Useful Idioms – part 36

Play one’s cards right/well = behave in the right way to achieve what you want ; make the best use of one’s assets and opportunities.

  • You have a chance of success if you play your cards right.
  • she didn’t play her cards well , and she ended up with something less than what she wanted.

Put/lay one’s cards on the table = tell someone honestly what one thinks or what one plans to do .

  • He has been very frank and he has put his cards on the table, now we will have to do the same.
  • I thought it was time I laid my cards on the table, so I told her that I had no intention of marrying her.

Pass the buck = blame someone or make them responsible for something that must be done next.

  • She’s always trying to pass the buck and I am sick of it.
  • Politicians have two skills – making empty promises and then passing the buck when they fail to deliver on them.
  • The government always tries to pass the buck when there are economic problems, saying the previous regime is to blame.

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