If you’ve been playing Poker for a while and are keen to up your game, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re chatting with other players online or in a land-based game, using these terms for different 2-card starting hands will help you feel like a seasoned insider. A lot of them are also really amusing, with highly entertaining backstories!

Classic Terms

  • A pair of Aces has several nicknames, including Nuts, Bullets, Pocket Rockets, or even American Airlines because of the double A.
  • An Ace-Jack combination is routinely called Blackjack, or the phonetically amusing Jackass or Ajax.
  • A King and Queen of hearts are obviously sweethearts, and can be called Valentine’s Day. In the same way, any suited King and Queen are known as a Royal Marriage. There was even a lobby to call an unsuited King and Queen a Mixed Marriage, but that hasn’t really taken off.
  • A pair of 5 are Nickels.
  • An Ace-8 pair is a Dead Man’s Hand, named for the legend of a man holding those cards when he was shot and killed at a Poker table.
  • A 10 and 2 hand is sometimes nicknamed a Doyle Brunson, since the player won two Worlds Series of Poker championships with this hand.
  • A 9-5 hand is a Full Time Job, after the famous movie and accompanying Dolly Parton song of the same name. What a way to make a living!
  • A Queen and a Jack pair is known as a Maverick, from the theme song for the television show Maverick. A lyric in the song talks of “livin’ on Jacks and Queens”.

Slang Based on Individual Card Configurations

  • A pair of 8s is called Snowmen or Infinities, because that’s what their numbers look like. They can also be known as Octopussy.
  • A 4-4 is Sailboats, because they give the impression of two sails. More amusingly, you might hear them referred to as Luke Skywalker, as in the famous saying from the Star Wars franchise, May the Force be With You. In this case, Force, is replaced with Fours! If you get a black 4 of spades or clubs, it’s known as a Darth Vader – the dark side of the fours.
  • A hand of 2 Jacks is regularly called Hooks, presumably after Captain Hook since the Js look like what the pirate wore over his unfortunate appendage.

Recent Terms

  • 2 Queens are often called Siegfried and Roy, after that famous pair queens.
  • A Jack and a 4 have come to be known as a Flat Tire, from the wordplay question What’s a Jack For?
  • An A-K starting hand is known as both a Machine Gun, after the AK-47 weapon, or Anna Kournikova. The Kournikova term is more savage than it first appears; it’s not only given because the Tennis player’s initials match, but also because while it looks very good it rarely wins. on other games particularly crickets punters try to maximise the winning chance placing multiple bets at cricket betting sites around the world
  • And finally, nobody will be surprised to learn that a 6-9 hand has plenty of amusing monikers, including Dinner For Two or Big Lick. A suited 6-9 is, appropriately, the more formal Prom Night.