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Dead man’s hand


Dead man’s hand is a specific hand in poker, that is to say, a specific combination of cards. It has the reputation of being “cursed.”

Historically, the Dead man’s hand has designated different combinations of cards, but now it matches two pair of aces and 8 if all these cards are the black (spades or clubs). The fifth card has no importance in this designation. By analogy, in Texas hold’em, we give the same name to an ace and an 8 black.

The name of this hand comes from the figurehead of the American West Wild Bill Hickok who have had this hand when he was shot by Jack McCall in a poker game in a saloon in Deadwood in 1876.

The homicide division of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department uses a symbol containing these cards.

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