show one's hand, to

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 (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

show one's hand, to

To reveal one’s true motives or intentions. This term, like laying one’s cards on the table, comes from card-playing. Edmund Campion used a version of it in 1581: “I would I might be suffered to shewe my cardes” (Conferences Held in the Tower of London with Ed. Campion, Jesuit, cited by OED). A variant is to tip one’s hand, of the same provenance. The Economist used it on November 17, 1979: “Mr Hunt will not tip his hand on the price at which he will buy more bullion.”
See also: show