WILD BILL HICKOCK
AS SEEN IN:
'The Legend Of Calamity Jane'
AS VOICED BY:
The dead man's hand is a two-pair poker hand, namely "aces and eights". This card combination gets its name from a legend that it was the five-card-draw hand held by Wild Bill Hickok, when he was murdered on August 2, 1876, in Saloon No. 10 at Deadwood, South Dakota.
According to the popular version, Hickok's final hand included the aces and eights of both black suits. As Hickok's biographer, Joseph Rosa puts it: the "accepted version is that the cards were the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, two black eights (clubs and spades), and the queen of clubs as the "kicker". However, Rosa says no contemporary source for this exact hand can be found. The earliest detailed reference to the "dead man's hand" is 1886, where it was described as a "full house consisting of three jacks and a pair of tens."
In accounts that mention two aces and eights, there are various claims regarding the identity of Hickok's fifth card, suggestions that he had discarded one card and/or that the draw was curtailed by the shooting and Hickok therefore never received his fifth card.
In the HBO television historical drama series 'Deadwood', a nine of diamonds is depicted, although the show posits that another player concocted the hand, to further his own newsworthiness. An episode of 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' shows Hickok holding a queen of clubs.