Learn Poker Lingo #2: Poker Hands and Their Nicknames

by Cole Paganelli | December 18, 2019 |

Poker players love giving names to their hands, resulting in various nicknames for all sorts of card combinations. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

By learning these, you’ll be able to follow more professional poker videos and play poker like a real pro (although being a real poker pro requires much more than just learning the slang words).

Therefore let’s take a look at popular card nicknames. In this article, well mostly cover nicknames for a pair of cards.


Whenever somebody has a pair of aces, they are said to have the “bullets.” Pair of aces is the highest possible combination you can have as hole cards, and that’s why they have the potential to “shoot” at your opponents. Although bullets is the most common name, AA also comes under needles, batteries, American Airlines, snake eyes, two pips, and more.


Once again, the reference to the Wild West is quite obvious, and this name is given to a pair of kings. KK is also sometimes called ace magnets, king kong, or Elvis Presley, because Presley is the king of rock ‘n roll, and it was only natural that his name is used instead of kings in poker.


A pair of queens is often referred to as ladies. However, some players don’t hesitate to call them bitches, but you probably want to avoid that term. Sometimes you’ll often hear players calling QQ Calamity Jane or even cowgirls.


A pair of jacks is usually called brothers. Sometimes, you’ll hear some players refer to them as John Juanda, after a legendary poker player.


A dime is 10 cents, and it was only natural that a pair of 10s is called dimes. This hand has many other nicknames, including dynamite, tension, and train tracks. One interesting name that you might hear sometimes is Bo Derek, as she starred in a movie called “10.”


Lower cards are often not a source of inspiration for poker players, so they might not use nicknames as often as they would use for pairs of face cards. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of nicknames used, and the most popular one for the pair of nines is popeyes. However, some would use Wayne Gretzky as well, as his jersey had a number 99. Finally, a pair of nines is sometimes called Phil Hellmuth, after Poker Brat’s famous winning hand in 1989 WSOP.


A pair of eights indeed looks like two snowmen standing next to each other. Other nicknames are dog balls, pretzels, piano keys, and infinity.

Hockey Sticks

A pair of sevens indeed looks like two hockey sticks. Other names are mullets, walking sticks, or candy canes.


Cherries or boots are two nicknames used for a pair of sixes.


Once again, pokers use money reference, as a nickel is worth five cents. Therefore, a pair of fives is nickels. Other nicknames are snakes or speed limit.


A pair of fours is often referred to as sailboats or magnum (after the legendary .44 Magnum pistol). You’ll sometimes hear Star Wars references as “fours” sounds much like “force.”


A pair of threes is treys or crabs.


A pair of twos is deuces or ducks.

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