Dead Mans Hand Poker

Dead Man’s Hand is a famous story based on the death of James Butler Hickok, commonly known as ‘Wild Bill.’ He was shot in the back of the head as he was playing 5-card stud. Allegedly, the cards in the Dead Man’s Hand were two pairs of black Aces and black eights, and a Queen of Hearts. Some people claim that there is no reliable source confirming the exact cards that the Dead Man’s Hand comprised. However, any two pair of Aces and eights is called the Dead Man’s Hand. Great Escape Games also offers Dead Mans Hand miniatures celebrating the story.

dead mans hand poker

The Origin of Dead Man’s Hand

Wild Bill Hickok was very talented and passionate about trying his fortune in poker. Wild Bill was an esteemed gambler, lawmaker, spy, soldier, and actor. Jack McCall, commonly known as Crooked Nose, shot and killed him in South Dakota. This is where the Bill Dead Mans Hand perception was derived. McCall had initially lost all his money after sharing a poker table with Wild Bill, who gave him some money to buy food. Wild Bill also warned him of gambling until he regained his losses. The next day, McCall went to the saloon and found Hickok still playing. He was enraged and decided to kill him.

Wild Bill used to sit with his back to the wall since he was a suspicious fellow. One day, he sat at a different spot since another player refused to switch places with him. McCall went behind him and shouted, “Damn you! Take that,” and immediately shot him in the back of his head with his Colt .45. He later claimed that he was avenging the death of his brother. Seven months later, Jack faced execution. According to most accounts, Wild Bill was holding black As and 8s at the time of death and thus the name Dead Man’s Hand. Scroll down to read our Dead Mans Hand review.

How Important Is A Dead Man’s Hand in Poker?

The Dead Man’s Hand has a significant impact on historical and psychological value. However, it’s of no importance in real life. Though the two pairs are not awful in poker, it’s certainly not essential for a royal flush, straight or a full house. While it might feel fantastic being dealt this hand, it does not change a player’s fate in poker. The police departments of both Las Vegas and Los Angeles use Dead Mans Hand for the symbol of particular divisions on the squad. This refers to the Los Angeles Police Department Crash Force in conjunction with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System.

  • Dead Man’s Hand does not hold real value
  • It’s a perception and tribute to Wild Bill Hickok

The Secret Behind Dead Man’s Hand

The Secret Behind Dead Man's HandDead Man’s Hand Poker has made history in poker and gambling. There are many other stories, but this one still lives on in pop culture and the poker world. Thinking of the story, it’s shocking as it ends with the death of an innocent man at poker.

Even though this part is hidden, it’s evident in the Dead Mans Hand game. Focus goes to the final Hand, which might not be a winner after all. Read on to learn how famous and influential this story has been in general life and pop culture. The story has a great impact on poker.

Dead Mans Hand Referenced In Popular Culture

The Dead Man’s hand story has changed over the years. Many storytellers and writers have added some salt to it, making it fictitious. The Dead Mans Hand was initially referenced in 1926 when Carl Breihan, an American Historian, further popularised it. The original story stated that Neil Christy picked cards and passed them to his son. Based on Breihan’s report, the actual cards were A of Clubs, A of Diamonds, two black eights, and Q of Hearts. The queen had a drop of Bill’s blood on it. Breihan affirmed this after reaching out to the son for consultation and confirmation.

Like any other legend, it’s not easy to tell the facts behind the Dead Man’s Hand. However, it’s among the best gambling stories — the main reason many movies and books reference it. For instance, Ken Kesey creatively incorporates the phrase ‘Dead Man’s Hand in his classic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Along Came a Spider by James Patterson has a story on how the father of Jezzie acquired his gun holding As and 8s. One of the Final Destination films is titled The Dead Man’s Hand, as the action takes place in Las Vegas. The concept features the poker industry.

Texas Hold ‘Em Features Dead Man’s Hand

The popularity of this story has seen the Dead Man’s Hand referenced in almost all kinds of games. However, there is no explicit consent to what comprises a Dead Man’s Hand in Hold ’em. It’s all determined by how you look at it. It refers to a situation when you are dealt A and 8 and finally pairs both cards. To be real to the legend, it must consist of black cards like in the Wild Bill case. Unfortunately, people want the Dead Man’s Hand tattoo for no apparent reason. Some don’t know it’s deep meaning but do it for sheer fun.

There are many poker and gambling legends, but just a few ranks like Wild Bill Hickok and his Dead Hand. Over the years, the Dead Man’s Hand tale has gone viral in media, pop culture, and poker circles; there are just a few people who haven’t heard about it. Even though it is fun playing and striving to win from a special stand that’s identified with unique pleasure, you should be very careful when choosing cards. You might not meet the same fate as Wild Bill by overplaying Aces and eights. Surprisingly, you might end up making huge losses.

How Dead Man’s Hand Applies In Poker

According to the story, the Dead Man’s Hand comprised four cards instead of the usual five. Wild Bill Hickok was killed before being dealt the fifth card. For this concept to work, your cards have to be dealt Eight, Ace, Eight, Ace consecutively. Letter ‘H’ ranks 8th alphabetically; the Dead Man’s Hand (8A8A) spells and reads ‘HAHA.’ The assumption is that the world is laughing at you. You are warned to be careful whenever you get a Dead Man’s Hand. The chances are that the game might end even before being dealt another card. Just stick to your style and what you are used to.