Dead Mans Hand Poker

Dead Mans Hand poker mythology still is up for debate on some aspects, but what is for sure is that the dead mans hand is a pair of Aces and a pair of eights. Many times people that play poker refer to any hand having any hand that has a pair of Aces and eights as the dead mans hand, but truly the term comes from the game of 5-card stud. The origin of the name of the hand comes from the Wild West, as Wild Bill Hickok was holding that hand when he was shot in the head by Jack McCall on August 2nd 1876, in Nuttal & Mann's Saloon at Deadwood, South Dakota.

According to the legend Hickok's hand were all of black suits in the Ace of clubs and spades and the eight of clubs and spades. However, in today's use of the term the suit does not matter, as any one that has a pair of Aces and a pair of eights is the dead mans hand.

The one part about the legend that still remains a mystery is the fifth card. There are some that say it was the queen of clubs, but it is still a mystery. Some suggestions are that he discarded one of the cards and was waiting for the 5th before he was shot and killed and some that he had the 5th card and was waiting for the other players to act before being gunned down.

Jack McCall was apparently insulted by Hickok the day before he was shot losing badly while playing cards. Hickok bought him breakfast and told him not to play again until he paid off his debts from losing. The next day there was another game and Hickok was not in his usual position with his back against a wall for protection. McCall was drunk and came up behind Hickok and killed him. He was caught and tried and found innocent, but then caught again in Wyoming tried and hung.

While the connotation to the dead mans poker hand is a little eerie since Hickok died after being dealt it a pair of Aces and eights is actually a very good hand in poker, as any player knows and would be happy to get. While the hand was a good one in general it was not a good one for Wild Bill Hickok, who never got to finish his game.

Learning the game of poker, or other casino games can be a challenge so we normally turn to history to perfect our knowledge and skills. In this day and age, visiting sites such as Grizzly Gambling makes for learning about casino games much easier. They are consistently adding new games to their site, offering them in a free play demo version, so you can practice your skills before playing with real money.

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