Poker Trivia: Lesser-Known Poker Hands’ Nicknames

Poker is a game with a long and rich history, dating back to the early 19th century. Over the years, the rankings of poker hands have remained the same. As for poker hand nicknames, either old ones stick for a long time or new ones come up.

While most players are familiar with the common nicknames for high-ranking hands, such as “ace-high or king-high, there are many other, less common nicknames for hands of all ranks. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

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Pocket Kings: Cowboys

This nickname is for pocket (a pair of) kings and is one of the best poker hands when you’re just starting. It dates back to the Old West when cowboys often gamble with each other during their downtime. It is a strong hand but not strong enough to win against pocket aces, a three-of-a-kind, or a straight.

Aside from the history, it’s a rather fitting nickname, as cowboys were indeed kings of the Wild West. The enduring popularity of poker has made this old nickname last up to the online poker age.

Pair of Aces: Pocket Rockets or American Airlines

There are two common nicknames for a pair of aces. The first, pocket rockets, is likely because aces are the highest-ranking cards in poker and are also known as bullets. The second nickname, American Airlines, is probably because American Airlines’ initials are AA, much like two aces.

Pair of Queens: Ladies

It hardly needs any explanation, although it’s quite a shame that a pair of kings has a pretty cool “Cowboy” nickname while a pair of queens don’t. But hey, since poker has become modern and is still evolving, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this gets a better nickname in the future.

Pair of Fours: Star Wars References

You know how the 4th of May is some Star Wars pun because of the franchise’s “May The Force be with you” slogan? Well, think of a pair of fours the poker version of that. A pair of fours is known as a Luke Skywalker, in reference to The Force. On the other hand, a pair of fours that consists of black suits is known as Darth Vader because it’s the dark side of the Force. Clever, geeky, and relatively modern compared to other nicknames on the list.

Pair of Sixes: Route 66

There are two nicknames for a pair of sixes, and both are rather interesting. The first is Route 66, and for obvious reasons. In case you missed the reference, it’s one of the most famous highways in the United States, and is often included in songs and movies.

Speaking of which, the second nickname for a pair of sixes is “kicks”, from the song Get Your Kicks on Route 66 by Nat King Cole. It’s probably the most famous song about America’s most iconic highway.

On the other hand, a pair of eights is known as Snowmen. This nickname is likely because the two eights resemble two snowmen. It’s a cute nickname but not quite as strong as some of the other nicknames on this list.

Straight: Broadway

The name Broadway comes from the fact that the highest straight, ace-high, contains the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten off-suit. If suited, this hand is known as a royal flush, whose poker hands odds of getting are very low. Broadway doesn’t have the same sense of regal aura as “royal flush.” Nevertheless, it’s still a fitting nickname, as royalty is a frequent subject in musicals.

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Full House: Boat

The name “boat” is an alternative nickname for a full house. The name likely comes from the fact that a full house is one of those winning poker hands but not quite as strong as a four-of-a-kind. And if you think about it, some people live on a boat.

Speaking of which, wherever you are, you can play poker online as long as you have a good internet connection. There are many online poker rooms out there, but it’s recommended that you sign up at GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. You’re sure to have a blast there at home, on a boat, or anywhere between.

Nicknames For Three And Four-Of-A-KInd

A three-of-a-kind is also known as a “set” or trips. The nickname “set”

This likely comes from the fact that three-of-a-kind is a strong hand but not quite as strong as a straight or a flush. On the other hand, “trips” likely came from the fact that the word “trips” is shorter than “three-of-a-kind.”

The nickname “quads” for four-of-kind is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s probably from the fact that four-of-a-kind is a strong hand but not on par with a straight flush.

Bird-Themed Poker Hand Nicknames

There are many hands in poker with bird-themed nicknames. We’ll begin with a hand simply known as the Bird, a two-pair hand consisting of a king and queen.

Another is the Duck, a pair of deuces. This nickname is likely because they are small and insignificant, like a pair of deuces. It’s not a very strong hand, but it’s still a pair.

What’s In A Poker Hand Name?

Poker has a long and storied history that dates back hundreds of years. From cowboys to birds to airline companies, the nicknames of poker card hands have indeed become colorful. So the next time you play poker, try to give your hands these nicknames when you get them, or better yet, come up with your own. Who knows? Maybe it will catch on.