A way of thinking about things like MeaningfulChoices. It really covers all game decisions, but the principle was "discovered" prototyping CardGame?s.

Sometimes, you get a card in your hand and you can't use it. Or worse, using it would actually be detrimental to you. Sometimes you play the card just to get rid of it. Sometimes you add a rule to the game that lets players discard to filter out the stinkers.

There are excellent, well-designed games that have such mechanisms. Age_of_Renaissance? and Mystic_War? are two that come to mind. In both cases, you as player are faced with an interesting and tough decision: should you play the cards that are bad for you; keep them in your hand, clogging space that might be better used; or work to acquire the resources that allow the discarding of cards (in Age of Renaissance), or allow you to hold more cards from round to round (in Mystic War)?

Games with a common deck of cards are more likely to make exceptions to this rule than CollectibleCardGame?s.

Putting in a discard rule because of dead cards is usually a symptom of bad card (or even game) design. If such discards are possible, the decision should be downright painful because the player wants the card also.