show (one's) hand

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show (one's) hand

To make one's plans, intentions, ideas, or resources known to others, especially those that were previously hidden or kept secret. (Also expressed as "show (one's) cards"; both phrases refer to displaying one's cards ("hand") during a card game.) In business negotiations, it's important that you don't show your hand right away, or you might risk losing out on the best deal possible. Pressure from the government is forcing the notoriously secretive CEO to show his hand regarding his company's tax profile and offshore accounts.
See also: hand, show

show one's hand

Fig. to reveal one's intentions to someone. (From card games.) I don't know whether Jim is intending to marry Jane or not. He's not one to show his hand. If you want to get a raise, don't show the boss your hand too soon.
See also: hand, show

show one's hand

Reveal one's plans, intentions, or resources, especially when they were previously hidden. For example, We have to be careful not to show our hand to our competitors. The hand here refers to a hand of cards, and showing them means turning them face up. [Late 1800s]
See also: hand, show

show your hand

If you show your hand, you let other people see what your position is and what you intend to do. On domestic politics he seemed unwilling to show his hand too clearly. It may be no accident that Manchester United have shown their hand in their attempt to lure David Hirst to Old Trafford. Note: You can replace show with reveal. The Portugal coach has yet to reveal his hand on how many changes he will be making to the team. Note: If you show your hand in a card game, you reveal your cards to another player.
See also: hand, show

show your hand (or cards)

disclose your plans.
The image here is of players revealing their cards in a card game.
See also: hand, show

show/reveal your ˈhand

(British English) (American English tip your ˈhand) do something which reveals your intentions, plans, etc: The problem is that we can’t say anything to the management without showing our hand, and we wanted to be able to take them by surprise.In court a good lawyer never reveals his hand too soon. OPPOSITE: keep/hold/play your cards close to your chest
These expressions refer to showing your cards (= your hand) in card playing.
See also: hand, reveal, show

show (one's) hand

1. Games To display one's cards with faces up.
2. To state one's intentions or reveal one's resources, especially when previously hidden.
See also: hand, show
References in classic literature ?
"'We often talked of you during the winter, Hans,' said the Miller,
"'That was kind of you,' said Hans; 'I was half afraid you had forgotten me.'
"'Hans, I am surprised at you,' said the Miller; 'friendship never forgets.
"'They are certainly very lovely,' said Hans, 'and it is a most lucky thing for me that I have so many.
"'Well, the fact is,' said Hans, 'that I was obliged to.
"'Hans,' said the Miller, 'I will give you my wheelbarrow.
"'Well, really, that is generous of you,' said little Hans, and his funny round face glowed all over with pleasure.
It was not until Hans knew he was striking his wife that he ceased.
She could not believe that this raging beast was her Hans, and with a shock she became suddenly aware of a shrinking, instinctive fear that he might snap her hand in his teeth like any wild animal.
Hans staggered back against the wall, where he leaned, his face working, in his throat the deep and continuous rumble that died away with the seconds and at last ceased.
Hans looked at nothing, but Edith's eyes wandered wildly from detail to detail of what had taken place.
"Don't leave me, Hans, with - " her eyes swept the room - "with this."
Hans stepped back to the table and mechanically snuffed the candle.
"Leave him alone," Hans commanded harshly, in a strange voice.
Hans took the stone, and went his way with a light heart: his eyes sparkled for joy, and he said to himself, 'Surely I must have been born in a lucky hour; everything I could want or wish for comes of itself.