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poker hand rankings

Want to know a Royal Flush from a Full House? Here are all the possible poker hands ranked from highest to lowest to help you know the best (and worst) cards to play when you're at the tables. Learn more about poker hands here and basic poker rules

poker hand nicknames

The nicknames of poker hands come from sport, pop culture, history, daily life and more. Some are fun, some are creative, and some are just vulgar, but they all have a story behind them. Check out the most popular poker hand nicknames below:

hands with aces

ace-ace (A-A) A, A♠

  • Alan Alda: The double "A's" are also the initials of the M*A*S*H star.
  • American Airlines: Nicknamed due to the double Aces "AA" that is also the familiar symbol for American Airlines.
  • Batteries: The nickname comes from double-A batteries.
  • Bullets: 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."
  • Flying Nazis: Because the As look like airplanes and successful pilots are known as Aces. Nazis had a successful squadron of flying "Aces".
  • Joe Louis: (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, like the famous boxer.
  • Needles: The A looks like the top of the needle, in that it's pointy.
  • Pocket Rockets: Aces look like rockets, and since they are "pocket cards", they're pocket rockets.
  • Snake Eyes (or Eyes): The pair of Aces is associated with the snake eyes (rolling a double 1) in dice.
  • Teepees: The double Aces resemble the peaks of Native American Indian teepees.
  • Two Pips: A pip is a single unit of a number in a group, so two Aces, each worth one "pip" or point is "two pips".
  • Visine: 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 eye drops claim to "get the red out."

ace-king (A-K) A, K♠

  • Anna Kournikova: The Ace/King combo gets this nickname for sharing the initials of the popular tennis star and because it looks great, but rarely wins.
  • Big Slick: Because this looks like an easy winner, many novice players lose a lot of money betting on it.
  • Big Ugly: Given to only black-suited hands because it's a lot of black - resembling oil.
  • Exxon Valdez: This hand garsembles bullet holes.
  • King Arthur: Sharing the initials of King Arthur, the legendary King of Camelot.
  • Korean Airlines: Sharing the initials of the commercial airline of South Korea.
  • Mike Haven: A nod to Haven playing all-in on this pair twice in a row to come back from behind and 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.

ace-queen (A-Q) A♣, Q

  • Antony & Cleopatra: Because the pair shares the initials of the famous Shakespearian lovers, Marc Anthony and Queen Cleopatra.
  • Big Chick: The Queen is the King's "chick", and the Ace/Queen pair is a lesser imitation of the Big Slick.
  • Big Slut: Because the Queen is a 'slut' trying to imitate the King in the Big Slick pairing.
  • Little Slick: Like the Big Slick, but smaller.
  • Mrs Slick: The King's wife, imitating the Big Slick.
  • Rocket Queen: The Ace resembles a rocket and is paired with the Queen, also referring to the Guns & Roses song.

ace-jack (A-J) A, J

  • Armani Jeans: Sharing the acronym with the famous clothing line jeans.
  • Apple Jacks: Sharing the initials of the popular cereal brand.
  • Ajax: A phonetic similarity (A-Jacks) to the cleaning product.
  • Foamy Cleanser: A non-branded version of Ajax.
  • Blackjack: Because A-J is the highest possible hand in Blackjack.
  • Jackass: Jack/Ace sounds like Jackass.

ace-ten (A-10) A♣, 10

  • Johnny Moss: Because he began his poker career at the age of 10.
  • Bookends: Each part of the end of the highest poker straight (10, J, Q, K, A).

ace-nine (A-9) A, 9

  • Rounders Hand: Made popular as the final hand in the movie Rounders.
  • McDerment: 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.
  • Gimp: Because it's weak compared to any Ace/face card pair.

ace-eight (A-8) A♠, 8♠

  • 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.
  • Asterix and Obelix: Named after the comic book characters because A is the initial for Asterix and the rotund Obelix resembles an 8.

ace-seven (A-7) A♣, 7♠

  • Slapshot: Nicknamed for the 7's resemblance to a hockey stick and the Ace being a bullet (hockey puck).
  • The Sonnert: Because professional poker player Bengt Sonnert won the European WSOP in 2008 with this hand.

ace-six (A-6) A, 6♣

  • 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 aircraft being known as joining the Mile-High Club.
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford: Singer of the popular country/folk song 'Sixteen Tons.'

ace-five (A-5) A, 5

  • High Five: The "high" card (Ace) combined with the five. Simple, yet effective.

ace-four (A-4) A♣, 4♠

  • Plane Crash: Because the A-4 combination resembles the double Ace combination with one of the "wings" missing (the 4 being a 'partial' Ace).
  • Stu Ungar: Famous player Stu Ungar won his last three WSOP titles with this hand as part of a poker straight.

ace-three (A-3) A♠, 3♠

  • Ashtray: Due to the phonetic similarity of Ace-Trey. Think, smoky poker rooms and casinos.
  • Baskin-Robbins: The Ace/Three (numerically 1 and 3) are given the nickname due to Baskin Robin's famous 31 flavors of ice cream.
  • Thrace: The word Thrice (for three times) combined with Ace.

ace-two (A-2) A, 2

  • Acey-Deucey: From the game of the same name.
  • Hunting Season: Nicknamed because Aces are bullets and twos are commonly referred to as ducks.
  • Little Slick: The lowest possible imitation of "Big Slick." Used for A-Q too, for added confusion.

hands with kings

king-king (K-K) K, K

  • Ace Magnets: Given this name because a pair of Aces is the only set that can beat this.
  • Cowboys: The phonetic similarities between the K in Kings and the C in Cowboys. Also, Texas was famous for its poker players and cowboys. Players with this hand will play it fast and reckless, like a cowboy!
  • King Kong: Shared initials of the famous movie ape.
  • Elvis Presley: Referring to the 'King' of Rock 'n' Roll.

king-queen (K-Q) K, Q

  • Marriage/Royal Couple: For the union between a King and a Queen.
  • King of Queens: Reference to the popular Kevin James comedy show.
  • Valentine's Day: When both cards are suited hearts because of love.

king-jack (K-J) K, J

  • Kojak: Given for the phonetic similarity to TV's lollipop loving detective.
  • Joking/Jacking: Due to phonetic similarity.
  • Bachelor's Hand or Jackoff: (Unsuited) Because the hand is a 'Jack, off-suit.'

king-ten (K-10) K♠, 10♠

  • Katie/Ken: Phonetic similarities to K-10.
  • Big Al: Named for the big-time poker player from Wisconsin nicknamed "Big Al" Emerson.

king-nine (K-9) K, 9♠

  • Canine: Nickname given due to the phonetic sound of the King and Nine pronounced together.
  • Dog: Because of the name canine.
  • Fido/Mutt/Pedigree/Rin Tin Tin/Doctor Who: More canine references.

king-eight (K-8) K♣, 8

  • Kate: Named for the phonetic pronunciation of K-eight.
  • Feast: Because it's what the King ate.

king-seven (K-7) K, 7♠

  • Columbia River: Famous for its King salmon runs, the King Seven shares a phonetic similarity to King Salmon.
  • Kevin: More phonetic fun.

king-six (K-6) K, 6

  • Kicks: A combination of the words King and six together.

king-nine (K-5) K♠, 5♠

  • Seattle Special: Named for the Seattle television station KING on channel 5.
  • Knives: K and Fives almost makes knives.

king-four (K-4) K♣, 4

  • Fork/Core: The phonetic combination of the K and 4 either way around.
  • Oppression of the Masses: What is a King for? One for the anarchists, here.

king-three (K-3) K, 3♠

  • King Crab: Because 3s resemble a sideways crab and King Crab is a popular food item.

king-two (K-2) K, 2

  • King Fritz/Big Fritz: Thought to be named for the famous German poker pro Andreas Fritz.
  • Donald: A reference to Donald Duck, the King of the ducks (used most often when the hand is off-suit).

hands with queens

queen-queen (Q-Q) Q♣, Q

  • Bitches: The derogatory nickname for two women.
  • Four Tits: Because two Queens have four breasts.
  • Ladies: A less derogatory form of the above, for when you don't feel like being unnecessarily offensive.
  • Calamity Jane: A famous Cowgirl. Thought to be a play on the 'Cowboys' nickname for KK.
  • Canadian Aces: The Queen of England is said to be respected in Canada.

queen-jack (Q-J) Q, J

  • Maverick: From the popular western show of the same name whose theme song references "livin' on Jacks and queens."
  • Hawaii: If you avoid playing this hand for a full year, you'll save enough for a trip to Hawaii!

queen-ten (Q-10) Q♠, 10♠

  • Robert Varkonyi: The winner of the WSOP in 2002 with this hand.
  • Quint/Q-Tip: For the phonetic similarity to Queen-Ten.

queen-nine (Q-9) Q, 9

  • Quinine: For the similarity to the sound of the name of a well-known malaria drug.

queen-eight (Q-8) Q♣, 8♠

  • Kuwait: Phonetically similar to Q-eight.

queen-seven (Q-7) Q, 7

  • Computer Hand: Because it is statistically equally likely to be ahead or behind any other single random hand. It was found to have a 50% chance to win and 50% chance to lose against any two cards.

queen-six (Q-6) Q♠, 6

  • Quix: A combination of the two words.
  • Nesquik: Queen and Six combined make Quix, a nickname for Nesquik.

queen-five (Q-5) Q♠, 5♠

  • Granny Mae: Granny for Queen, Mae because May is the 5th month. Bit of a reach, this one.

queen-four (Q-4) Q, 4

  • Housework: A 'comic' response to the question, 'What is a Queen for?'
  • Prince Maker: Another 'comic' response to the question, 'What is a Queen for?'

queen-three (Q-3) Q, 3♣

  • Windsor Waiter: A queen with a tray.

queen-two (Q-2) Q♠, 2♣

  • Daisy: A reference to Daisy Duck - Donald Duck's partner and Queen of the ducks.
  • Queen Liz: Nicknamed as a reference to Queen Elizabeth II.

hands with jacks

jack-jack (J-J) J♣, J

  • Brothers: Two males who look similar.
  • Fishhooks: The J resembles a fishhook and there are two of them.
  • Jar Jars: Jar Jar Binx is hated by Star Wars connoisseurs as the JJ hand is hated by poker pros.
  • John Juanda: Initials of the US poker player.

jack-ten (J-10) J♣, 10

  • Justin Timberlake: Shares initials with the popstar.
  • T. J. Hooker Nicknamed after the 80's TV character played by William Shatner.
  • Greek Passport: A story states a Greek immigrant won residency in Australia with this hand.

jack-nine (J-9) J, 9♣

  • Braggars: Because nines and Jacks are wild in Braggars poker.
  • T.J Cloutier (when suited): The poker player flopped three straight flushes in one year with this starting hand.

jack-eight (J-8) J♠, 8

  • Jeffrey Dahmer: Named for the infamous serial killer who "ate Jack".
  • Jacket: Jack-Eight sounds a bit like Jacket if you say it quickly.

jack-seven (J-7) J♣, 7♠

  • Heckle and Jeckle: Named for the early television cartoon "J-birds" of the same name (2 Jays).

jack-six (J-6) J, 6

  • Railroad: Because if you say Jacks and sixes repeatedly quick it sounds like a train going over tracks, apparently.

jack-five (J-5) J♠, 5

  • Motown: For the famous music label's association with the Jackson Five - also called 'J5'.
  • Jackson Five: For sharing the 'J5' nickname of the famous Motown singing group the Jackson Five.

jack-four (J-4) J, 4♠

  • Flat Tire: What's a Jack for?
  • The New Motown: Because now the Jackson Five has only four members.

jack-three (J-3) J♠, 3

  • J-Lo: Play off the nickname for the famous movie star Jennifer Lopez, J and a low card.
  • Lumberjack: A Jack and a 'Tree'.

jack-two (J-2) J, 2♠

  • Railroad: Because if you say Jacks and sixes repeatedly quick it sounds like a train going over tracks, apparently.

hands with tens

ten-ten (10-10) 10, 10♠

  • Dimes: Because a dime is worth ten cents.
  • Tension: Because holding this pair can cause a lot of tension, it is the first of the bigger pairs that holds a high chance of winning but isn't high enough to be a sure thing.
  • Dynamite/TNT: T and T resembles TNT when spoken aloud.
  • Binary: 1010 is 10 in binary decimal notation.

ten-nine (10-9) 10, 9♣

  • Countdown: Because 10… 9…

ten-eight (10-8) 10♠, 8

  • Tetris: A stretch here, thought to be because of mild phonetic similarity. Likely to be a forced effort due to this hand not previously having a nickname.

ten-seven (10-7) 10♠, 7♠

  • Bowling Hand/Split: Named for the 7/10 split in bowling.

ten-six (10-6) 10, 6♠

  • Sweet: Nicknamed for the "one-six" sweet sixteen.

ten-five (10-5) 10, 5

  • Woolworth: Nicknamed for the very first "five and dime store" of the early 20th century. Five and Dime is also a frequently used nickname.
  • Merfs: Named for the draw poker game of the same name where tens and fives are wild cards.

ten-four (10-4) 10♠, 4

  • Broderick Crawford: The popular actor who was famous for using the call sign "10-4" on the show Highway Patrol.
  • CB Hand/The Trucker/Over and Out/Roger That: “"10-4" is OK in CB Radio language.
  • Convoy/Good Buddy: From the use of "10-4" in the famous country song, Convoy.

ten-three (10-3) 10, 3♠

  • Fast Connection: Named for the super-fast T3 internet connection speed.

ten-two (10-2) 10♣, 2

  • Doyle Brunson: For the 1976/77 WSOP Champion's winning hand.
  • Terminator 2: The movie's sub-title is T2.

hands with nines

nine-nine (9-9) 9, 9

  • Phil Hellmuth: Named for the holder of the 1989 WSOP winner who won with this hand.
  • Hitlers: Nein means no in German.
  • Red Balloons: After the famous song 99 Red Balloons.
  • Wayne Gretzky: The jersey number of the Canadian hockey legend.
  • Popeyes: Looks like Popeye's muscular arms.

nine-eight (9-8) 9♣, 8

  • Olds or Oldsmobile: Because the '98 Oldsmobile was the biggest of the line.

nine-seven (9-7) 9♠, 7♠

  • Persian Carpet Ride: Named by Antonio Esfandiari, for whom this hand was a favorite.

nine-six (9-6) 9♠, 6

  • Big Lick: A sexual reference to the 69 position and reference to "Big Slick".
  • Breakfast of Champions: A sexual reference to the 69 position.
  • Dinner for Two: A sexual reference to the 69 position.
  • Happy Meal/Percy/Good Lover/Big Love/The Dirty: More sexual references to the 69 position.
  • Jaka Å ubic: After the comedian and poker player from Slovenia.

nine-five (9-5) 9, 5

  • Dolly or Dolly Parton: For the star's famous movie "9 to 5."
  • Hard Working Man: Someone who works 9 to 5.

nine-four (9-4) 9, 4♣

  • San Francisco: For the San Francisco football team the 49ers.
  • Joe Montana: The famous football player for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • 49er: San Francisco 49ers NFL Football team. Also refers to the men of the gold rush era who mined the Sierra Nevada hills near San Francisco.

nine-three (9-3) 9♣, 3

  • Jack Benny: Because Jack Benny always insisted he was "39" years old.

nine-two (9-2) 9, 2

  • Twiggy: Because the famous supermodel's waist measurement was said to be 29 inches.
  • Montana Banana: Bananas will grow in Montana's cold climate before someone wins with this hand.

hands with eights

eight-eight (8-8) 8♠, 8

  • Snowmen: Nicknamed due to the 8's resemblance of a snowman.
  • Dog Balls (Doggie Balls): 8 looks like a pair of balls.
  • Fat Ladies/Two Fat Ladies: Famous bingo call. Because it looks like a pair of large women side-by-side.
  • Time Travel: Because the DeLorean in the movie Back to the Future needed to reach 88mph to travel through time.
  • Piano/Wurlitzer: Refers to the number of keys on a piano/organ.
  • Pretzels: Looks like the twists of two pretzels.
  • Lacey: The 8s resemble shoelaces.

eight-seven (8-7) 8♠, 7♣

  • RPM: Refers to the speed of the old-fashioned records that spun at 78 revolutions per minute.

eight-six (8-6) 8, 6

  • Henry Bowen: For the Texas gambler.
  • Eubie: If you bet this pair "u-be" broke.
  • Maxwell Smart: The number moniker of the character Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) from Get Smart.
  • Rick James: For the famous singer who passed away on August 6th.
  • Pooch: For the player Bill Puccio who swears this is the winningest hand.

eight-five (8-5) 8, 5

  • Chad: The number of football player Chad Ochocinco, which is the literal Spanish translation of "eight five".

eight-four (8-4) 8, 4♣

  • Orwell: For the author George Orwell who wrote the book 1984.
  • Big Brother: A reference to the theme of George Orwell's book 1984.

eight-three (8-3) 8♠, 3

  • Raquel Welch: Because she claims to be 38 every year.

eight-two (8-2) 8, 2

  • Tadpole: What the duck ate.

hands with sevens

seven-seven (7-7) 7, 7

  • Hockey Sticks: Because a 7 looks like an upside-down hockey stick.
  • Candy Canes: For the resemblance to a pair of candy canes.
  • Axes/Walking Sticks/Mullets/Scythes: Because 7s look a little like these things.
  • Sunset Strip: Reference to the television show 77 Sunset Strip.

seven-six (7-6) 7, 6♣

  • Trombones: From the song 76 Trombones.
  • Union Oil: For Union 76 gas stations.

seven-five (7-5) 7♠, 5♠

  • 007: For the winning hand in the Bond movie Casino Royale.
  • Heinz: For the 57 sauces of Heinz.
  • Vietnamese Slick: The Vietnam War ended in '75.

seven-four (7-4) 7♣, 4

  • Kalashnikov: A reference to the AK-47 assault rifle.
  • Double Down: The hand most likely to lead to a Double Down in Blackjack.

seven-three (7-3) 7, 3

  • Dutch Waiter/Swedish Busboy: Sven carrying a tray.
  • Joe Hachem: For the 2005 WSOP main event champion who won with a 7-3.

seven-two (7-2) 7, 2

  • Beer Hand: (Off-suit only) If you win with this hand you deserve a beer. Also given this nickname because only someone drinking too much beer would bet on this hand.
  • W.H.I.P.: (Off-suit only) The acronym for "Worst Hand In Poker."

hands with sixes

six-six (6-6) 6♣, 6♠

  • Cherries: Because a six looks like a cherry.
  • Route 66: After the famous road between LA and Chicago.
  • Kicks: For the lyric "Get your Kicks on Route 66."

six-five (6-5) 6♠, 5

  • Bus Pass: Because free bus passes are given to UK citizens over 65.
  • Ken Warren: For his winning WSOP hand.

six-four (6-4) 6, 4♠

  • Billion Dollar Hand: Reference to the popular old TV show the $64,000 Question.
  • Gilchrist: The Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist hit a lot of 6s and 4s.

six-three (6-3) 6, 3

  • Blocky: Nickname of Broomcorn from author Doyle Brunson's "SuperSystem" that used the 63 as an ambush.
  • Spanish Inquisition: Because it is an unassuming hand that nobody expects to win. From the Monty Python quote "nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."

six-two (6-2) 6, 2♠

  • Aimsworth: After a long-winded story from Byron Wolford about who played with this hand and ended up with four of a kind 2s.

hands with fives

five-five (5-5) 5♠, 5♣

  • Nickels: A nickel is worth 5 cents.
  • Speed Limit: Nickname given because 55 is a common US speed limit on highways.
  • Sammy Hagar: From his pop song "I Can't Drive 55."
  • Snakes: For the resemblance to a pair of snakes.

five-four (5-4) 5, 4

  • Colt 45: For the famous gun.
  • Jesse James: Because the gunslinger was allegedly shot by a .45.
  • Moneymaker: The winning poker hand of the famous poker player Chris Moneymaker at the 2003 WSOP.

five-three (5-3) 5♣, 3

  • Juggernaut: From Magic: The Gathering. The artefact card had the power of five and toughness of three.

five-two (5-2) 5, 2♠

  • Bomber: From the big B-52 bomber aircraft.
  • Pick-up: After the card game 52 card pick-up.
  • Two Bits: The archaic reference to a 25-cent piece.
  • Quarter: 25 cents.

hands with fours

four-four (4-4) 4♣, 4♠

  • Darth Vader (two black cards): Dark Side of the Fours.
  • Magnum: Because the famous gun the Magnum is a 44.
  • Sailboats: Nicknamed because the double fours look like two sails.
  • Luke Skywalker/Princess Leia: May the Fours be with you.

four-three (4-3) 4, 3

  • Waltz: Because musical waltzes are always in ¾ time.
  • Books: What is a tree for?

four-two (4-2) 4♠, 2♣

  • Jack Bauer: For the character in 24.
  • Lumberman's Hand: Nicknamed for the common lumber stock two by four (2x4).
  • The Principle: Because it was Canadian politician Steven Hick's favorite hand, saying he played it "on principle."
  • The Answer: Referring to the computer's answer to everything in the novel/movie "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

hands with threes

three-three (3-3) 3, 3♣

  • Crabs: Nicknamed due to the number's resemblance to a crab on its side.
  • Treys: Taken from the Old French word for three (tres).

three-two (3-2) 3, 2♠

  • Can of Corn: Baseball reference to an easy to catch ball, coming from a store clerk dropping a can of corn off a high shelf. Given the reference because it is the lowest 'non-hand' in poker with 2-2 being a pair.
  • The Nut Low: The lowest possible hand in poker.
  • Hooter Hand: Because famous dealer Houth "Hooter" Houn played this hand as aggressively as an AK, with varying success.
  • Michael Jordan: The basketball great wore jersey number 23.

hands with twos

two-two (2-2) 2♠, 2♣

  • Ducks: Twos are often called ducks in poker, there's a vague similarity in appearance.
  • Desmond: Named after Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
  • Quack Quack: The sound two ducks make.
  • Richard Nixon: Nicknamed after Richard Nixon's famous double peace sign.
  • Swarovskis: Resemble the Swarovski Crystal swans.