Bill Hickok and the Dead Man's Hand are a Legendary Pair

As the story goes, "Wild Bill" Hickok was a fantastic poker player who was known to take tons of money from his opponents. Unfortunately, at one of these money-making sessions, he was shot to death (in the back of the head, no less) over his stack. In his hand he held Aces over Eights, and this is now known to poker players around the world as the Dead Man's Hand.

Now, despite the fact that everyone knows Bill Hickok's last hand was Aces and Eights, no one is really sure about what that fifth card might have been. However, it is almost certain that it was either a nine or a five of Diamonds. Some historians claim that it was a nine, but this seems like it would be logically impossible since the number of diamonds on the face would have given it away. It has also been said that it was undoubtedly a five but the blood that dripped from his wound concealed it and led some to believe that it was, in fact, a nine.

So, which is it? Which was the fifth card in Bill Hickok's last hand known as the famed "Dead Man's Hand?" The truth is that no one will probably ever know for sure since it wasn't documented. There is evidence that it could have been a five because tales passed down from generation to generation claim it to be true. However, if it weren't for someone stating otherwise, then why on Earth would there be an argument to begin with? Poker players around the world agree that, even with a blood splatter on the card, the pips would have given it away for sure since the colors would not have matched. Still others claim that if the fifth was strategically placed at the bottom of the two pair, the pips would not have been noticeable anyway and it is very well possible that someone got the numbers mixed up.

The truth is that it really isn't important what that fifth secret was. Hickok was shot over a great hand that he attempted to win simply because he refused to let whomever was standing behind him see what he held in his hand - with the exception of that one mystery card. Perhaps this is why he was shot in the first place; perhaps there was a huge pot up for grabs and the cheating opponents (if that was indeed the case) were unprepared or unable to let it go. The good news is that in today's day and age, it isn't very likely that anyone is going to get shot in a casino because he or she refuses to allow someone to cheat.

The legend of Bill Hickok's last hand, the Dead Man's Hand, will go down as one of history's greatest mysteries for years to come. Unfortunately, if no documentation is unveiled, no one will likely ever know for certain the answer to this puzzling question.