put (one's) cards on the table

put (one's) cards on the table

To reveal something that one has kept hidden, such as one's motives, intentions, opinion, etc.; to be very candid. A reference to player in a card game revealing the cards that they were holding. You deserve honesty, so I'm going to put my cards on the table: I can't offer you this job, but we may have another position that you'd be good for. Brian says he starts every relationship by putting his cards on the table—that way there's no secrets.
See also: card, on, put, table

put (or lay) your cards on the table

be completely open and honest in declaring your resources, intentions, or attitude.
See also: card, on, put, table