lay one's cards on the table

Idioms & Phrases

lay one's cards on the table

Also, put one's cards on the table. Be open and honest, reveal one's position or intentions, as in John laid his cards on the table and told her how much they could afford. This expression alludes to showing the hand one holds. [c. 1900] Also see show one's hand.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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