have an ace in the hole

have an ace in the hole

To have a major advantage that one keeps hidden until an ideal time. The phrase originated in poker, in which an ace is the most valuable card. Primarily heard in US. Of course I have an ace in the hole—his embarrassing secret! I plan to reveal it to everyone the next time he mocks me publicly.
See also: ace, have, hole

have an ace in the hole

If you have an ace in the hole, you have something which you can use to gain an advantage when you need it. Note: In many card games, the ace is the card with the highest score. He doesn't usually risk much unless he thinks he has an ace in the hole. Note: In `stud' poker, you have an ace in the hole when you have an ace as your `hole' card: see `hole card' at hole.
See also: ace, have, hole
References in periodicals archive ?
The Philadelphia trial of an alleged Mafia boss shows that when it comes to threats to privacy, the government will always have an ace in the hole.
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