play (one's) cards right(redirected from play their cards right)
play (one's) cards right
To act adeptly and with good judgment; to make the best and most effective use of the resources at one's disposal. The bosses have been impressed with your work so far. If you keep playing your cards right, you could see a promotion inside of a year. I'm really hoping Janet will agree to go on a second date, but I'll have to play my cards right tonight!
play one's cards rightand play one's cards well
Fig. to work or negotiate correctly and skillfully. If you play your cards right, you can get whatever you want. She didn't play her cards well, and she ended up with something less than what she wanted.
play one's cards right
Make good use of one's resources or strategies, as in She played her cards right and got a promotion. [Mid-1700s]
play your cards rightmainly BRITISH
If you play your cards right, you use your skills to do what is needed in order to succeed. Soon, if she played her cards right, she would be head of the London office. He was convinced he could actually win the election provided that he played his cards right. Note: The reference here is to a player in a card game who can win the game if they use their cards well enough.