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Calling a Spade a Spade: Playing Card Nicknames

Regular poker players sometimes spice up their card gaming sessions by using unique nicknames for the playing cards.  For example, a King could be called a Cowboy or a Knight, while the Jack of Diamonds is sometimes called Hector.  Many of the origins of these names have interesting sources and there are some great books and internet sources out there that list how card nicknames came about.  When you play games such as Texas Hold ’em and you come across a combination of two cards, these get their own nicknames.  For example, if you land two Aces, they could be called Alan Alda (after the star of the TV show M*A*S*H), or A5 could be named High Five after the fact that the Ace is high and the added five is a play on the typical ‘high five’ greeting.

Here is a list of common nicknames used for single cards in a regular pack of 52 cards:

Ace – As Nas, Mastercard, One Spot, Spike

King – Cowboy, Knight, Monarch, Sergeant

Queen – Cowgirl, Bitch, Lady, Painted Lady, Hen

Jack –  Boy, Fishhook, Knave, J-Boy, Jackson

10 – Bo Derek, Sawbuck, Dime

9 – Nina Ross, Pot Hook, Neener, Niner

8 – Fat Lady, Snow Man, Time Travel

7 – Candy Cane, Hockey Stick, Salmon

6 – Sax, Sex, a Boot

5 – Pedro, Nickel, Five Spot

4 – One Legged Ace, Broken Ace, Sail Boat, Four Spot

3 – Butts, Trey, Crab

2 – Deuce, Swan, Dewey

Sometimes specific cards are given a nickname. Some of the more common ones are:

Ace of Spades – Death card, Tax Card, Spadille

King of Hearts – King without mustache, Suicide King, Charles

King of Diamonds – Julius Caesar, One Eyed King

King of Spades – David

King of Clubs – Alexander

Queen of Spades – Black Maria, Calamity Jane, Fanny Kaplan, Pallas Athena, Molly Hogan

Queen of Hearts – Helen of Troy, Judith

Queen of Clubs – Argine

Jack of Spades – Eunech, Ogier

Jack of Clubs – Lancelot, Pam

Jack of Hearts – La Hire

Ten of Diamonds – Big Cassino

Nine of Diamonds – Course of Scotland, Scourge of Scotland

Seven of Diamonds – Beer Card

Six of Hearts – Grace’s Card, Loyalty at the Risk of Death

Four of Spades – The Devil’s Bedpost

Two of Spades – Little Cassino, The Curse of Mexico

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  1. Superstitious Playing Card Dos and Don’ts | Casino B Blog linked to this post on October 29, 2011

    […] with cards.  Even I, master atheist and unbeliever of all things, will not go anywhere near a poker table without my lucky coin.   Over the years many beliefs have developed around playing cards and […]

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