What was the fifth card of the dead man's hand? Was there any proven information about fifth card of dead man's hand?

  • 3
    I just Googled exactly that, and this is what came up. Thanks for the help.
    – user1065
    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:59
  • 1
    Fifth card was a bullet to the brain, from that point on, game over, cards no longer matter...
    – user3448
    Jul 1, 2015 at 23:11
  • why not the Death Lady the Q of spades
    – user4426
    Jul 5, 2016 at 2:46
  • I always heard it was another black ace, thus providing the reason he was shot.
    – user4546
    Aug 28, 2016 at 20:03
  • 1
    Do you have any reliable evidence to support your theory? Aug 29, 2016 at 6:24

5 Answers 5


First of all, what is the dead man's hand? From Wikipedia;

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The make up of poker's dead man's hand has varied through the years. Currently, the dead man's hand is described as a two-pair poker hand consisting of A♣A♠8♣8♠. Along with an unknown "hole" card, these were the cards reportedly held by "Old West" folk hero, lawman and gunfighter, Wild Bill Hickok, when he was assassinated.

In the fift card section on the same page;

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 or that the draw was interrupted by the shooting and Hickok therefore never received his fifth card.

Historical displays in the town of Deadwood, including one in a reconstruction of the original saloon, display the 9⋄ as the fifth card. The Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall, at the historic site of Nuttal & Mann's Saloon, displays a J⋄ instead. The Adams Museum in Deadwood has a display that claims to be the actual Bulldog Squeezers Playing Cards held by Hickok ( A⋄ , A♣, 8♥, 8♠, and the Q♥). The old Stardust Casino on the Las Vegas Strip had used a 5⋄ in related displays.

As we can see, there are a lot of rumor about this subject. Also there is a web site called DeadMansHand.us;

The earliest known reference to a dead man's poker hand is from 1886 and it is there described as three jacks and a pair of tens. It was, however, not a reference to Wild Bill Hickok's hand. Although the evidence is lacking, it is generally "accepted" that Hickok's hand was A♠, A♣, 8♠ and 8♣. There are many claims as to what the fifth card was and there is even reason to believe that it had been discarded and that Bill was drawing his final card when he was shot dead. Whether the fifth card was queen of diamonds, jack of diamonds, five of diamonds, nine of diamonds or queen of clubs, all of which have been suggested in various contexts, it is likely that Hickok was already holding the winning hand and that the fifth card would not have changed anything.


Unfortunately, we never know what was the fifth card!

  • 2
    Please please give me a good reason why we (we = people, society...) care about that. A guy died while playing poker (a Draw game, it seems) and we don't know what hand he had. Why is this relevant ? Should we also start debating what color the Titanic's captain underwear was ? Maybe it was white, but he wanted black. So he got depressed and that's why made that fatal mistake... Dec 9, 2012 at 9:01
  • 4
    First of all, your argument is pointless. In Stackexchange network, doesn't ask questions only that we care. For example, in Stackoverflow, I never asked a question tagged with linux, but there are a lot of valid questions on SO. Also this is a valid question for Poker StackExchange. When we complete our beta time, you can read faq and understand what I tried to say about this subject. Dec 9, 2012 at 9:20
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    I'm not saying your question is not legitimate. I didn't downvote it and I didn't vote to close it. Although, if you really think about it, it doesn't really fit here... What would be the correct answer ? No one knows, apparently. It will generate a speculative discussion which would go nowhere... Asking about specific hands, decisions, game mechanics etc. is helpful to people who end up here (from Google probably). But is a non-answerable question about something that is basically irrelevant helpful ? Dec 9, 2012 at 12:47
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    @RaduMurzea Please give me good reason why a moderator would put comments on an answer about a question. If you have comments about the question place them on the question and feel free to vote to close. And there is no need for language like "give me a good reason why". You are encouraging discussion and that is not was comments are for.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 15, 2016 at 20:12
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    Out of context now, but is anyone now legitimately curious as to the color of the captains underwear but me? Apr 27, 2016 at 17:49

It was the 5 of diamonds more than likely, shot in back of head fall on cards, blood drips on 5 of diamonds card and make it look like 9 of diamonds. No way it could be Q, or J. come on J's wild... These are grown men that were playing not old ladies playing go fish. Try with a red marker to make a 5 look like a 9 of diamonds, then try to make it look like a Q or J, remember like blood dripping from head on cards. But know one knows he still had the winning hand and died. Sometimes when you win you really lose.


Re: Dead Man's Hand (Wild Bill Hickock) Black Aces & Eights. 'Never know what the fifth card was'. According to 'spirits anonymous' it was the 5 of diamonds. 'Olde Stardust' in Vegas was correct!

  • 1
    Do you have any reliable evidence to support this? Aug 29, 2016 at 6:25

It was a queen of hearts. The man who picked the hand up off the floor when Hickok died handed the hand down to his son. His son made a report to a news reporter that he had Black Aces and Eights with a Queen of diamonds as the kicker. Also the Queen had a drop of blood on it.

  • Interesting. Any links to sources that can corroborate this.
    – Toby Booth
    Apr 15, 2016 at 21:07
  • 2
    I couldn't find any information about his son on Google. A proper and reliable source would be really nice about this subject. Apr 18, 2016 at 5:55
  • Begin of the answer is Q of hearts, end of the answer is Q of diamonds...
    – Evargalo
    Oct 12, 2017 at 14:08

The 5th card was 5 of diamonds not a 9 of diamonds i did my research for a long time and studied the cards that bill was holding and he was holding 5 of diamonds even with the blood splatter and this is for a fact not a thory

  • 1
    What are your sources? There are a lot of theories as to what his card was, and even the theory that he hadn't been dealt the final card when he was shot.
    – Herb
    Jan 20, 2017 at 1:10
  • I love the 'I did my research' source.
    – Evargalo
    Oct 12, 2017 at 14:09

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