Cards on the table

Daniel Craig putting the cards on the table, pic: guardian.co.uk

I needed another excuse to post a picture of Daniel Craig in a tux and so “putting your cards on the table” seemed as good an idiom as it gets having Casino Royal in mind.

Besides 007 putting his straight flush on the table to beat Le Chiffre the idiom has a different, however related meaning.  Putting your cards on the table means to truthfully say what you know or think, to clearly state what you say, think, plan to do.

The origin, unsurprisingly, comes from card games where laying your cards open is an act of honesty and truthfulness – albeit not a very advisable one if you plan on winning.

An example:  “Let me put the cards on the table here, I know you want to get married soon but I am not ready yet.”

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