Used metaphorically since the 1900’s.
Meaning of Hold All the Cards
To hold all the cards means to have all the resources or advantages needed to be in control of a situation. To be the dominant person in a group, to be in the strongest position, to have an edge, or to have everything in your favor.
Compare to hold all the aces.
Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Also used as have all the cards or hold all the aces.
“I have to break up with her, it’s like she holds all the cards in our relationship.”
“The building coordinator is blocking the building and there is nothing anyone can do. He holds all the cards.”
This idiom comes from card games and is based on the idea of someone holding all the most valuable cards in the game. It has sometimes been expressed as holding all the aces simply because aces tend to be the most valuable suit. To hold all the best cards is to control the game, thus the metaphor.
More Idioms Starting with H
More All Idioms
- Not For All the Tea in China
- All That Glitters Is Not Gold
- Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
- Put All Your Cards On the Table
- Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be
More Cards Idioms
More Hold Idioms