all the marbles

all the marbles

All possible prizes or rewards. Typically used in the phrase "for all the marbles," which is said when one is on the verge of victory. He is currently in first place, so his final putt is for all the marbles!
See also: all, marble

*all the marbles

Fig. all the winnings, spoils, or rewards. (*Typically: end up with ~; get ~; win ~; give someone ~.) Somehow Fred always seems to end up with all the marbles. I don't think he plays fair.
See also: all, marble
References in classic literature ?
If you buried a marble with certain necessary incantations, and left it alone a fortnight, and then opened the place with the incantation he had just used, you would find that all the marbles you had ever lost had gathered themselves together there, meantime, no matter how widely they had been separated.
While video games may have replaced marbles as the sport of choice, there's still a strong community of mibsters (marble players addicted to playing and collecting) playing for all the marbles.
At that moment, Kelsi arrives and wants to play as well, so the children gather up all the marbles and redistribute them evenly among the five players.