Famous Fictional Hands
Card games are often a mixture of luck and skill with nobody ever sure how the game is going to play out; except, we figure, if a Hollywood screenwriter is behind the hand. We take a look at some famous fictional hands in movies and TV – would you have played these poker hands any differently?
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The Dead Man’s Hand
A pair of aces and eights (also known as the Dead Man’s Hand) gained notoriety as the supposed hand held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot on August 2, 1876. Since, the hand has appeared many times in popular culture, including James Patterson’s Along Came a Spider, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (McMurphy has a tattoo of a dead man’s hand) and even The X-Files where, in the episode Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, the eponymous character holds the dead man’s hand during a game of poker with Scully.
A Big Hand for the Little Lady
This 1966 gem starring Henry Fonda and Joanne Woodward is a cinematic classic. What happens when your husband bets all you have in a high-stakes poker game and then proceeds to have a heart attack at the table? Well, you take his place! According to IMDB, the cards held by Mary are the Queen and six of Hearts, the five of diamonds and the four and six of clubs – a weak hand, and one that apparently changes throughout the game – nobody guessed viewers would be looking!
Casino Royale (2006) was the 21st movie in the Bond-franchise (with Daniel Craig in the role of 007), though ironically was the first novel in the Bond-series; still, the final poker game in the movie between Bond and villain Le Chiffre is one for the books and nets our secret agent an impressive $115 million. Bond ends up with a straight flush – four, five, six, seven and eight.
Oceans Eleven is one of the greatest heist movies ever made. In this scene, Rusty (played by Brad Pitt) gives some novice poker players tips on the game. “It’s not blackjack,” and “know what you have” are just two gems from this part of the movie. Check it out – it just might turn you into a better poker player, too – and, hey, it’s Brad Pitt.
Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke was released back in 1967, based on the book by Donn Pearce, and gained several Academy Awards – among others for Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor, Best Original Music Score and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay. This scene, however, makes for one of the most classic poker-scenes in cinematic history. Check it out at that link – but you might want to see if you can find the whole flick! It’s woth the watch.