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Younger Hand

What is a ‘Younger Hand’?

The ‘younger hand’ in a poker game is the hand to the immediate left of the game’s ‘elder hand’ – the player with the dealer button, who therefore acts last in that particular round and gains the dealer’s advantage. The term is rarely heard today as it relates to older forms of poker. In some cases, all hands but the ‘elder hand’ can be described as younger hands.

‘Younger Hand’ Explained

In casino games, where a player sits at the table can have a big impact on how that game plays out for them. Acting later in the game is almost always preferred by players. Not only can the early turns find themselves in blind positions where they must bet before the cards are dealt or seen, but these first seats also must act before the rest of the table does. By the time play comes round to the last positions at the table, these players have information about the hands and betting strategies of their opponents. The last hand to play is sometimes referred to as the ‘elder’ hand, as it has waited to play for the longest amount of time.

A ‘younger hand’ is therefore the first hand to play, or sometimes any subsequent hand, and the term is used in relation to the elder hand. For example, a player could say that their elder hand was beaten by a younger hand – meaning that even though they held the game’s best position, a player who acted early was able to beat it. The term often refers to the first player on the immediate left of the dealer, who might be liable to post a blind and start the game, or who is expected to act first despite having just seen their cards and although they do not know about the other cards at the table.