The Quick 10: 10 Cool Playing Card Nicknames to Use


Honestly, my knowledge of card games is pretty limited to the ones I played in college that required vast amounts of crappy beer to play. I wouldn't last long in a poker tournament, that's for sure. But now that I know some of these card nicknames, I might be able to bluff well enough to make someone think I was a worthy opponent. Maybe they'll help you, too. If anything, it'll be fun to announce something along the lines of, "My hand sucks "“ I got a Stenographer (a queen), a Eunuch ( a jack), two Mullets (7s) and a Duck (a two)."

1. AK

"“ an ace and a king. There's no shortage of names for this combination, but my favorite is

"Anna Kournikova," because those two cards sure look nice together, but they never win.


2. A8 "“ an ace and an eight - is known as "Dead Man's Hand,"

because the story goes that Wild Bill Hickok had a handful of black eights and black aces when he was murdered in 1876. The fifth card is generally said to be the jack or queen of diamonds.

3. If you've got two nines, you're looking at a Barbara Feldon "“ she's the actress who played Agent 99 on the original Get Smart series. You could also mention that you have a Wayne Gretzky (his jersey number) or Popeyes, because 9s somewhat resemble arm muscles.

4. Here's one for the Star Wars geeks and wordplay nerds. If you've got both black fours in your hand, you'd better use the Force, Luke, because together, the ebony-colored cards are known as the "dark force" "“ get it? Dark fours? Non-black fours (or a mix of red and black) can be referred to as Luke Skywalker "“ "may the fours be with you."

5. Who knew there was such overlap in cards and Star Wars? A hand containing two aces, a two and a three is called a Princess Leia. Why? Because AA23 is the cell Miss Organa was confined to in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

6. The nine of diamonds is called the Scourge of Scotland, but there are as many reasons why as there are diamonds on the card. Here are a couple of them: when nine diamonds were stolen from the crown of Scotland, the king decided to tax citizens heavily to make up for the value. Also, legend has it that the Earl of Stair used that particular card as a code. The card meant that he was giving his OK for the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, which resulted in the death of 78 people.

7. A 10 is a Bo Derek, of course, for the movie that made cornrows and nude-colored swimsuits all the rage.

8. Two red aces means you have Visine. You have to correlate this one with dice, though "“ imagine the aces as the one-spot on a die, and you'll see that you have two red eyes.

9. Antony and Cleopatra probably had no idea they would serve as the nickname for a pair of cards "“ an ace and a queen, to be exact. A is for Antony, obviously, and Cleo was his queen.

10. Any Maverick fans reading today? If so, you might remember that the theme song goes, "livin' on jacks and queens, Maverick is a legend of the west." Therefore, a queen and a jack is a Maverick.

There are about a million other names for cards and card pairings out there "“ do you know of a particularly clever one?