The simplest definition of the Dead Man's Hand, and the one most people know, is simply Aces and Eights (Two Pair). However, this Poker
hand has a bit of history to it. On August 2, 1876, in Deadwood, South Dakota, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall while he was playing Five-Card Draw
. McCall felt that he was avenging his brother, whom Wild Bill had killed in a gunfight some months earlier. The Dead Man's Hand is what Hickok was holding when he was shot.
The true Dead Man's Hand is the black Aces and the black Eights. Historians argue over what the fifth card he was holding was, but the two most commonly held opinions are the Nine of Diamonds and the Jack of Diamonds. One of the eyewitnesses called to testify at McCall's trial said it was the Jack of Diamonds; other eyewitnesses said it was the Nine. Some misguided fools think the hand is Aces over Eights (a Full House)... good luck convincing them otherwise.