Going Home Hand

What is a Going Home Hand?

A going home hand is a poker player’s last chance to stay in the game before their chips run out and they have to leave. Players may put all their remaining chips in the pot and announce that this is their ‘going home hand’. The player will usually call the hand a ‘going home hand’ if they know it has a poor chance of winning, as they expect to be out of the game by the end of the round.

Going Home Hand Explained

During a poker game, players typically bet all of the chips they bought in with and leave the game when they run out, or cash in when the other players run out of chips and leave. If a player is ‘short stacked‘ or running low on chips and if they do not plan to buy in for more, they know that they only have a hand or two left before the game is over for them.

A player might describe their hand as a ‘going home hand’ if they are sure to run out of chips while playing it, and if they are not confident it will win the pot for them. The ‘going home hand’ is the last hand a player expects to play before leaving the game. They may announce this to the table during the round, or it may simply be implied by the way the game has turned out for them.

A player is likely to call their hand a ‘going home hand’ if they need their last chips just to make the ante and call when required, and they may go all in early – even on a fairly weak hand. Players might win on their ‘going home hand’ and choose to stay in the game longer with their pot, or they might cash out at that point and leave as planned.

Want to get in to poker? Read our guide.