ace hole

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:
1920–25, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Cultural Dictionary

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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