What are ‘Newlyweds’?
In poker, ‘newlyweds’ is a commonly used nickname for any two-card hand that holds any king and queen, or these two cards as part of a larger five or seven card hand. Often, the name is used to describe a suited K-Q hand but any combination of these two cards can be called a ‘newlywed hand’ or ‘newlyweds’. ‘Royal couple’ is the more common term used for this hand.
In the game of poker, players often assign nicknames to their cards. This is especially useful in games of stud poker, where the player is dealt two cards face down. Often that player will peek at their cards before returning them to the face down position on the table. Remembering what these cards are, instead of checking them often through the game, ensures that there is minimal risk of exposing the cards to others at the table.
To help with recalling the card values, players often assign nicknames to the various two-card stud combinations which can be drawn. One of those nicknames is the Newlyweds, given to a pairing of king and queen. These might be a matching suit, but the name is also given to offsuit K-Q hands. The hand is also known as the ‘royal couple’. Sometimes the queen-king hand is called a ‘divorce’ if it fails to win, and a ‘marriage’ if it is successful. The offsuit pair is sometimes a ‘mixed marriage’.
The K-Q hand is a desirable one because it could lend itself to the highest natural straight in the game, with openings for the ace as well as the lower end of the run. If suited, the pair could be the start of a flush and even a straight flush. When this hand includes the royal house, it is called a ‘royal flush‘ and it usually beats any hand at the table.