An Overview of Dead Mans Hand Poker

overview of dead mans hand poker

Poker is probably one of the most popular games across the world. Its played by many at online poker websites or in live casinos. In the past, poker was sort of outcasts and was played in hidden back rooms or smoke-filled saloons. The story of dead mans hand poker emerged in this era. The legend behind this story is James Butler Hickok, better known by his nicknamed ‘Wild Bill.’ He was very talented and an enthusiast of poker.

Wild Bill Hickok was a gunfighter, spy, soldier, as well as an actor. He was a renowned star for trying his luck at cards, especially poker. Wild Bill was playing 5-stud poker ta Deadwood in a saloon with Jack McCall and few others. At some point, Mccall was enraged and shot him at the back of his head. Players were eager to know what the final poker hand comprised. It turned out that he had:

  • A pair of black Aces
  • A pair of black Eights

The Evolution of Dead Mans Hand

Hickok’s poker hand was named the Dead Mans Hand. Since he was a prominent hero, the story has gained immense popularity in the gambling industry over the years. It has taken different turns as some experts try to argue about the impossibility to tell whether the poker hand comprised the cards mentioned above. However, nothing is bound to change people’s beliefs as they still refer to this combination as the Dead Mans Hand.

The Implication of Dead Mans Hand In Poker

The dead mans hand holds four cards rather than five since you die before being dealt the fifth card. For this to work, your cards must be dealt in this order: Eight, Ace, Eight, Ace. Alphabetically, ‘H’ ranks eighth. The dead mans hand poker, 8A8A spells HAHA, which implies that the world is laughing at you. If you ever get dealt 8A8A consecutively, look behind you, chances are that you might not be dealt another card.

The Impact of Dead Mans Hand In Poker

Even though the dead mans hand has a significant impact on historical and psychological value, it’s worthless in real poker. While the 2-pair might not be a terrible hand in poker, it’s certainly not as essential as a straight, royal flush or full house. Even though it’s exciting to be dealt a dead man hand, it’s doesn’t impact your chances of either winning or losing. Naturally, the value of the dead mans hand is merely a perception.

The Original Story of Dead Mans Hand

The dead mans hand was first-ever referenced in 1926 by Carl Breihan, an American historian. This popularised the story far and wide. According to the original story, Neil Christy picked cards and later passed them on to his son. Breihan gave this report after reaching out to son, who confirmed that the actual cards were A of Clubs, A of Diamonds, 2 black eights, and Q of Heart. The queen had a drop of Bill’s blood on it.

The Dead Mans Hand Still Lives

The Dead Mans Hand is highly influential in the poker and gambling industry. There are many legends within this industry, but just a few have acquired fame as Wild Bill Hickok and his dead mans hand. It went viral over the years in media, poker, and pop culture. Many have a named hand just for fun. However, playing Aces and Eights doesn’t guarantee you Wild Bill Hickok’s fate, though you still might lose the game!