Card players are those participating in a card game. Various names are given to card players based on their role or position.
In games played in English-speaking countries, age refers to the order of priority in which players make the first lead, bid or bet, based on their position at the table. This changes constantly as the dealer rotates either clockwise or anticlockwise around the table. They are traditionally referred to as follows:
- Eldest hand or elder hand: the player who enjoys greatest priority and e.g. is the first to receive cards in the deal
- Youngest hand or younger hand: the player who has the lowest priority and who e.g. is the last to bid or play at the start of a game (often the dealer).
In games originating in Europe, the players' priority is indicated as follows:
- Forehand: the player who leads to the first trick.
- Middlehand: the player between forehand and rearhand in a 3 or 4-person game. In Skat (and similar 3- or 4-hand games), the second player in turn to bid.
- Rearhand: in a 3-player game, the player with least priority, e.g. the last to bid or play, in practice the dealer. In a 4-player game, the player following middlehand and who is the third to bid or play.
Players may also be referred to by their roles as follows:
- Cutter: the player whose is entitled to cut the cards; usually the opposite side of the dealer to forehand (or eldest/elder hand).
- Declarer: the highest bidder, who declares and then strives to make good the stated contract.
- Defender: a player who plays against the declarer, usually with other defenders.
- Partner: a player who plays co-operatively in a team and who shares the winnings or losses. Partnerships may be fixed for the whole session or vary from deal to deal.
- Soloist: a player who plays a Solo game, i.e. plays alone, as the declarer, against 2 or more other defenders.
- The Language of Cards at www.parlettgames.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2018
- Eldest hand at www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 4 August 2018
- Middlehand at www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 4 August 2018
- Hinterhand at duden.de; retrieved 7 July 2017.
- Dealer at www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 4 August 2018
- Dealer at dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 4 August 2018