Hold All The Aces

Also: Hold all the trumps.

Meaning of Idiom ‘Hold All the Aces’

To hold all the aces means to have all the advantages over others (opponents, rivals, etc.); to be likely to win.

Compare to hold all the cards.


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Examples Of Use

“Right now there is nothing we can do but wait for Jim to make a move. He holds all the aces.”

“I know Mr. Blackwood got a better deal but he holds all the aces and I really needed the investment.”

“Nick was surprised when Jenifer got the promotion. He really thought he held all the aces.”

Origin

In many card games, the ace is the highest card in each suit. So, if a player holds all the aces he or she has a distinct advantage over all the other players.

The variant hold all the trumps refers to card games such as bridge, whist, etc. in which a suit is chosen to have the highest rank above all others. During the 16th century trump was a variation of triumph and was used in card games for the same sense. This may be the older variant of the idiom, used since at least the mid-1800’s, while the ‘hold all the aces’ is more common, and used since the late-1800’s to early 1900’s.

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