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Dead Card

What is a ‘Dead Card’?

A ‘Dead Card’ is any card that cannot legally be played due to the rules or a card that is not in play, this could also represent a card that is in an opponents hand that card is dead to his or her opponents.

A Dead Card could also become so for a technical reason such as the card was dropped on the floor or has been fouled or folded.

‘Dead Card’ Explained

As mentioned above there are a number of reasons why a card could be declared dead, for example, if the card has deemed to be or have committed any of the following it is ‘Dead’:

  • Fallen on the floor
  • Been tampered with either by a player or casino
  • Been marked
  • A card held by an opponent meaning it is unattainable by anyone else
  • A card is touching the muck
  • The cards that have already been folded by an opponent

Any of the above represents cards that are unplayable or are legally not allowed in play due to casino rules i.e. particularly if the card has fallen on the floor and be viewed by the table.

Another reason why a card may become a ‘Dead Card’ is if a card from a second deck that accidently slips into the deck being used, as uncommon as this may be, it has been known to happen and that would result in that card having to be declared ‘dead’ and most likely the pack be reshuffled.

You may hear a player use the term when they fold their hand in a game and ‘toss their cards in with the rest of the dead cards’.