Dead man's hand
A hand that consists of a pair of black aces and a pair of black 8s, along with a Jack or Queen of diamonds as the kicker, is known as the Dead Man’s Hand. According to western American Legends, the hand was held by Wild Bill Hickok on August 2nd, 1876 when he was murdered. However this is not the only hand that has been referred to with the name of Dead man’s hand.
In 1886, the term was first heard to describe three jacks and a pair of tens.
In Wild Bill Hickok’s case, the hand of two-pairs was said to be all that he had in his hand while the fifth card was said to be a Jack of diamonds although some parties have claimed that it was a Queen of diamonds. However, there are also many claims that state that Wild Bill never got to the fifth card as he was shot before he could get to it.
Over the years, the dead man’s hand has come out in different variations for the kicker and in different parts of the country the kicker has had a different value and suit.
The 5 of diamonds and the 9 of diamonds are quite commonly used in many parts of the country which includes the latter being displayed at Saloon no. 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota, USA – the saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot.
Since then, the dead man’s hand has been used quite often, primarily as symbolism of oncoming death, in films.