Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

play (your) cards close to (your) chest

play cards close to chest
Meaning(s)
1) be secretive about your thoughts or intentions
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • likes to play his/her cards close to his/her chest
  • Analysis
    The idiom to play your cards close to your chest means to behave guardedly, which prevents revealing information about your true intentions. In a game of poker or cards, to hold your cards close to your chest is to prevent others from seeing which cards you have or intend to play. Might also hear the similar phrase to keep your cards close to your chest.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. He is a very cautious man who likes to play his cards close to his chest in everything he does.
    2. I just can't read that man, I never know his true intentions. He plays his cards very close to his chest.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I have been trying to find out more about the deal, but the boss is keeping his cards close to his chest on this one.
    2. We are keeping our cards close to our chest before launch but I can tell you our research and development department are working on something very exciting.
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