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Poker Hand Nicknames

Texas Holdem Hand Names

"Lunatics of a feather flock together."
-- Steven Britton

Previously I've done two columns of poker player nicknames, but with the recent influx of new players into the game, the time is right to assemble a list of nicknames for poker hands. With this list newbies will both be able to sound like they fit right in at a casino when they play, and also know what the heck is going on by being able to decipher some of the code talk being spoken.

One problem with poker hand nicknames though is they sometimes become obsolete. Take the case of three tens, TTT. One nickname for this three of a kind is "thirty miles of bad road", which is often shortened to "thirty miles." Many years ago this thirty miles notion led to the hand getting its most famous nickname: "Gilroy to San Jose." Unfortunately, these days San Jose has sprawled all the way up to the Gilroy city limits! Even if it means we can apparently travel thirty miles in one step, I guess we have to keep the nickname. More puzzling though is another, more obscure nickname for TTT: "Woodbine to Corbin." One would assume the genesis of this nickname is the same as Gilroy to San Jose, but take a look at a map. Woodbine is about five miles from Corbin! I guess that's why the nickname hasn't caught on.

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While a few full poker hands have nicknames like "the dead man's hand" of Aces and Eights, two card Texas Hold'em hands tends to lend itself more to nicknames. I suppose this is because there are fewer card combinations than in Omaha for example, where only rare birds like AK47 (A-kay-forty-seven) can get nicknamed. However, in Omaha an entire branch of hands are classified as "double-scheckies" due to the incomparable Bob Scheckman's penchant for falling in love with any bit of double-suited shit that came his way. In any case, here are a few Texas Holdem starting hand nicknames that have stood the test of time.

AA Rockets; Bullets; American Airlines
KK Cowboys
QQ Canadian Rockets; Canadian Aces; Siegfried & Roy
JJ Fishhooks; hooks
88 Snowmen; Doggie Balls
77 Sunset Strip
66 Route 66
55 Presto; Speed Limit
44 Canadian Presto
33 Crabs
22 Ducks

Poker Hand NicknamesAK Big Slick
AQ Big Chick; Walking Back to Houston
KQsuited Marriage
KQoffsuit Mixed Marriage
KJ Kojak
K9 Fido; What a Dog
K3 Commander Crab; King Crab
Q7 Computer hand
Q3 Gay Waiter (queen with a tray)
J5 Motown; Jackson Five
T8 Golden Dan
T5 F&W Woolworth's; Five and Dime
T4 Broderick Crawford; Convoy; Good Buddy
T2 Texas Dolly
98 Oldsmobile
96 Big Lick; Dinner for Two
95 Dolly Parton
92 Montana Banana
83 Most feared hand in Holdem
7T Split
76 Union Oil

Then there is the case of J4. First named after John "Austin Squatty" Jenkins due to his penchant for raising and reraising with this hand of "hidden value", the hand later also became known as "Kid Grenade" after a poker dealer who when he played was "liable to go off at any moment". He once told me the hand's true nickname should be "Full Employment" because "If you play J4, you'll always have a day job."

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