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Texas Hold ’em and Pop Culture

Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular form of poker, as well as the subject of many stories, legends, which passed, we can say, from generation to generation – although in this case, we are talking about gambler generations. Today, almost every hand in poker has its own name – as well as any new term, they come into wide use, and then assigned to different combinations of cards.

In Hold’em, there are a total of 169 two-card starting hands. Of course, cards that differ in suit we consider as the same combination. What is surprising is that almost every one of these combinations has its own name and, accordingly, its own history. Since the game was born in North America, these nicknames exist in English, but that does not make them less interesting. As you can see below, the names of these can be assigned on the basis of different reasons – are involved associative logic, when the figure shown on the playing card, physically associated with something (like Deuces resemble ducks, triples like crabs, four – sailboats and so on), history and popular culture.

Most of the stories associated with poker, belong to the second half of the twentieth century; In Las Vegas, Hold’em came only in 1967. For example, a combination of 10-2 was named “Branson” after the young guy from Texas who won both his titles in the Main Event World Series of Poker (1976 and 1977), having the following sequence and in both cases it was a winning combination.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that only the end of the last century Texas Hold’em surpassed in popularity Stud, which in its time prevailed in Olympus of national love. Texas Hold’em became rapidly gaining popularity only in the beginning of this century – an important role in this was played by television, by which began to show poker tournaments for this kind of game. Even bookmaker offices began to take bets on the outcome of the poker tournaments.

So, many combinations got their names from popular actors or characters, for example, a combination of two aces (AA) called Alan Alda (star of the popular television series in 1970-1980 named M * A * S * H), while the combination of Jack – Queen (JQ) bears the name of Maverick, the name of the hero of James Garner, who in 1957-63 television series played the role of Bret Maverick – an experienced player who, as the song of the series, “traveled around the country, surviving only with the help of jacks and queens “(obviously meant that he made a living by playing poker).

There are also more modern examples – a combination 2-4 is the proud name of “Jack Bauer” (the protagonist of super popular crime television series 24). Two Kings (KK), for obvious reasons, called “King Kong”. These names come from the world of sports as the “Michael Jordan” (2-3), Wayne Gretzky (9-9), and the most famous interpretation of the ace-king (A-K) is called the “Anna Kournikova.”

Fans of deep meaning draw an analogy, saying that, just like Kournikova, who was better known for her appearance, then a game, this combination can sometimes look better than it actually is. Two queens (Q-Q) are named after the Hilton sisters – Nicole and Paris.

Poker borrowed names such as “Audi TT” (two tens, which are often referred to as T-T – Ten-Ten). Also from the world of cars – “Oldsmobile 98” (9-8). As for the sector of goods and services, there is a “Krispy Creme” – (K-K), on behalf of the manufacturer amazingly delicious pastry, “Baskin Robbins” (3-ace, or 3-A), which boasts of having 31 varieties of ice cream, and “American Airlines” (two aces, or AA).

Face cards – a great space for fantasy. The well-known nickname of king and queen combinations of the same suit – “marriage” means nothing other than marriage, while the combination of the shapes of different suits is called “Othello”, in memory of a mixed marriage between Desdemona and the Moor in the tragedy of Shakespeare. The combination of the queen-jack called “Oedipus” and has its roots in Greek mythology. According to the myth, a young man named Oedipus unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. The combination of a jack-king (J-K) is called the “Harry Potter” – the initials of the creator of a series of books about the teenage magician – JK Rowling (J.K. Rowling)..

However, there are not only examples of how the name poker borrows from everyday life: there is a reverse process, when using the terms that come out of this game, people are more interesting and clearly express their thoughts.

The English expression “poker face” is often used in speech to describe impassive, inscrutable human face, in a similar way as do professional players. Or take, for example, the expression “the chips are down” – it can be compared to our expression “bets are made,” that means that the is no reverse now.

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