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Card Superstitions

Dead Man’s Hand:

Some superstitious poker players will automatically fold if they get what is known as The Dead Man’s Hand. There are people that will actually get up and walk away from the table and stop playing, win or lose, if they draw that hand.
On August 2, 1876, James Butler Hickok was killed as he played poker in a saloon. The town was Deadwood Gulch located in the Dakota Black Hills. Most people know James Butler Hickok as Wild Bill Hickok.

There are a few variations on what actual cards were held in his hand when he was shot by Crooked Nose (Jack) McCall. Some people swear it was two Aces, two eights, and a nine. Others say it was two Aces, two eights and he was reaching for a Jack. Still others say it was two Aces, two eights and a queen.

Any way it is told, the usual constant is that it was two eights and two Aces in his hand as he fell to the floor. Most people agree that all of the cards were black. The two eights and two Aces make up what is known as The Dead Man’s Hand.

Ace of Spades:

In all of the 52 cards in a deck, none makes one so wary as the Ace of Spades. Known as the “death card”, it has been known to make skin crawl. If the card is turned up in the discard deck, for example, when playing rummy; there are some people that will actually redeal and will not play that particular hand.

Most normally understood, it is the death card in a deck. Usually, the death card really just means an ending of one thing. With the ending of one thing, it most often means the beginning of something else. So why would the Ace of Spades be such a scary card?

Some believers of misfortune feel that the Ace of Spades just brings sense of foreboding if certain elements or situations are present. It is also assumed that each person “knows” what the card means for them.


Bare Table:

Do you feel comfortable playing cards on a bare table? That is, no tablecloth or even green felt. There are some people that absolutely have to have a covering on their table. It does not seem to matter if they are playing solitaire or inviting friends over for card games. Until the table is covered, the game does not go on!

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