play russian roulette

Cultural Dictionary
play Russian roulette [(rooh-let)]

To gamble foolishly on a risky or potentially ruinous business. The expression refers to a deadly game in which a participant loads a revolver with one bullet, spins the cylinder, and fires at his own head: “If you drink and drive, you're playing Russian roulette with your life and the lives of others.”

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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