Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

overplay (one's) hand

To have too much confidence in one's ability or position and fail to achieve something as a result. Despite how many want the law repealed, the president may be overplaying his hand by trying to completely dismantle it without having something to take its place. He thought he was irreplaceable, and in asking for an absurdly high raise with the threats of quitting, he may have overplayed his hand.
See also: hand, overplay

overplay your hand

If someone overplays their hand, they act more confidently that they should, because they believe they are in a stronger position than they really are. The right wing drastically overplayed its hand by trying to seize power prematurely. Note: `Hand' in this expression refers to the cards dealt to you in a card game.
See also: hand, overplay

overplay your hand

spoil your chance of success through excessive confidence in your position.
In a card game, if you overplay your hand, you play a hand on the basis of an overestimate of your likelihood of winning.
See also: hand, overplay

overplay your ˈhand

spoil your chance of success by judging your position to be stronger than it really is: Some say that the actors overplayed their hand, asking for too much money for each appearance.
This comes from card games. If you overplay your hand, you play in a way that is too confident because you think your cards are better than they really are.
See also: hand, overplay
References in periodicals archive ?
In the face of these mass data retention laws, OverPlay continues to stand by the residents of Australia, defending their right to online privacy.
Adding Overplay VPN service provides an out-of-the-box streaming solution for consumers around the globe.
We try to pass it but sometimes you can overplay and Chesterfield caught us out.
Undeniably the performance of the night was biggest hit Chelsea Dagger, which despite suffering from overplay when it was released, was ten times better live.
We do not ask our players to fight the overplay with pressure.
For more information on Joma Teamwear, contact Overplay Sports, Unit 4 Keeburn Industrial Estate, Woodburn Rd, Carrickfergus.
That said, O'Donnell sings beautifully and doesn't overplay the spunk in Annie.
At Mansfield we tried to overplay, but tonight we got it right.
SPECIAL ONE: John Anderson (left), from Overplay Sports (Joma UK), presenting James Todd, of Holywood FC, with his Joma coat for winning the November Manager of the Month Award.
Albion overplay the back pass and I don't know why.
There's no way to overplay the importance of these care packages going out this Veterans Day weekend, said Jim Diamond, a 1st sergeant in the 315th Psychological Operations Company - an Army Reserve unit that returned in April from a year's deployment in Iraq.
Miriam is a part which, I suspect, many an actress will covet and which several actresses will overplay.
Kenny's sides tend to build the play a bit quicker from the back than Rico's and tend not to overplay as much.
Although official statistics confirm Ronaldo is officially the most fouled player in the Premiership, the 20-year-old admitted he used to overplay some challenges.
The FA are the first to say we should not overplay the youngsters and yet here we are asking a 17-year-old to play two games in around 40 hours.