Top Poker Hand Nicknames You Will Hear at the Poker Table

Top Poker Hand Nicknames You Will Hear at the Poker Table

If there are two things you will hear when you enter any poker room in the world it is the famous clicking of chips and a whole lot of lingo you might not understand at first, especially poker hand nicknames.

Over the years, hundreds of different poker terms have been invented, and nearly every poker hand you could get has gotten a nickname of sorts.

So what do terms like American Airlines, Doyle Brunson, Snowman, or The Robbi actually stand for? You are in the right place to find out!

We have compiled a list of dozens of the most popular poker hand nicknames you might hear at the poker tables, and we start out with pocket pairs and work our way down to the less valuable hands that have cool nicknames just the same.

Pocket Aces (AA)

Pocket Aces

Pocket aces is the most powerful hand you can get dealt in a game of Texas Hold’em, and it is a sight to behold regardless of the table you are sitting at.

Being everyone’s favorite hand, this particular pocket pair has received quite a few nicknames over the years.

Pocket Rockets, American Airlines, and Bullets are just a few of the popular nicknames used by players to refer to AA.

The next time you hear someone talking about how they held the Bullets at the poker table, don’t worry; there was no violence or guns involved in the situation.

Pocket Kings (KK)

Pocket Kings are almost as strong and valuable as pocket Aces, that is until the Ace hits the flop and makes things a lot more complicated.

It is for this exact reason that KK has often been referred to as “Ace Magnets,” as those Kings tend to bring out the Ace more often than we’d like, or at least that’s how it seems.

Of course, KK is also known as “Cowboys” simply because of the way Kings and Cowboys sound. While this may not be the best analogy in the world, it is one that’s widely accepted by millions of poker players worldwide.

Pocket Queens (QQ)

Holding a pair of Queens will make any poker player feel confident to start things out, but the hand does have quite a few vulnerabilities to speak of as well.

Unlike KK, whose poker hand nickname is a bit random, QQ is usually referred to as Ladies, and this nickname is quite fitting.

Many poker players like to think of themselves as Ladies’ men, which is why getting dealt a pair of Ladies gives them the extra confidence boost to pay off that all-in and win a huge pot.

Pocket Jacks (JJ)

Pocket Jacks is yet another statistically powerful poker hand, but the truth is that quite a few poker players don’t enjoy getting dealt JJ all that much.

The most popular nickname for JJ is Fishhooks or simply Hooks, and this name came out of the clear visual semblance of the letter J and a fishing hook.

The real problem with Jacks is that they can often serve as hooks in the game as well, pulling unprepared players straight into the trap.

More recently, the hand has also been called “Jiggities” by a good number of poker players, a term that was coined by a poker Vlogger and influenced Brad Owen in his popular Vlogs.

Pocket Tens (TT)

The next on our list of popular poker hand nicknames is pocket Tens, a pocket pair that sits at the very edge of the premium poker hands collection.

Tens are typically called Dimes by most poker players, and holding Dimes is certainly much better than holding Nickels, but nowhere nearly as attractive as having those Bullets come your way.

Pocket Nines (99)

Back in 1989, the up-and-coming Phil Hellmuth took down the World Championship event at the WSOP, holding a pair of Nines. Ever since then, people have been calling 99 the Phil Hellmuth in many circles.

Of course, that’s not the only slang for this particular hand, and sports fans often like to refer to 99 as Wayne Gretzky as well, as this was the uniform number the legendary hockey player used to play with.

Whether you prefer Hellmuth or Gretzky, just make sure not to take 99 too far, as this hand isn’t as likely to make you a world champion as those names would suggest.

Pocket Eights (88)

Pocket Eights

Another poker hand that falls into the mid-echelons of poker hands, 88, carries one of the cutest poker hand nicknames, the Snowmen.

If you can’t see the reason, you should probably look again, as each of the Eights in a pair of Eights looks quite a lot like a snowman, although without the carrot and the broom.

If you want a different name for 88, try Dale Jr, another one that comes from the world of sports, as 88 was the car number of the legendary NASCAR driver.

Pocket Sevens (77)

Hockey fans seem to be quite into poker, as other than calling 99 Wayne Gretzky, poker players typically call 77 hockey sticks as well.

The semblance is quite apparent, although you may need to turn those Sevens upside down to get the full visual.

Without even having to flip them over, 77 is also known as Candy Canes! The only problem is that, unlike a candy cane, a pair of Sevens isn’t quite that sweet without another seven to complete a set.

Pocket Sixes (66)

Pocket sixes may not be the most fast and dangerous hand in the game of poker, and yet it has one of the coolest nicknames out there.

Often referred to as Route 66, after America’s most famous highway, this hand may end up taking you on a long and wild ride if you get the right flop.

The hand is sometimes also called Kicks after a famous song that also sings of Route 66, keeping the same vibe as the other nickname but adding a bit of mystery to the mix.

Pocket Fives (55)

We already mentioned that a pair of Tens is usually called Dimes, so it’s only logical that a pair of Fives would be called Nickels.

While Dimes may be worth a bit on their own, Nickels usually need some help from the board, but they still make for a reasonable starting hand in the game of Texas Hold’em.

Pocket Fours (44)

Pocket Fours

May the Fours be with you! If you are a Star Wars fan, you will get that pun right away, and you will understand why the younger generations often call the hand either Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.

If not, you can always refer to your pocket Fours as Sailboats, and everyone in the room will understand you, as the semblance of a 4 and a sailboat is truly undeniable.

Pocket Threes (33)

As funny as it may be, poker players have not come up with a very cool and fitting name for a pair of Threes other than Treys.

In fact, a Three in poker is usually called a Trey in general, and this nickname comes from the French language and is often used in sports in general.

Pocket Twos (22)

Much like a pair of Threes, a pair of Twos derives its most popular nickname from sports. Calling out a pair of Deuces will be enough to tell everyone at the table what you had.

However, pocket Twos have another cool name, which is Ducks. Indeed, a two on the cards looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, or at least many players will when they see one roll off on the river.

Both Deuces and Ducks are popular nicknames for a pair of Twos in poker, so feel free to use either of these two to let other players know you held this weakest possible pair of poker cards.

Ace-King (AK)

The strongest unpaired poker hand, AK is a legendary hand that has won countless events and made for quite a few poker stories.

The most popular poker hand nickname for AK is Big Slick. Indeed, AK is a very slick hand to start with, and it can make some truly big hands after the flop as well.

Some other popular nicknames for AK include Anna Kournikova, as these are the initials of the famous Russian tennis player, and Space Cowboys, which derives from other names for Aces and Kings.

Another funny name for AK comes from poker legend TJ Cloutier, who used to call it Walking Back to Houston. Apparently, he would often see players from Houston come to Dallas, lose all their money with AK, and be forced to walk all the way back to Houston with nothing but a bad beat story.

Ace-Queen (AQ)

An Ace and a Queen go well together in a poker game and make for quite a power couple, much like Anthony and Cleopatra did back in ancient times.

Indeed, Anthony and Cleopatra is the most common name for AQ, and it’s quite a fitting one as the initial A stands for Anthony, and the letter Q signifies a Queen to begin with.

Some players also refer to AQ as Rocket Queen, which is derived from Pocket Rockets, but this nickname seems a bit clunky and not all that imaginative.

Ace-Eight (A8)

The legend has it that Wild Bill Hickok (a member of the Poker Hall of Fame) was killed while playing a game of poker.

Playing in a Stud game, Hickok was shot from the back and left dead at the table while he was active in a hand.

When the dust settled and the shooter got away, the bystanders could see Bill’s exposed cards. He was holding two pairs, Aces and Eights.

Ever since then, Aces and Eights have been known as the Dead Man’s Hand, and Hold’em players often refer to A8 by this nickname as well.

Queen-Ten (QT)

Here is a poker hand that doesn’t pack that much punch but has more than one poker hand nickname to speak of.

Say QT fast, and you will notice how much it sounds like you are saying Cutie! Indeed, that’s one of the popular nicknames for this hand.

The hand is also often referred to as Q-Tip, also for obvious reasons, or Quentin Tarantino, for the famous film director’s initials.

Jack-Four (J4)


Poker has been played for decades, and never has anyone thought to name this hand, as it is so rarely played in the first place.

Then, Robi Jade Lew played a legendary hand against Garrett Adelstein on Hustler Casino Live, and J4 got its name – The Robbi.

It used to be that players would fold The Robbi as quickly as it was dealt to them, but these days, you will often see people trying to pull off big moves with it just to say they won a pot with The Robbi.

Ten-Deuce (T2)

Another poker hand to be named after a poker player, T2, is almost always referred to as Doyle Brunson in honor of the late Godfather of Poker.

Brunson is an absolute legend of the game, and back in the day, he won two consecutive WSOP Main Events, holding T2 in the hole.

Ever since then, poker players far and wide have tripped over themselves to win pots with T2, and the hand has become one of the most popular bad hands in the game.

Five-Four (54)

Doyle Brunson may have won the WSOP Main Event with T2, but Chris Moneymaker did it with a slightly more reasonable hand in 54.

Back in 2003, Chris Moneymaker won the Main holding 54 and started the Poker Boom, and ever since then, the hand has often been called Chris Moneymaker.

While Chris may have been both good and lucky enough to pull it off, we highly recommend you fold your 54 instead and wait for a Big Slick or another big hand to get involved.

Three-Two (32)

What is the worst possible poker hand you can get that you might still be a bit tempted to play? Surely, it is 32, which may be made up of two low cards, but it does have that straight potential.

It is for that exact reason that 32 received its nickname, the Dirty Diaper. Winning a hand with 32 off-suit is as dirty as it comes, but playing it may just stink up the whole room.

Three-Two is also called the Nut Low, as it is the lowest possible combination of cards you can have in poker at any point in time.

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