Texas Holdem Nicknames

We visited a support group meeting (never mind which one) once where the speaker said you could recognize a good group if everyone there had a nickname. The same could be said of a poker room. In fact, Texas holdem nicknames come in a bewildering number of varieties.

You’ll find nicknames for individual cards, combinations of cards, and poker players. Not only do famous players have nicknames — almost everyone we’ve ever played with on a regular basis had nicknames, too. We have fond memories of playing with folks like Doctor Tilt, Hero, Mister Frito-Lay, Rock, and Lobster.

We’ve listed as many well-known Texas holdem nicknames as we could think of below:

Playing Card Nicknames in Texas Holdem

Ace High Card

Ace High Card Nicknames

King High Card

King High Card Nicknames

Queen High Card

Queen High Card Nicknames
Queen High Card Nicknames

Jack High Card

Jack High Card Nicknames

Ten High Card

Ten High Card Nicknames
Ten High Card Nicknames

Nine High Card

Nine High Card Nicknames

Eight High Card

Eight High Card Nicknames
Eight High Card Nicknames

Seven High Card

Seven High Card Nicknames

Six High Card

Six High Card Nicknames
Six High Card Nicknames

Five High Card

Five High Card Nicknames

Four High Card

Four High Card Nicknames

Three High Card

Three High Card Nicknames

Two High Card

Two High Card Nicknames

Single Card Nicknames

Single Card Nicknames
Single Card Nicknames

Collective Single Card Nicknames

Collective Single Card Nicknames

Poker Hand Nicknames

1 Royal Flush

Royal Flush

Having all face cards in the same suit from ace to ten. This hand is the highest hand in poker and will give you a win every time. Some other names are:

Club Golf Bag, Puppy Feet or Puppy Print
Diamond Well Dressed and Decked Out
Heart Valentine’s Day, All My Hearts, Heartbreaker if it Looses
Spade Laborers, Digging Deep, In The Hole if it loses
2 Straight Flush

Straight Flush
This is when a player has a hand of cards that are all the same suit and are in numerical order. For example if your hand was all hearts and your numbers were 2 3 4 5 6 this would be a straight flush.
3 Four of a Kind

Four of A Kind
This is when a player’s hand consists of the same card from each suit. If two players have four of a kind then the player with the higher card wins. Example: You have a Jack from each suit and the other player has a King from each suit; they win. Also known as Book, Case, or Quads and Aces – Four Pips.
4 Flush

To have a flush you must have five cards all from the same suit. They don’t have to be in order. An example of a flush would be A 9 7 3 2 of hearts. Also known flush of hearts or diamonds — Pink or All Pink, of clubs or spades — Blue or All Blue, or clubs – Golf Bag, Puppy Feet, Puppy Toes, Pups.
5 Straight

When a player has cards that fall in numerical order but are not of the same suit. Example: . Also known as Steel, wheel or ten to ace — Broadway, and ace to five – Wheel, Bicycle, Bike.
6 Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind
Hand where there are three cards of the same value and suit doesn’t matter. Highest card wins if more than one player has the same hand. In holdem the term set refers to when a player has a pair in the hole and one matching card on the board, with trips referring to a pair on the board and one in the hand or three of a kind on the board. Three of a kind have nicknames as well – Trips, Set, Kings-Alabama Night Riders, sevens – Slot Machine, sixes -Devil’s hand, Mark of the Beast referring to the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation deuces-Huey, Dewey and Louie.
7 Two Pairs

Two Pairs
Two pairs of cards. The higher value pair of the two pairs determines the rank with the best possible combination being aces and kings. If both competing hands are the same, the higher card in the remainder of the hand is the kicker or high card.
8 One Pair

One Pair
When a player has two cards of the same value. If more than one players have a pair the highest pair wins. If the hands are the same then the highest card left in the hand wins.
9 Hight Card Hand

High Card
When there’s no player that has a qualified hand the one with the highest card wins. For example if there are three people playing and the hands are A 2 9 5 4, 8 1 3 6 9, and 4 5 2 9 6 then the player with the ace would win.
10 Full House

Full House
A full house is commonly referred to as Xs full of Ys where X is the three of a kind and Y is the pair. Also known as Full boat, Boat, Full.

Texas Holdem Card Position Nicknames


The three cards placed by the dealer after all hole cards have been dealt and the first betting round has been completed. Comes from the sound the three cards in succession make when they hit a felt Poker table.


The fourth card dealt buy the dealer got its name because it can and will turn the tide of the hand. Another explanation would be when the fourth community card is dealt in a poker hand the hand is nearing an end.


The last card dealt buy the dealer got its name because the last card can sell you down the river. Also it’s said that the term came from the Mississippi riverboats on which poker was played in the 1800’s. Sometimes, cheaters would purposely deal a final community card that would improve their own hand. If caught, they would often be thrown overboard, into the river, thus giving the river card its name.

Texas Holdem Player Positions

Dealer Button

The Dealer Button position is considered the best position since she is the last player able to bet after the flop, turn, and river. Because of this luxury, the dealer button has the opportunity to steal the blinds by initiating a fairly large raise if no one has previously raised the minimum bet. So if the Button player feels that all other players are weak and they check to the button after the flop, turn, or river, he would have the chance to make a strategic raise in an attempt to steal the pot.

Small Blind

The first position immediately to the left of the dealer button is called the small blind. The small blind player is required to put half the minimum bet into the pot before the two pocket cards are dealt to each player. This is the earliest of positions since it is the first to act after the flop, turn, and river. As a result, this position is often referred to as the worst table position in poker.

Big Blind

One seat next to the small blind is the big blind. The player in the big blind is required to put the full minimum bet into the pot before the two pocket cards are dealt to each player. The big blind is considered to be an early position as well. However, there is a small advantage for this position. Just as the dealer button has the ability to steal the blinds after the flop, turn, and river, the big blind may place a strategic bet at the end of the pre – flop round to protect his blind since he is the last to act.

Under the Gun

The very first player to act at the beginning of the pre-flop round of betting is under the gun. This position is very much at a disadvantage. He has an early position and must take the first action before receiving any clues from the remaining players at the table in the very first round of betting. Unless he has premium cards, it is usually recommended that he does not make a large initial bet pre-flop because of the poor player position.


One of the later positions is the hijack. Some players in this position will use this seat to prevent the dealer button from stealing the blinds by making their own strategic bet. Since only two positions are left to act after the hijack following the flop, turn, and river, this could be a viable option in games with fuller tables.


Being the last position before the dealer button, the cutoff is the last line of defense to prevent the dealer button from stealing the pot after the flop, turn, or river. With this type of thinking, the cutoff may often make large raises before the dealer button gets his opportunity to do the same when there are signs that the remaining players at the table have weak hands.

Texas Holdem Player Nicknames

Paul Clark

Better known as Eskimo. May not be the most famous player on the list, but looks the part and he continued playing the in a 2007 World Series of Poker $5,000 Razz event despite suffering three mini strokes. Clutching the WSOP tournament table to prevent officials from removing him late in the event, Clark added to his mysterious mystique and forever cemented his nickname in the annals of poker badass.

Howard Lederer

Lederer reportedly hates this nickname The Professor despite the fact that is it perhaps the most perfect on the list. His calculated studious approach to the game prompted folks to start calling him the Professor, a label his supposedly despises because he never went to college. He continues to help lead the poker world in its quest to get the online game regulated in America, more proof that Lederer is at the head of his class.

Carlos Mortensen

Chris Ferguson gets the most props in the poker world as a player who transcended his WSOP Main Event victory to become one of the best players of his generation, but El Matador, the 2000 Main Event champ, might lay a stronger claim. As the only person to win a WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour Championship, claiming Mortensen is one of the best tournament players to ever sit at the felt is no bull.

Greg Raymer

One year after Chris Moneymaker made poker a game celebrated around the world, Greg Raymer added to the momentum by wearing hologram sunglasses and protecting his card with fossils en route to another improbable win. Called the Fossilman for his affinity for the trinkets and his willingness to sell the items at the poker table, Raymer is dominant figure in the poker world and his nickname is one of those that will never be forgotten.

Katja Thater

Thater became the first woman since 2004 to win an open WSOP bracelet event when she won a 2007 WSOP Razz event. She has taken the poker world by storm and become a bit of a celebrity, especially in her native Germany where she ranks among the best-known sports figures. Her nickname Miss Slick is a testament to her dominance of European Texas Holdem tournaments, but her skills go beyond Holdem and are apparent in other disciplines as well.

Dan Harrington

The story behind this nickname is that Harrington promoted the action tag to further his ability to deceive his opponents. This known rock is actually quite aggressive at the table, but his quiet, solid approach made the nickname Action the definition of irony, further hiding Harrington’s very successful and aggressive strategies. Few are still fooled, especially after Harrington released his celebrated and complicated strategy books, but the simple nickname remains.

Chris Ferguson

A Matrix-themed nickname may be more fitting for this computer nerd turned world class player, but his long-hair framed face and soft-spoken anger-free manner makes the comparison to Jesus, one of history’s most famous figures too hard to ignore. He started wearing the long cloak, signature black hat and dark sunglasses to add to his rock-tight image, but his look is nothing short of a copyright worthy poker trademark.

Doyle Brunson

There are other nicknames for the legendary Brunson, most notably the Grandfather of Poker, but Texas Dolly was a household nickname before poker was a household game. The undisputed king of the game has been compared to Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, making his nickname’s appearance on this list an absolute must.

Mike Matusow

An offensive and never stopping mouth can get you in trouble or even make you infamous. This is how Mike became known as The Mouth. Matusow has made millions at the poker table with his skill and was a walking billboard at the 2007 WSOP because he is easy fodder for ESPN cameras and one of the most recognizable names in the game. The railbirds line the ropes around his tournament tables hoping to hear and instant classic escape poker’s most famous mouth.

Phil Hellmuth

His record alone in No Limit Texas Holdem tournaments would make Hellmuth world famous, but his brat-like table antics and immense self promotional skills make sure everyone knows who The Brat is. Even folks not familiar with poker know Hellmuth is a great player and great at freaking out on his lesser opponents. Norman Chad dubbed Hellmuth The Poker Brat and the countless fans who adore / hate Hellmuth ensure his nickname remains the number one item on this list.

Justin Smith

This young poker player received his nickname BoostedJ based on his love of fast cars, and motorcycles. He has made quite a name for himself in the poker world since his third place finish at WSOP in 2009.

Thomas Preston

Also known as Amarillo Slim. Preston is one of the most well known holdem players to ever play the game. He received his nickname because of his physical appearance as a tall slim country boy from Amarillo Texas.

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is probably one of the most well known players of today. He has been given the nickname Tiger Woods of Poker for his skill and top position as a professional player.

Mike Sexton

Mike has done a lot to help popularize the game. He has commentated for the World Series Poker Tournaments on television and made great strides to show the world that poker is not just a game of chance but that it takes skills to win. For all of his hard work he has been dubbed The Ambassador of Poker.

Layne Flack

Received his nickname Back to Back Flack after winning two consecutive Legends of Poker events in 1999, 2002, and 2003.

Steve Zolotow

Steve is known by two nicknames Z which is from his last name and The Bald Eagle which he received due to his bald head.

David Reese

Reese received his nickname Chip because he has the ability to win all the chips on a table when he plays.

Hoyt Corkins

Hoyt has several nicknames but is best known as Cowboy because he always wears a cowboy hat at the table. He has also been given Mr. Move All In by Phil Hellmuth and Nightmare from his aggressive style of play. He is a known to wear ear plugs when playing as to not be distracted by players such as Hellmuth who try to syke-out the other players.

Billy Argyros

Billy received his nickname The Croc after introducing himself as Crocodile Billy when playing against legend Johnny Moss while playing in a WSOP satellite event. Now he keeps his nickname fresh by wear crocodile shaped hats when he plays.

Todd Brunson

Todd is the son of poker great Doyle Brunson. He received his nickname Darkhorse early in his career. He was playing in an event that he was thought to be a huge underdog but ended the game the winner. He outlasted many players, even the great Chip Reese, to win.

David Ulliott

His nickname The Devilfish was bestowed on him in 1997 by Stephen Au-Yeung. During the tournament Ulliott reduced Nguyen’s stack to one chip, and the tournament director insisted upon still taking a one-hour scheduled break, over Nguyen’s protests. Ulliott turned to Nguyen and said, We’re taking the break, and in all fairness to you, I think you should go upstairs and think about your tactics. Ulliott went on to win, and the headlines the next day read, Devilfish devours the Master.

Huck Seed

Otherwise known as The Iceman for his calm demeanor at the table.

Berry Johnston

Received his nickname Numbers for his playing style. He plays a very calculated game.

Bobby Baldwin

Received his nickname The Owl from Doyle Brunson for his ability to read everyone’s cards and his thick glasses.

Scotty Nguyen

Because of his flashy clothes and jewelry and his fancy style of play Scotty was given the nickname The Prince of Poker

Ted Forrest

Has had three nicknames bestowed on him The Suicide King, The Hitman, and Spooky, for his unconventional style of play.

Barry Greenstein

Barry has become known in the poker world as The Robin Hood of Poker. He was given this nickname after donating all of his tournament winnings to charity. He has continued to donate his winnings to charity every year since 2006.

Jerry Yang

Jerry was given his nickname The Shadow by fellow players because they said he was like their shadow. He would follow them where ever they went.

Phil Laak

Has to be one of the most easily recognized players in the game. Wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and blacked out sunglasses at the table gave him the infamous nickname of The Unabomber. Looks like murderer Ted Kaczynski when he wears a gray sweat jacket zipped all the way up, with the hood over his head, and sunglasses hiding his eyes.

Stu Ungar

One of the most famous poker players of all time is better known as Stuey. Later in his life after being gone from the poker scene for a while he was dubbed The Comeback Kid in 1997. Broke and in debt Ungar received the $10,000 buy in from fellow player Billy Baxter and went on to win the main event at WSOP.

Tom Dawn

Also known as durrr from his online poker name has been a fast rising start on the poker circuit. He has a career estimated tournament winnings around 1.4 million dollars.

Nick Dandolos

One of the pioneers of the sport Nick Dandolos better known as Nick the Greek played poker until his death in 1966. It is said that he played against Johnny Moss and said one of the best known poker quotes of all time Mr. Moss, I have to let you go. This game is said to be the start of what is now WSOP.

Johnny Chan

Nicknamed the Orient Express, Chan is only one of three players to win the WSOP back to back, a feat that may never be done again.

TJ Cloutier

AKA the Paul Bunyon of Poker, this ex professional athlete turned poker player has had great success at the tables.

Michael Mizrachi

Gave himself the nickname The Grinder to signify his determination and competitive spirit on the felt, he’s had tremendous success on the World Poker Tour.


As you can see, everything and everyone in Texas holdem has a few different names to go by. Once you start playing live poker you’ll quickly pick up on many of the common nicknames, but some of the more obscure ones may take a while to learn. Who knows, you might even start coming up with new nicknames of your own.