The Widespread Use of Skulls in Poker Accessories

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Poker accessories can come in many themes, changing from table to table depending on the venue.

It’s not surprising there’s such variety, considering how simple it is to add custom designs to the many things that are used during a typical poker game. One such theme that you’ll often see is skulls, which can be seen on playing cards, poker chips, and more.

This association can be attributed to various terms that are used in games of poker. There are many poker terms to learn, some which are obvious, and others which do hint at a skull association. One, Dead Man’s Hand, refers to holding aces and eights, and originates from the death of gambler James Butler Hickok, known as “Wild Bill” Hickok during 1879. Hickok was killed by the local drunkard, with his poker hand at the time of death being pairs black aces and eights — now known as the Dead Man’s Hand.

Another term that somewhat relates to this time period and skulls is bounties, a feature at some poker tournaments. These reward players that eliminate certain players during the tournament, similar to the bounties that you’d find in the wild west. While poker bounties aren’t anything dangerous, western bounties could sometimes lead to the target’s death — something that skulls are often associated with.

With that in mind, it’s easy to find many examples of skulls in poker equipment and related memorabilia. For starters, you’ll often see players with some intimidating tattoos, like the Grim Reaper holding playing cards. There are a few variations of this design, though they all feature Death’s skull as the centerpiece. While tattoos wouldn’t really be considered equipment, they can be used by players to promote their personal brand.

As mentioned earlier, cards are another common piece of equipment that will be themed after skulls. Since cards have a lot of space in the center for artwork, it’s easy to implement different designs while still making each one useable for playing poker. You can spend hours looking through the various packs of cards available, even if it’s just skull-themed ones. If you’re after a little flair without going overboard, it’s still possible to get decks of cards that feature skulls and also stay quite close to standard card art.

This trend of using skulls on regular poker equipment can also apply to entire sets. There are some expensive poker sets that are contained in a skull-themed box, or feature skulls on each of the chips. Poker chips in particular are something that can be given fresh designs, since players will often rely on their color to determine the chip type instead.

It’s impressive to see just how much poker-themed memorabilia is available for players to buy. It’s clear that, whether due to the various poker terms or just the eye-catching designs, that skulls and poker are inextricably tied into each other. If you follow Skullspiration and happen to play poker yourself, then it’s absolutely worth trying to acquire some skull-themed poker equipment to help spice up your games.


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Skulls addicts only!