phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Eights and Aces

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on February 28, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Ace of Spades posted by Warthog on February 28, 2005

: : : : : : Hi folks! Started watching lots of late night poker on Sky, and have noticed when someone gets a full house of 3 aces and two 8's, they call it a dead mans hand. Does anyone know the reason? I have a bet on that it is something to do with the wild west and being shot while holding these cards. Could be wrong, can you help.

: : : : : Here's what it says in the archives:

: : : : : "Aces and eights" is known as the dead man's hand in stud poker. The phrase dates back to the murder of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok by Jack McCall in Deadwood, Dakota Territory on Auust 2, 1876. After he was shot in the back of the head, "the famous gunman's stiffening fingers revealed his two pair -- aces and eights."

: : : : : source - "Triggernometry" by Eugene Cunningham
: : : : ESC is correct, and the TV commentators wrong: the original hand was two pair.

: : : In Motorhead's hit "Ace of Spades" - the line "the dead man's hand again" appears.

: : : of course "Don't forget the Joker"...

:
: wish I could do that with piccies!

: WH

From the song "Fire Lake" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band:

"Who wants to play those eights and aces
Who wants a raise
Who needs a stake
Who wants to take that long shot gamble
And head out to Fire Lake"

For artistic reasons Mr. Seger changed it from "Aces and eights" to "Eights and aces".