The game of poker and Texas Hold'em in particular is colorful and exciting. One of the things that makes it so entertaining is the unique lexicon developed by its players to describe the 'high' poker hand rankings the game uses. The nicknames for many of the more common hands are used by spectators, and by the players, so knowing the lingo greatly enhances the enjoyment and understanding of the game.
We have got you covered with our poker hand chart and guide to many of the unique names for Hold'em hands. Read on to learn about cowboys and pocket rockets, so the next time you sit down at a poker table, you can sound like a pro and identify the best poker hands.
Click here to download this PDF to your PC or open it up on your mobile while playing to have quick access to the hand rankings in order from best to worst. You can even print out a copy to keep with you while you play.
If you find yourself confused over poker hand rankings and what beats what in poker check the poker chart here to understand the hierarchy and know when you're holding a winning hand, or at least one of the best hands in poker you can have.
Having all face cards in order from Ace down to Ten, all in the same suit. The highest hand possible in poker.
Having a series of cards of any one suit in numerical order.
Four of a Kind
Holding all of the identical cards from each suit. If two players both hold four-of-a-kind hands, the highest ranking of the four-of-a-kind cards wins.
Three-of-a-kind and a pair in the same hand. If two or more players all hold a full house, the highest three-of-a-kind wins. So, if a hand contained 3 aces and 2 kings (also known as "Aces full of Kings") it would beat 3 kings and 2 aces (also known as "Kings full of Aces").
Five cards of the same suit regardless of order. The high card determines the winner of a tied hand.
Five cards in numerical order regardless of suit. An Ace can count as either a "1" or the high face card.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same face value. If tied with another player with three of a kind, the highest face value wins.
Two pairings of identical value cards. The higher valued cards of the two pairs determines the rank with the best possible combination being Aces and Kings. If both competing hands are the same, the higher card in the remainder of the hand is the "kicker" or "high card."
Any two cards of the same value. Highest pair wins in the event of two players holding a pair. If both competing hands are the same, the higher card in the remainder of the hand is the "kicker" or "high card."
When no player at the table holds a qualified hand, the highest card (with Ace being the highest possible value) is the winner.
Poker Hand Nicknames
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The double "A's" are also an acronym of the star of TV's popular series M*A*S*H.
Nicknamed due to the double Aces "AA" that is also the familiar symbol for American Airlines.
The nickname comes from double A batteries.
This hand garners the nickname "bullets" because the single suit symbol in the center of each card side by side resembles bullet holes.
Eyes of Texas
Taken from the popular song, also due to the resemblance to "eyes" on dice, and the origin of the game "Texas."
Because the A's look like airplanes and successful pilots are known as aces. Nazis had a successful squadron of flying "aces".
(Given only to the pair of spades and clubs) because the Aces resemble eyes, you will get two black eyes if you try to fight them.
The A's look like the top of the needle with the center of the "A" being the eye.
This nickname is given a pair of aces for the fact that they look like rockets, and since these pairs are "pocket cards" they are called pocket rockets.
Snake Eyes (or Eyes)
The pair of Aces is associated with the snake eyes (rolling a single) in dice.
The double Aces resemble the peaks of native American Indian teepees.
A pip is a single unit of a number in a group, so two aces, each worth one "pip" or point is "two pips".
This is a special designation for the combination of the Ace of Hearts and the Ace of Diamonds (both red suits) also known as "red eyes" because Visine "gets the red out."
The Ace/King combo gets this nickname for sharing the initials of the popular tennis star and because it looks great, but rarely wins.
Because this looks like an easy winner, many novice players lose a lot of money betting on it.
The opposite of the Big Slick because it should be beautiful, but if it is off suit it is ugly and unappealing.
(Given only to A/K of spades, A/K of clubs or combo of spade/club) Because it's a lot of black - resembling oil.
Sharing the initials of King Arthur, the legendary King of Camelot, if held as King/Ace.
Sharing the initials of the commercial airline of South Korea.
A special designation given for the man who played this pair in two pre-flops all-in in a row to win at the final table.
Walking Back to Houston
Because "Texas" players who originated this variety of poker, and bet too heavily on it ended up "walking back to Houston" as a loser.
Antony & Cleopatra
Because the pair shares the initials of the famous Shakespearian lovers Marc Anthony and Queen Cleopatra.
The queen is the King's "chick" and the Ace/Queen pair is a lesser imitation of the Big Slick (Ace/King pairing).
Because the Queen is a slut trying to imitate the King in the Big Slick pairing.
Close imitation of, but smaller than the Big Slick.
The King's missus, imitating the Big Slick.
The Ace resembles a rocket and is paired with the queen, this nickname also comes from a Guns & Roses song.
Sharing the acronym with the famous clothing line jeans.
Sharing the initials of the popular cereal brand.
A phonetic similarity (Ace/Jack, A-Jacks) to the cleaning product.
Because the Ace/Jack is the highest possible hand in blackjack.
From the association with Ajax.
A bastardization of Jack/Ace.
Because he began his poker career at the age of 10.
Each part of the end of the highest straight (top to bottom: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten).
Made popular as the final hand in the movie "Rounders".
A colloquialism of the last name of the character Mike McDermott in the movie "Rounders".
Jesus (also known as Chris Ferguson)
Chris Ferguson won the final hand of the 2000 WSOP with the A/9 pair over TJ Cloutier's Ace/Queen.
Because it's weak compared to any Ace/face card pair.
Dead Man's Hand
The pairing held by famous gunfighter and lawman "Wild Bill Hickok" when he was murdered. Also called this because the holder is likely "dead" in the game.
Nicknamed for the 7's resemblance to a hockey stick and the Ace being a bullet (hockey puck).
Because professional poker player Bengt Sonnert won with it in the European WSOP in 2008.
Mile High Club
Because six is phonetically similar to sex and the Ace is associated with airlines, the nickname is a reference to sex in an airliner-also known as being a member of the mile high club.
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Singer of the popular country/folk song "Sixteen Tons."
The "high" card (Ace) combined with the five, nicknamed for the popular celebratory greeting.
Because the A/4 combination resembles the double Ace combination with one of the "wings" missing (the 4 being a 'partial' Ace), and the Ace associated with flying: American Airlines, Korean Airlines, flying Nazis). So an airplane with a broken wing crashes.
Famous poker player Stu Ungar won his last three WSOP titles with this hand as part of a straight.
Because the holder of this pair may think he's holding a pair of Aces at first glance, if the second card (4) is partially hidden, and is unhappy to find the second half of the pair is a fake.
Due to the phonetic similarity of Ace-Trey (French for Three).
The Ace/Three (numerically 1 and 3) are given the nickname due to Baskin Robin's famous 31 flavors of ice cream.
The dual meaning comes from a combination of the word Thrice (for three times) and ace, as well as for the geographical location in Southeastern Europe – Thrace.
From the game of the same name.
Nicknamed because Aces are bullets and twos are commonly referred to as ducks, so if you are holding the ace/two it's hunting season.
Nicknamed due to the numbers resemblance to a crab on its side.
Taken from the French word for three.
Can of Corn
Baseball reference to an easy to catch fly, coming from a store clerk reaching up and dropping a can off a high shelf. Given the reference because it is the lowest 'non-hand' in poker with 22 being a pair.
The Nut Low
The lowest possible hand in poker.
Because famous dealer Houth "Hooter" Houn played this hand as if it was an AK.