an ordinarily valid hand that is no longer legally playable, due to some misplay or other impropriety. In Pai Gow, it refers to a seven-card deal that the player has failed to divide properly into highest and second-highest hands. For example, if the player places his two best cards in his second-highest hand, s/he has created a dead hand. See also foul hand.
A player's hand that is not entitled to participate in the deal for reasons like having been fouled by touching another player's cards, being found with the wrong number of cards, being dealt to a player who did not make the appropriate forced bets, etc.