Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Poker Hand Lexicon

I think poker hand names are cool (to which FTrain/Weak Player/[insert other SoxLover wiseass friend] would probably reply "which makes it unlikely they are").

I started out trying to come up with my own full list, but found this pretty comprehensive list here on Holdem Secrets. I like it especially because it takes a stab at the etymology, which is what I find really interesting. Impressive in that it has at least one name for every hand.

So rather than reproduce the whole thing, without claiming any originality (other bloggers have done this) I'm just going to add the new ones from general poker bloggerdom and from my own little sewing circle:

AK: Kournikova (as in "looks good, never wins" see also KQ, also works because the initials, but may be losing nomenclature war with KQ, see below)

AQ: Mrs. Slick (obvious), Posh Spice (Garth, something about looking good at first but really being a pretty trashy hand)

AJ: The Devil's Hand (also Garth)

A7: The Tourist (As in, only a tourist would play this hand; dare I cite the Poker Champ? Durst I)

A2: The Cheney (Garth's clever topical twist on the Hunter's Hand (duck and a bullet))

KK: Brokeback (Murderer's Row Home Game at least, but it seems to have also been hit upon by others)

KQ: Kournikova (see AK above, this is FTrain's version, based on the fact that AK sometimes wins--with some irony, KQ seems to be winning the usage war; maybe we should call AK Sharapova?)

KJ offsuit: The Donkey (yours truly, just think how many times you've seen a donkey overplay this hand off a cliff?)

KJ suited: The Super Donkey (speaks for itself)

QQ: The Hilton Sisters (list mentions it, but a little digging found Dr. Pauly's attribution to Vince Van Patten); Hand of Death (yours truly, or at least I thought it was until I googled it and found others feel this way too)

97: Persian Carpet Ride (I'd heard this in a NY club, didn't know where it came from but it seems to be the Magician's coinage)

86: the Vortex (I really have no idea why this is called that, but in Kid Dynamite's game there is a guy named Vortex after whom the hand is named--he has been rumored to pown me so I thought I better include it to keep him happy)

83: Snowman-taterleg (not sure where this comes from except from the obvious snowman for the eight, but it's an awesome name); Canadian Hammer (one higher than the hammer, also heard 8-2 called this)

74: Cambodian Slick (this is on the list, but not the etymology--I don't know if this is right, but I've heard and seen it described as a reference to the AK-47 assault rifle--get it Big Slick 47--but I'm not sure this makes sense since that gun has been used in many places. I also looked at this history of Cambodia for clues--a lot was going on in 1974, but not just that year. Maybe it was just some Canadian player who won a big pot with it?)

72 offsuit: The Hammer (Grubby of course)

72 suited: The Swedish Hammer (because its soooooted)

Other hand names, etymologies welcome.


At Tue Mar 21, 04:20:00 PM 2006, Blogger BadBlood said...

We use "magnets" for KK, as in Ace-magnets for the flop.

At Tue Mar 21, 04:31:00 PM 2006, Blogger Wes said...

I always liked the reasoning for QQ being called the "The Hilton Sisters" is because "they go down so often".

At Wed Mar 22, 02:49:00 PM 2006, Blogger Garthmeister J. said...

I think Wes is the one who suggested Posh Spice as A-Q. I love the reasoning for "The Hilton Sisters" as well.

At Thu Mar 23, 05:57:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kid Dynamite said...

How could you forget JJ - Friday in Vegas... ie, a couple of Hooks...

At Thu Mar 23, 05:54:00 PM 2006, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

38 = the 38 Special. This might be a common one, I'm not sure. All I know is, I've made it into one of my bluffing hands, similar to the hammer.

At Fri Mar 24, 11:06:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Vortex said...

You were smart to include the Vortex.

I know the true story behind Cambodian slick. It actually originated in a NYC club many many years ago. Don't feel like writing a book here so I will tell while I take all your chips next time KD has a game.

At Mon Mar 27, 03:43:00 PM 2006, Blogger Karol said...

I know a bunch of people who refer to the hand J6o as the 'Slava Special' named after a guy named Slava who loves (and wins with)this hand.

So, did Grubby invent 'the hammer' for 72o?

At Fri Feb 29, 10:27:00 PM 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pocket 8s are referred to as "dawg bawls" in some places. And dont forget 69--dinner for two

At Wed May 28, 07:15:00 PM 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, Cambodian slick came from the diamond club in NYC. I was there the following day, when it was the running joke. In a pot-limit game, one player kept claiming that he had "big slick." When he turned over 74o, his opponent said, "I thought you had big slick." He replied, "in Cambodia."


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