In Cool Hand Luke (1967) Paul Newman’s character reveals the king of hearts in his hand. In poker, this is known as a “suicide king”. Explanation in comments.


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In Cool Hand Luke (1967) Paul Newman’s character reveals the king of hearts in his hand. In poker, this is known as a “suicide king”. Explanation in comments.



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6 Comments

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  1. For those who don’t know anything about poker, the revealed hand is terrible. Within the context of this scene’s game, it is NOT a winning hand. At all. It’s a “handful of nuthin”. But Paul Newman’s character uses it to win anyway by bluffing aka tricking his opponent into thinking the hand is winning by continuing to bet heavily (this also highlights his attitude towards risk and authority throughout the movie). Not only does he win the game, but he impresses his rival so much that he earns the nickname Cool Hand Luke.

    Now the foreshadowing detail here is that the hand includes the king of hearts aka the suicide king, which has a mythos surrounding it due to the image of the king appearing to have stabbed himself in the head with his own dagger.

    SPOILER BELOW

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER BELOW

    After escaping from the chain gang multiple times, the warden warns Luke that if he runs again, they’ll kill him. He escapes anyway, ends up surrounded by police, unarmed, and realizing his fate, commits “suicide by cop”.

    Edit: Here’s the scene: https://youtu.be/hEvbUTWKLMc

    tl;dr A legendary scene. And I think a great example of the difference between 🧻🙌🏼 vs 💎🙌🏼

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  3. While I don’t disagree this is what they were going for, they should’ve used a different deck. This is the murdered king of hearts
    Look at the wrist designs on the hand with the sword
    Usually it will match with a queens sleeves in the same deck.

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