The Dead man’s hand is an urban legend about the most dangerous cards that can be dealt in a poker game. Two black Aces and two black Eights. The story goes that anyone who is dealt a dead man’s hand in a game of poker, dies immediately.
Unlike most hands in poker, the Dead man’s hand only contains 4 cards instead of 5, because you die before you receive the 5th card.
In 1876, the legendary Old West lawman, Wild Bill Hickok, was playing poker in a saloon in the town of Deadwood. He was dealt four cards in the game and when he turned them over, he realised he had been dealt the dead man’s hand.
He was dead before he got the 5th card. He had been shot in the back of the head and killed instantly. His body slumped forward over the poker table, still gripping the fateful cards in his left hand.
In order for it to work, you must be dealt the cards in this order. Eight, Ace, Eight, Ace. You see, “H” is the 8th letter of the alphabet, so when you get 8A8A, what the cards are really spelling out is “HA HA”. It’s like the universe is laughing at you.
So if you’re ever playing poker and someone deals you an 8 and then an Ace and then another 8 and then another Ace… Look behind you! Because chances are, you’re never going to be dealt another card.