I was looking for an English equivalent of the child's game in which two people are involved while one hides a small object in his hand and the other should guess the right hand holding the object.

So far I've found handy-dandy but I couldn't find many links about this game even when I look up the related images they're irrelevant to the game! Is it an obsolete word? What are the modern words people normally use to describe this game?

  • I’ve never heard of handy dandy being used to describe this game. Most interesting. If there is another name for this game, I’m afraid it’s not widely known. Your question reminds me of how white is chosen before a game of chess: with one player putting a different-colored pawn in each hand, and the other picking a hand at random.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 9:25
  • @J.R. thank you that was really helpful. I always thought this is a universal game :)
    – Yuri
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


I would call such a game a guessing game:

A guessing game is a game in which the object is to use guessing to discover some kind of information, such as a word, a phrase, a title, or the identity or location of an object.


Though I realize this is a rather broad definition that can be applied to many other games as well (charades for example), I can't think of nor find any specific name for such a game (aside from your suggestion). In fact, before you mentioned it, I'd never heard handy-dandy used to refer to this game. The only place I'd heard the phrase before was in reference to a particular notebook in the children's show Blue's Clues.

  • I see, here this game is sometimes considered as a party game alongside charades and playing characters. Two groups play when one group is holding the object and the other group should start calling hands empty to narrow down the options. I thought it's a common game there, too. +1 thank you.
    – Yuri
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:11

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