English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was playing cards this evening and found myself referring to the deuce and the trey. I was wondering, do any of the other pip card ranks have special names?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Texas Hold'em, many opening, pre-flop hands (two cards), when paired, seem to have special names:

Twos: Deuces, ducks
Threes: Treys, crabs
Fours: Sailboats
Fives: ?
Sixes: ? 
Sevens: Canes, walking sticks
Eights: Snowmen
Nines: ?
Jacks: Hooks
Queens: Ladies (and other, less elegant synonyms)
Kings: Cowboys
Aces: Bullets, Pocket Rockets

Additionally, some unpaired hands have special names:

Ace-King: Big slick
King-jack: Kojak
5-10: Ben Franklin or Woolworth's or dime store (from 5 & 10 cent store)
share|improve this answer
Another term for Ace-King is Anna Kournikova (looks good but plays terribly / rarely wins). – RegDwigнt Nov 25 '10 at 23:31
These are Hands, not individual Cards? – mickeyf Nov 26 '10 at 0:37
@mickey1: They are combinations of cards. In Texas Hold'em, each player is dealt two cards face down. Those are seen only by each the player. The rest of the cards are dealt face up: 3 "on the flop," then 1 "on the turn," then the final card "on the river." – Robusto Nov 26 '10 at 3:28
Wikipedia, of course, has an extensive list of such nicknames. My favorite: Q3 is a "San Francisco waiter" (a queen with a trey). I was unsuccessful in getting my own coinage adopted: AQ being called "Al Qaeda". Too soon, apparently. – Malvolio Nov 21 '11 at 23:46
Ace-King is also jocularly referred to an Anna Kornikova, after the tennis player. She looks good, but she never wins.. :) – Brad Apr 26 '12 at 21:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.