Definition of Dead Hand

What does the term "dead hand" mean in the game of poker? What is the definition of the term "dead hand" in poker?

In poker, a "dead hand" occurs when there has been some sort of an infraction that renders the rest of the hand unplayable.

For instance - let's say that a player is facing an all-in at the World Series of Poker main event. After a few minutes, somebody else at the table calls the clock on this player.

Definition of Dead Hand - Poker DictionaryThe player facing the all-in doesn't make a decision by the time that the clock runs down to zero. Now, the tournament isn't going to wait all day on this player, so his hand is considered "dead" as he didn't make a decision by the time that time had expired.

Another example of when a hand would be considered dead - a player says "fold" but then puts in a call. The player protests that he meant to say "call", but his verbal declaration of a fold will stand and his hand will be considered dead, despite the fact that he had intended to call.


The decision as to whether or not a hand is dead will lie with the dealer. If there is some dispute as to whether the call is correct, a tournament director can then be called in to determine whether or not the hand will remain dead.


Recent Articles That Include The Term Dead Hand:


Back to the - Poker Dictionary