It is unlocked at Level 57. When the player has taken lethal damage they will fall into a similar state as Final Stand but with a detonator that they will be able to use to detonate the C4 on their person (instead of their primary weapon). The C4 will instantly detonate if the player attempts to fire their weapon, or after a certain amount of time has passed (similar to bleeding-out time on Last Stand in previous titles), or if the player is shot at. The explosion has a large radius and will kill any inadequately protected enemies (or friendlies, if in Hardcore game modes) close to the user. This is very difficult to counter, as if the person placing the enemy in this state is anywhere near the user, they will have a limited amount of time to escape the blast. Not only this, but the state the user is placed in is very similar to that of Final Stand, meaning that most players will instinctively shoot the downed target, quite regularly killing themselves in the process. As a result, it is often looked down upon by the online community.
As in the latest patch, Dead Man's Hand's blast radius has been reduced 20%.
- While on the ground, the player is clutching the C4 strapped to their chest.
- If a player holds any type of lethal equipment in hand and enters Dead Man's Hand, they will automatically throw C4 in front of them.
- This deathstreak was originally going to make an appearance in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Evidence points to a picture in the Modern Warfare 2 Official Strategy Guide, under the Multiplayer section. The photo shows the original four deathstreaks, as well as a fifth; Dead Man's Hand.
- If the player is holding any equipment then goes into Dead Man's Hand, it will turn into C4 and it can be thrown without getting killed.
- A "Dead man's hand" is a reference to a specific poker hand of the same name.