The Legend History Of Dead Man’s Hand Game And How To Play It

    A dead man’s hand poker is a combination of a pair of Eights and a pair of Aces. The name of the hand comes from an old poker legend that almost all players know about.

    History Of The Origin Of The “Dead Man’s Hand”

    Legendary events took place in the Wild West in the town of Deadwood. The story tells about the famous poker player and shooter William Hickok. In 1876, on the day of August 2, he came, as usual, to play poker in one of the saloons of the city. William frequently sat with his back to the wall out of fear that assailants would ambush him from behind.

    On this particular day, another person took his place. There was only one option – to sit with your back to the front door. Bill did just that.

    A few hours later, a man named Jack McCall walked into the establishment. He had a .45 revolver in his hand. He attacked William from the back and fired 2 shots from a weapon in his head.

    There was no explanation for William’s murder until now. The investigation recorded that Jack killed Bill out of revenge. Earlier, William had also killed Jack’s brother, according to legend. However, a few years later, according to information, Jack never had brothers. As a result, the origin of the shot is unknown.

    An interesting fact is that at the time of his death, William had two Eights and two Aces in his hands. That is why such a combination is called “dead man’s hand”.

    Kicker In Hand

    Everyone remembers the two pairs of Eights and Aces on Bill’s hand, but no one remembers exactly the fifth card – the kicker. The opinions of many biographers differ. Joseph Ros suggests that the kicker was a Jack or a Queen. Others say that Bill folded the fifth card and before the kill had not yet had time to take another to replace it. There is a version that the player had a Nine or Five.

    However, all biographers confidently say that the “dead man’s hand” kicker card was definitely a diamond.

    Other Dead Man’s Hands

    Many years later, another Dead Man’s Hand appeared. It was a full-house combination of three Jacks and two Tens. The owner of this hand can shoot at the moment of the game. However, this combination is not as well-known as the first Dead Man’s Hand.

    Now, when playing Texas Hold’em, you can call pocket Ace Eight the Dead Man’s Hand since these two cards are more likely to collect the legendary 2 pairs of killed Bill.

    How Should You Play A Dead Man’s Hand In Poker?

    Even though the dead man’s hand isn’t the best in poker, it can be a solid hand combination if you play it right. When playing this hand, it’s best to be aggressive and try to win as many chips as possible early on. If you do this, you will win the pot when the last cards will be revealed at the end of the round.

    Can Dead Man’s Poker Hands Increase Your Chances of Winning?

    You have about a 1 in 730,000 chance of getting a dead man’s hand, and you’re even less likely to win if you’re dealt. However, you can increase your chances of winning in several ways:

    • Make sure you don’t get into situations where you have to face more than one enemy at the same time.
    • When you are playing against one opponent, make sure that you are the one who decides how to bet.
    • Be aware of your opponents’ betting patterns and use them to your advantage.


    There is no doubt that the dead man’s hand is one of the most famous poker hands. As a result, Wild Bill Hickok has become one of the most recognizable figures in both gambling and Western history.

    If the players at your table are interested in the history of poker, they can identify a hand during play if it occurs during a poker round. Whether it’s 5 Card Draw, 5 Card Stud, or No Limit Texas Hold’em, a dead man’s hand often wins the pot and is a good hand combination.


    What To Consider As A Dead Man’s Hand?

    A two-pair poker hand consisting of two black aces and two black eights and an unknown hole card.

    Why Is The Dead Man’s Hand?

    According to legend, Wild Bill Hickok was shot while holding a dead man’s hand, so holding two pairs is considered bad luck today.

    What Was The Fifth Card In The Dead Man’s Hand?

    In some situations, the fifth card in the dead man’s hand is a five of diamonds. In other cases, it may be either a nine or a jack of diamonds.

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