Definition of Cowboys

What does the term "cowboys" mean in the world of poker? What does it mean if you are dealt "Cowboys" as your starting hand?

In all variants of Hold'em, being dealt "Cowboys" means that you are dealt two Kings as your hole cards.

K-K is the second strongest starting hand that you can be dealt in Hold'em (only A-A is stronger).

Definition of Cowboys - Kings Poker Dictionary - Two Kings IllustrationLet's look at an example of when the term "Cowboys" might be used in a poker game.


You are playing in a $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em cash game at your local casino. The game is populated mostly by tourists.

Action folds around to you on the button. You look down at 8-8 and put in a standard pre-flop raise. The SB folds while the BB puts in a raise. You call.

The flop comes 7s-7h-3s. The BB checks, you bet, he raises and you call. The BB is a tight/weak player, so you decide that you are putting the brakes on in the hand as he almost certainly has a big pair.

The turn brings the 9h. The BB checks again, and you decide to check as well.

The river brings the As. The BB checks one last time, and you decide to check as well after a bit of thought. You had contemplated betting on the river as the Ace may have scared your opponent, but you decide to rap your knuckles on the felt instead and show your hand.

Your opponent mutters "Cowboys" and flips over his hand, while you turn over your Pocket Eights. Your opponent breathes a sigh of relief and rakes in the pot.


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