I have long been familiar with the following:
I knew that a ‘dead man’s hand’ was a poker term and that Wild Bill was a figure in the Old West (and that poker is a card game of course), but I didn’t know how they all fit together.
First of all, Wild Bill was a gambler and loved playing poker. Sadly, he was also killed while playing the game. The cards that were in his hand that fateful game – 2 Aces and 2 Eights – thus, a Dead Man’s Hand.