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The earliest reference is thought to be in , where it was described as a full house of three jacks and a pair of tens.
Then in , the Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World referred to it as a very unlucky hand of jacks and sevens.
A little later in , 17 th century British author Edmond Hoyle, who wrote rule books for games to settle disputes, referenced it as jacks and eights.
The black aces and black eights definition we know today only came around in the s. Apparently, after joining a poker table with Hickok, he ended up losing every single dime.
For example, the popular racing video game Need For Speed: Carbon has the ace of spades and a black eight insignia used by one of the crews.
You must find two aces and eights in black color to finish one of the levels. You can witness a game of poker where the character loses a hand even though he has a full house that consists of black aces and eights in Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom video game.
Additionally, you can also see a poker hand that includes black aces and black eights in the Walking Dead: A New Frontier video game.
The man that has this hand is killed right after that. These are just some of the many examples where this combination of playing cards appears.
After all, this is just another hand that counts as two pairs. So, even a combo that consists of two aces and two jacks can beat this poker hand.
It would immediately transfer launch authority to whoever was manning the system at that moment deep inside a protected bunker—bypassing layers and layers of normal command authority.
It is claimed that the command post of the system is in a bunker under Kosvinsky Kamen mountain in the northern Urals. The purpose of the Dead Hand system, as described in the book of the same name ,   was to maintain a second-strike capability, by ensuring that the destruction of the Soviet leadership would not have prevented the Soviet military from releasing its weapons.
Soviet concern about the issue grew with the U. Earlier U. SLBMs were reserved for attacking cities, where accuracy was of less importance.
In the first case, an opponent with effective radar and satellite surveillance could expect a minute warning of an attack before the first detonation.
This made an effective first strike difficult, because the opponent would have time to launch on warning to reduce the risk of their forces being destroyed on the ground.
Therefore, US or UK Trident submarine systems could stealthily approach an enemy's coast and launch highly accurate warheads at close range, reducing the available warning to less than three minutes, making a counterforce first strike or a decapitation strike viable.
The Soviet Union took steps to ensure that nuclear retaliation, and hence deterrence , remained possible even if its leadership were to be destroyed in a surprise attack.
No matter what was going to happen, there still would be revenge. In , the Soviet Union first attempted to create a system, called "Signal", which they could use to create 30 premade orders from their headquarters to the missile units.
In the early s, several former high-ranking members of the Soviet military and the Central Committee of the Communist Party , in a series of interviews to the American defense contractor BDM , admitted the existence of the Dead Hand, making somewhat contradictory statements concerning its deployment.
Colonel General Varfolomey Korobushin, former Deputy Chief of Staff of Strategic Rocket Forces , in said that the Russians had a system, to be activated only during a crisis, that would automatically launch all missiles, triggered by a combination of light, radioactivity and overpressure, even if every nuclear-command center and all leadership were destroyed.
Colonel General Andrian Danilevich, Assistant for Doctrine and Strategy to the Chief of the General Staff from to , stated in that the Dead Hand had been contemplated, but that the Soviets considered automatic-trigger systems too dangerous.
Furthermore, such systems became unnecessary with the advent of efficient early-warning systems and increased missile readiness, so the idea had been rejected.
In , Vitaly Katayev, Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Defense Industry Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in —, responsible for strategic arms and defense policy, arms control negotiations and military doctrine, confirmed that the Dead Hand had been "definitely operational" by the early s.
According to Katayev, it was not completely automatic but was intended to be activated manually during a threatening crisis. It was to be triggered by numerous sensors sensitive to light, seismic shock, radiation or atmospheric density.
Although both Katayev and Korobushin claimed that the mechanism had already been deployed, Viktor Surikov, Deputy Director of the Central Scientific Research Institute for General Machine Building TsNIIMash in —, confirmed in that the Soviets had designed the automatic launch system with seismic, light and radiation sensors, but said that the design had been ultimately rejected by Marshal Sergey Akhromeyev on advice of Korobushin and never materialized.
Accounts differ as to the degree of automation of Dead Hand. In a issue of The New York Times : . The dead-hand system he [Dr.
Blair] describes today takes this defensive trend to its logical, if chilling, conclusion. The automated system in theory would allow Moscow to respond to a Western attack even if top military commanders had been killed and the capital incinerated.
The heart of the system is said to lie in deep underground bunkers south of Moscow and at backup locations.
In a crisis, military officials would send a coded message to the bunkers, switching on the dead hand. American frontier. John Jacob Astor William H.
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Augustine St. Marks Tallahassee. Fort Boise Fort Hall. Fort Dearborn. Independence Kansas City St.Historically, the phrase, "Dead Man's Hand" was given to the last poker hand that Wild Bill Hickok had been dealt when he was murdered during a game of five-card-draw. Although there is quite the controversy over what those five cards were or even if there actually were five cards when the infamous Hickok was slain, there appears to be a general mind that he was holding a pair of 8's and a pair of Ace's. The make up of poker's dead man's hand has varied through the years. Currently, the dead man's hand is described as a two-pair poker hand consisting of A ♣ A ♠ 8 ♣ 8 ♠. Along with an unknown "hole" card, these were the cards reportedly held by "Old West" folk hero, lawman and gunfighter, Wild Bill Hickok, when he was assassinated. In the fift card section on the same page;. History of the term. Etymologist Walter Skeat reports that, while folklore has long attributed mystical powers to a dead man's hand, the specific phrase Hand of Glory is in fact a folk etymology: it derives from the French main de gloire, a corruption of mandragore, which is to say mandrake. Dead Mans Hand Store Flavour Profiles Whiskey Barrel Aged Contact Mods Search Site navigation Cart. Search "Close (esc)" Dead Mans Hand Elixir Whiskey Barrel Aged. The dead man’s hand is a slang term used in poker for a two pair of black aces and black eights, although its meaning has changed over time. The story goes that lawman and gambler “Wild Bill”.