What are ‘Walking Sticks’?
Walking sticks is a nickname for a hand that features two sevens. The name comes from the crooked shape of the numbers, which form a handle and long shaft – very similar to traditional walking stick designs.
‘Walking Sticks’ Explained
As explained above, the rigid number shape is easy to visually translate into a walking stick.
This is but one of many nicknames for pairs of cards. They all tend of come from word and number play that can incorporate the suits themselves, pop culture references or simple rhyming.
A pair of aces – Alan Alda. Named after the main actor for the hit television series M*A*S*H, the name draws on his initials, A.A (ace, ace). Here we see a very simple but playful use of alliteration and pop culture referencing.
A pair of kings – Elvis Presley. Referring the musician and actor who is still commonly known as ‘The King of Rock’n’Roll’, the name Elvis is synonymous with the word king. This is a clear example of utilising popular culture.
A pair of queens – Ladies or bitches. Ladies is a common name for a pair of queens, and it is plain to see why as they are the only female characters in a deck. Bitches is a very crude and low brow term for the pair. It is not something that any player will likely hear in a well-established house that wishes to make itself look modern and inclusive.
A pair of nines – Wayne Gretzky. Named after the iconic NHL (National Hockey League) player, his jersey bore the number 99. This was also the name of a handful of books about the man. So in North America, it’s easy to relate the number to the player.
The naming of such card combinations doesn’t really add anything to the logistics of the game, but it certainly does add a bit of colour to the language. Watching poker tournaments with commentary, it’s certainly more captivating to hear these names than just a slew of numbers and regal titles.