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Striking Poker Hand Slang

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The game of poker is full of its own specialized lingo. The pros know it all- nuts, boats, streets, and kickers. However, there are plenty of obscure names for hands that you might not have heard of! Some of these have their own unique stories behind the nicknames, while some are just clever observations based on the cards. Let’s take a look at a few lesser-known names for certain hands and check out the unique stories behind them.

Have you ever heard the phrase “walking back to Houston”? This expression was coined by professional poker player T.J. Cloutier to describe the hand Ace-King. It is said that playing this hand busts so many players that they cannot even afford to fly back home to Houston, Texas after playing! Cloutier had this to say about the hand: “I can see you learned to play in Houston. Those Houston players would come to Dallas and play that Ace-King, but they’d always end up against a pair of Aces. That’s why we call that hand ‘Walking back to Houston.’” The phrase has even branched out from poker and is now used to describe someone having lost it all, even the car, so they have to walk back home.

Have you had a “Computer Hand” in Texas Hold’em? This is a nickname for Queen-Seven offsuit. This is considered to be a bad hand, since your odds of winning with it are almost exactly even to your odds of losing. The name supposedly originated several years ago, when someone ran all of the possible combinations of Texas Hold’em starting hands through a computer simulator. It was found that in random hands, Q-7 won roughly 50 percent of the time and lost 50 percent of the time. Because of this, it’s considered the median starting hand. Stay in or fold, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of being right either way!

You’ve heard of the nuts, but what about the nut-nut? Nut-nut occurs only in Omaha or Stud Hi/Lo. It is when you’re holding the nuts with both the High and Low hand. Talk about nutty!

Working nine to five, what a way to make a living! In honor of the queen of country herself, holding 9-5 in your hand is called a Dolly Parton. Pour yourself a cup of ambition when playing with this one!

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Last but not least, this hand may be called ‘snowmen’, but with a 69% chance of winning, it’s anything but frigid! Holding 8-8 in your hand is referred to as ‘snowmen’. This is because the 8s look like two little Olafs.

There are hundreds of creative terms out there for starting hands. What are your favorites?

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