put (one's) cards on the table

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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 a 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put/lay your ˈcards on the table

(informal) talk honestly and openly about your thoughts and intentions, especially when these have been secret until now: It’s time I put my cards on the table; I can’t afford the price you’re asking.
See also: card, lay, on, put, table
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put

/have all (one's) eggs in one basket Informal
To risk everything on a single venture.

put

/lay (one's) cards on the table
To make frank and clear revelation, as of one's motives or intentions.

put

/set (one's) house in order
To organize one's affairs in a sensible, logical way.
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.

cards on the table, to lay/put one's

To be completely candid, to hide nothing. The term comes from numerous card games in which the players must at some point turn their cards faceup and show their hands. The expression was transferred to a more general meaning in the late sixteenth century.
See also: card, lay, on, put, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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These players are putting their cards on the table.
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