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ace in the hole

noun
1.
Poker. an ace dealt and held face down, especially in stud poker.
2.
an advantage or a resource kept back until the proper opportunity presents itself:
His ace in the hole is his political influence.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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ace in hole in Culture

ace in the hole definition


A hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed: “The coach was certain that his new trick play would turn out to be his ace in the hole.” This term comes from the game of stud poker, in which one or more cards are turned face down, or “in the hole,” as bets are placed. The ace is the card with the highest value.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for ace in hole

ace in the hole

noun phrase

Something held privately in reserve until needed, esp for a winning stroke; a hidden reserve or advantage

[fr poker term in the hole for a card dealt face down in a stud game]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with ace in hole

ace in the hole

A hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed, as in The prosecutor had an ace in the hole: an eyewitness. The term comes from stud poker, where each player is dealt one card face down—the so-called hole card—and the rest face up. Should the hole card be an ace, the player has a hidden advantage. Hole here simply means “a hiding place.” In the 19th-century American West, the expression was used to refer to a hidden weapon, such as a gun concealed in a shoulder holster. By the 1920s it had become a metaphor for any surprise advantage or leverage.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for ace

5
6
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