play cards

play (one's) cards

To use the resources or strategies at one's disposal: played her cards right and got promoted.
See also: card, play
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
I was glad that, catching sight of the clock at the Army and Navy Stores, he remembered an engagement to play cards at his club, and so left me to cut across St.
Thus two people who cannot afford to play cards for money, sometimes sit down to a quiet game for love.
Somerton, was a fast, sporting young chap, and the other young officers would meet in his rooms of an evening and play cards. The surgery, where I used to make up my drugs, was next to his sitting-room, with a small window between us.
These prison-chaps had done little else than play cards ever since they had been at the Andamans, and they knew each other's game to a point, while the others just played to pass the time and threw their cards down anyhow.
The participants were carrying banners and play cards inscribed with different slogans against Indian atrocities on Kashmiris.
They play cards, exchange stories about personal adventures and chat with each other until the break of dawn.
Legend says that in the 1700s, an Englishman, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, loved to play cards. He loved to play so much, he would not take time away from a card game to have a hot meal!
Keith Wilkinson, managing director of Games Play UK, added: "Our rst reaction to the product was that it was an amazing aid for so many people who have been unable to play cards because they simply haven't been able to hold them.
Reggie Love revealed in a chat that Obama told him he could not 'watch this entire thing' play out so decided to play cards during the tense wait in May 2011.
We play cards and sing while the children play," he said.
"Perhaps the police did their duty but we should always evaluate situations and see how to proceed," Diakantoni said adding that these women play cards to "keep their mind sharp and have a nice time".
The man, who currently works as a teacher at a local school, says that he used to listen attentively to his family and friends while they play cards, adding, "I liked it when I could understand some of the game by listening." With the help of some blind peers, Marayta says he could spread the game among the blind across the Kingdom, noting that chess is presently the only game available at clubs for the blind
They will also replace old furniture used by youngsters who gather to play cards on the street and those playing football on open grounds in their neighbourhoods.
"There has also been an added incentive, with pupils paying 10p a go to play cards or dominoes as part of their lunchtime club.
Or, more precisely, from New York City's school system, where hundreds of bad teachers are taken out of classrooms and placed in "rubber rooms [where] they read magazines, play cards, and chat, at a cost to New York taxpayers of $20 million a year." Even Terry Colon's humorous illustrations can't quite make this a laughing matter.