What does Bounce mean in card games?

Send a card back to a player’s hand is known as ‘Bounce’

In games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering (MTG), ‘Bounce’ is a term used to describe the act of sending a card from the battlefield back to the owner’s hand. For instance, the MTG card ‘Vapor Snag’ is a famous bounce spell.

Players may ‘Bounce’ an in-game card, usually a minion or creature, back to their own or the opponent’s hand for a variety of reasons. When used on an opponent’s creature, a bounce spell acts as a temporary removal tool, providing an opportunity to defeat your opponent or find a permanent solution to their creature.

Bouncing your own creature can also be beneficial. It can safeguard it from your opponent’s removal attempts or give you a chance to reuse the creature’s Battlecry or “enters the battlefield” (ETB) ability.

In MTG, bounce spells and blink spells are alike but not the same. A bounce spell sends a card back to its owner’s hand, while a blink spell makes a card temporarily leave and then rejoin the battlefield. However, a card affected by a blink spell doesn’t go back to its owner’s hand and doesn’t have to be played again. This makes blink spells a better choice for exploiting “enters the battlefield” abilities.

Example for using ‘Bounce’ in a conversation

Hey, I just learned a cool slang term in Hearthstone!

Oh, really? What is it?

It’s called ‘Bounce’! It means to return a card to a player’s hand.

Ah, got it! So, like, when you want to take a card back from the battlefield and put it in your hand?

Exactly! It’s a way to protect your own cards or mess with your opponent’s strategy.

That’s pretty neat! So, it’s like a soft removal spell, right?

Yes, exactly! It buys you some time or helps you find a better way to deal with your opponent’s card.