday, Dolly Parton (from the movie 9 to 5), Workin’ Man (song by Merle Haggerd)

Eight-Eight – Ovals (88 looks like to race tracks), Snowmen, Dog Balls, Piano Keys (88 keys).

Eight-Six – Maxwell Smart (Agent 86 on 1960’s TV show Get Smart).

Seven-Seven – Sunset Strip (1960’s TV show 77 Sunset Strip), Crutches, Hockey Sticks, Hammers.

Seven-Six – Union Oil (old gas chain was Union 76), Independence (US – 1776.)

Worst hand.
Worst hand.

Seven-Deuce – Hammer (you’ll get hammered if you play the worst hand in Texas Hold’em), Beer Hand (you’ll be out of the game and at the bar if you play the hand).

Six-Nine – Happy Meal, Big Lick (sexual reference).

Six-Six – Kicks (1950’s Chuck Berry Song, Get your Kicks on Route 66), Hard Road

Five-Five – Sammy Hagar (sang “I can’t drive, 55), Double nickle.

Five-Two – Bomber (as in B-52)

A B-52D Stratofortress from the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., drops bombs. B-52Ds were modified in 1966 to carry 108, 500-lb bombs while the normal conventional payload before was only 51. (Historical U.S. Air Force photo)
A B-52D Stratofortress (Historical U.S. Air Force photo)

Four-Five – 45, Jessie James (was killed with a .45 caliber handgun).

Four-Four – Handgun, Magnum, Dirty Harry (1970’s Movies with Clint Eastwood, who used a .44 caliber Magnum handgun).

Three-Nine – Jack Benny (who always said he was 39 years old).

Three-Three – Craps (they look like ’em), short route (half of route 66).

Three-Ace – Baskin Robbins (31 flavors of ice cream).download

Two-Nine – Twiggy (1960’s fashion model who was thin).

Two-Four – Lumber Number (a two-by-four piece of wood).

Two-Two – Ducks, Quackers,

There are others, but those are the popular ones.  Who knew playing Texas Hold’em had so many names for your two card hand.  I’m still getting confused over Flop, Turn and River!

Binbin

Special thanks to Al Moe for his many contributions to all levels of gamblers over the years. Moe is the author of Vegas and the Mob and has written for Gambling Times/Poker Player, Pokernews.com and Casino and Gaming Chips Magazine. His love for casinos and the history of gambling are only exceeded by the thrill he gets learning new casino games and his desire to teach new players how to get the most for their money at the casino. He writes the very fun & informative AboutCasinoGambling.com  which is a great resource for some of the simplest or hardest questions you may have, and everything in between.  Do yourself a favor and check his archives out.

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