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Learning Popular Poker Hand Nicknames

1014 views April 12, 2023
by TJ


Poker is a very popular game that it acquired nicknames for its hands. Newbies may only know a pair of sixes, but in the eyes of a veteran player, it will be “kicks” or Route 66.” Join us as we talk about the most popular poker hand nicknames.

Throughout its decades, poker enthusiasts have come up with unique names to call the different pairs and pockets. We will not put all of those nicknames here, but only the commonly used ones, especially in Texas Hold’em, which is available in every casino, brick-and-mortar, and online.

Pocket Pairs

Any hand with two similarly valued cards is called a pocket pair. The suit of the card does not matter as long as they are equal. For instance, two aces (AA) or two sixes (66).

Pocket Aces

For pocket aces, the most popular are Pocket Rockets, Batteries, and Snake Eyes.

Taken to the name itself, Pocket Rockets describes the look of two aces—rockets. Combine it with poker, and you will get Pocket Rockets.

Names for pocket aces were literally taken into a thing. Just like Batteries because AA is a particular type of battery.

Because it is a popular game, poker’s pocket aces took another nickname from a popular casino game—craps. The Snake Eyes is a popular dice term for a pair of ones.

Pocket Kings (KK)

Pocket Kings only have two most commonly used names: Ace Magnets and Cowboys.

Ace Magnets is an ironic name for a pair of kings because it is the only hand to beat it. But hey, who are we to judge those that coined it?

On the other hand, Cowboys is a weird moniker since it is unclear how the pair got it. Some theories involve phonetics, “explaining” that the phonetic “C” in cowboys is similar to “K” in kings when spoken.

Pocket Queens (QQ)

If you are holding a pair of queens, it means you rule the world. Just kidding.

On a serious note, pocket queens are often called Ladies because holding puts the owner in possession of a pair of connotatively women cards.

Pocket Jacks (JJ)

Because a pair of jacks look like a hook, veteran poker players call this pair Fishhooks or Hooks.

Pocket Tens (TT)

Many words have an acronym for “TT.” Dynamite and Train Tracks are the most popular nicknames for a pair of 10s.

When saying “T and T,” it sounded like “TNT,” a term for dynamite. Hence the name for pocket tens.

On the other hand, Train Tracks is believed to have originated from two things: a case of alliteration or a reference to the Old West railroad.

OkBet Popular Poker Hand Nicknames

A-X Popular Poker Hand Nicknames

It only takes incredible luck to have a pair of kings or aces. Most of the time, players have an ace and a number or a face.

Ace-King (AK)

This combination’s most commonly used terms are Big Slick, King Arthur, and Space Cowboy.

Big Slick is somewhat far-fetched because this references the hole cards in Texas Hold’em, a poker variant. It can dig a player’s grave unless the situation changes favorably.

Playing on the cards’ initials can also result in something noble, like King Arthur. Since the letters are “A” and “K,” reversing it can result in the acronym for the name of the legendary king-knight.

Ace-Queen (AQ)

This pair has two names: Antony and Cleopatra and Rocket Queen.

Antony and Cleopatra is a reference to the Egyptian lovers Antony and Cleopatra. We all know how they ended and would rather not talk about it.

Meanwhile, Rocket Queen is somewhat festive, considering that it is derived from the famous rock band Guns ‘N Roses, paired with the shape of the letter “A.”

Ace-Jack (AJ)

This combination has two poker hand nicknames: Blackjack and Hijack

Blackjack is a popular card game, but there is no explanation for why the Ace-Jack pair is called such. Our theory is that “AJ” sounds like blackjack. Well, that’s our guess.

The pair involves the high card and the jack, hence the mashup. The result is Hijack.

K-X Hand Popular Nicknames

Although the most ideal pair to have is a pair of aces, having combinations with the king is not too bad. 

King-Queen (KQ)

In a royal family, the king and queen are the highest. They are married to each other, and basically the heads of any family. Hence, the nicknames for this combination are Marriage, Divorce, and Throne.

This pair is often called Marriage because the queen and king are a couple.

But, of course, in any family, altercations arise. Some problems were too significant that relationships ended in Divorce, another moniker for the pair.

The last one, the Throne, is pretty much self-explanatory—the king and the queen can only occupy the throne.

King-Jack (KJ)

The pair, when reversed, results in the abbreviation “jk” or just kidding, hence the nickname Just Kidding or Joking.

Q-X Hand and their Popular Nicknames

Interestingly, the queen hand combos come with unique names, including:

Queen-Jack (QJ)

Its most popular names are Hawaii and Quack.

If you play poker for too long, there is a belief that not playing the Queen and Jack combo for a year will let you take a vacation in Hawaii, hence the name. 

The other, Quack, is a portmanteau of “queen” and “jack.” Simple as that.

Queen-Ten (QT)

Cutie and Q-Tip are the two most common nicknames of this pair, and here’s why:

Cutie is self-explanatory. Since the queen and ten have an abbreviation of “QT,” when spoken or read, it is like “cutie.” Same with Q-Tip. You just have to be creative, just like what the poker hand nicknames on this list.

J-X Combo Nicknames

Although not as mighty as the first hands, the jack combinations can still deal some damage. The pairs that have the most unique nicknames are:

Jack-Ten (JT)

Allegedly, a Greek poker player won a game using this pair. The story was so famous that the combo eventually earned the title “Greek Passport.”

Jack-Nine (JN)

The name of this pair is legendary: T.J. Cloutier. Why? Because apparently, the player named T.J. Cloutier flopped three straight flushes in one year.

These are just some of the most famous nicknames of various poker hands. In your next game, try using these nicknames and make an impression that you are a veteran!

Read: Filipinos Love Poker, Here’s Why

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