The dealer continues distributing the cards until each player has a total of six cards. The dealer then removes the bottom card from the remainder of the deck and places it face-up in the center of the table to designate the Trump suit for the hand.

What does "...for the hand" in last sentence mean?

  • 31
    In cards, it's trump (lower case), not Trump (upper case). The former designates a winner, and has been around long before the current US president.
    – Robusto
    Mar 20, 2018 at 14:16
  • 2
    @Robusto OP seems to be quoting from here: catsatcards.com/Games/Durak.htm , which mistakenly capitalizes the word in that one instance.
    – DavePhD
    Mar 20, 2018 at 19:14
  • Just curious, what card game are you talking about? Sounds a bit like Durak (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durak), but there the trump suit is determined for the whole game, not a single hand.
    – alexgbelov
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:40
  • @alexgbelov The comment just before your seems to confirm that it is Durak. Mar 21, 2018 at 3:40

5 Answers 5


In most card games, one round of play is called a “hand”. When some condition of play applies only to a single round of play, the condition is valid “for the hand”.

In this case, when the dealer turns up the bottom card, it designates ‘trump’ for the current round of play - that is, it “designates trump for the hand”.

One round of play - one hand - is what you appear to be calling one "game cycle". For example, a game of Cribbage lasts until one player scores 121 points, but a hand of Cribbage is one deal of cards to each player, plus the subsequent play, until the next deal.

  • Do you mean "a hand" the whole till the end? In Russian card game Durak trump is designated only for one game till its end, and then, the loser will shuffle and distribute cards for the next game cycle and then the next trump suit will be designated. Mar 20, 2018 at 14:41
  • 2
    @JaneMiller - one round of play - one hand - is what you appear to be calling one "game cycle". Mar 20, 2018 at 14:45
  • 7
    For example, a game of Cribbage lasts until one player scores 121 points, but a hand of Cribbage is one deal of cards to each player, plus the subsequent play, until the next deal. Mar 20, 2018 at 14:47
  • 2
    To me, "one round of play" is one round of play (aka trick in some games); hand and round aren't the same thing. A round is one action from each player and a hand is often a set of rounds equal to the number of cards you were dealt for example, 1 hand = 13 rounds. A game is as many hands as it takes to win. Looking at the rules for durak, I think the answer by Adam Davis best addresses OP's question.
    – Gossar
    Mar 20, 2018 at 22:15

A hand is the set of cards that a player receives in a particular round of a card game. It's called a hand because of the simple fact that you literally have to hold the cards in your hand. Here's a picture of a typical hand:

enter image description here

In a standard deck of playing cards, there are four suits: diamonds, clubs, hearts and spades. And the trump suit is a suit that has been chosen to have the highest value in a particular round of the game (or for the duration of the entire game, depending on the game being played). In other words, with cards of the trump suit, you will be able to beat any other card of the non-trump suit. If both cards are trump-suit cards, the one with the higher rank wins.

So, the phrase the trump suit for the hand means that one of the four suits has been designated to rank above all others for that particular round of the game.

Trump suit, by the way, is where we get the expression trump card from. For example:

I have a feeling the prosecution still hasn't played their trump card in this trial—I expect a big revelation during tomorrow's testimony.

  • 9
    If only that were a typical hand! Mar 20, 2018 at 18:44
  • The particular deck you describe (four suits named Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades, of ranks 2-10 plus Jack, Queen, King, and Ace) is only one specific type, namely the English format. It is largely equivalent to the French format (which uses different names for the suits but is otherwise the same), but Spanish or Italian decks use another format, and German decks use another format. These other formats are losing market share to the English format, but they still exist. See Wikipedia for more info.
    – KRyan
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:49
  • @KRyan To be perfectly honest, I don't know anything about cards except the vocabulary. Mar 20, 2018 at 20:50

A standard deck of cards has four "suits"; these being Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds.

In some card games (Bridge is a good example), one of these suits will be designated the "trump" suit. (Some other games may have a specific "trump card"; you asked about suits, but the concept is the same either way).

The selection of the trump suit will depend on the rules of the game, but in general, the effect within the game will be that cards from the trump suit will be more powerful or valuable than cards from the other suits, and a player holding cards from the trump suit will have an advantage in the game.

There are a number of idiomatic uses of the word "trump" derived from this which are used generally in other contexts.

  • 5
    This is an excellent answer to a different question from the one asked.
    – armb
    Mar 20, 2018 at 16:48
  • @armb Now I feel like asking "What does backhanded compliment mean?" just so I can link to your comment as an answer
    – Kevin
    Mar 21, 2018 at 13:40

One hand, in card playing games, is the time after the cards are dealt until the cards are re-dealt:


There are various usages depending on the specific game, and regional variations. for instance, some refer to a hand as a single instance of play in a game where each player contributes one card to the middle, then one player takes those cards (hearts, euchre, rook, etc). However these are "tricks", not hands - just be aware that the term "hand" is sometimes misused.

In your case, the card placed face up represents Trump until the point in the game where the cards are collected and re-dealt to players.

This doesn't mean the gameplay ends. Some games tally points at the end of each hand and deal another hand, continuing play until another goal is met.


In the game Bridge, a hand is what you play after shuffling and dealing all the cards. Whatever suit the highest bid is, that suit becomes the "trump suit for the hand". Until that hand is over, cards of the trump suit beat cards of any other suit. (A hand also means the cards that one player receives, but that's not the meaning here; here, it's the entire deal.)

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