show one's hand

Idioms & Phrases

show one's hand

Reveal one's plans, intentions, or resources, especially when they were previously hidden. For example, We have to be careful not to show our hand to our competitors. The hand here refers to a hand of cards, and showing them means turning them face up. [Late 1800s]

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