Dead Man’s Hand Explained

Pair of Kings - Guide Page

Dead Man’s Hand is a term used in the game of poker to describe a specific hand of cards. It is a combination of cards that has become famous in poker history due to its association with the Wild West and one of the most famous gunfighters of all time. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of Dead Man’s Hand in the game of poker. More information on the different hands and features in play are available from the Poker Page.

The History Of Dead Man’s Hand

The story of Dead Man’s Hand begins in the late 1800s during the Wild West era in the United States. The hand is said to have been first played on August 2, 1876, in a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota. The game was a five-card stud poker game, and the players included Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most famous gunfighters of the time.

During the game, Hickok was dealt a hand consisting of two black aces and two black eights, with an unknown fifth card. This hand would later become known as the Dead Man’s Hand. According to legend, Hickok was shot and killed while holding this hand, and his fifth card was never revealed.

Why is Dead Man’s Hand So Famous?

One of the main reasons that dead man’s hand is so famous is predominantly down to the story of Hickok’s death which has been retold in movies, books, and television shows, cementing its place in popular culture.

However, Dead Man’s Hand is also famous because it represents a turning point in poker history. Before Dead Man’s Hand, poker was primarily a game of luck. But after Hickok’s death, the importance of strategy and skill in the game of poker began to take hold. Check out our rundown of some of the best Poker players in history on site.

How Dead Man’s Hand Fits Into Poker

While the Dead Man’s Hand is not one of the best poker starting hands, it has become a symbol of the game’s history and evolution. Today, the hand is often used in poker tournaments as a lucky charm or a way to intimidate opponents.

As previously mentioned, the dead man’s hand represents the importance of strategy and skill in the game of poker. Players must not only have a good starting hand but also know how to read their opponents and make strategic bets to increase their chances of winning.


Although it is not a frequently encountered hand in the world of poker, the iconic story behind it has asserted it as a lucky one in the game. If you want to test out poker yourself, then we here at Online Casino Slots have a number of casinos that offer varying variations of this popular table game.

If you are looking for a casino site to try out some online Poker play for yourself, there are many great sites at Online Casino Slots. Check out the great promotional offers and features included on these sites as well as the different Poker games you could play!