According to legend, Wild Bill Hickok was shot to death in the middle of a poker game with 2 pairs: black aces and black eight's. Noone knows for sure what the kicker was, but from then on black aces and eight's has been called dead man's hand.
"Pushing up the ante, I know you've got to see me,
Read em and weep, the dead man's hand again"
~The Ace of Spades, by Mötorhead