Gambling Idioms | List of Gambling Idioms With Meaning and Examples

Gambling Idioms: Gambling is an addictive activity that one can get into. People gamble on different types of games and sports, and this has been in existence for centuries. Some may say it is an art. However, it is something that one should avoid to ensure that they don’t go down the wrong path. Being such an old activity that people indulge in, the English language involves many phrases and idioms related to gambling. These are gambling idioms that now we use every day in our life to describe various situations.

This article consists of gambling idioms with meanings and also example sentences of the same. We have compiled a list of gambling idioms that will help you in your day to day communications with your friends, family, colleagues, etc.

Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.

Name of Gambling Idioms

List of Gambling Idioms

Meaning and Examples of commonly used Gambling Idioms

A ghost of a chance

Meaning: A distant yet unlikely possibility.

Example: When I learned that a Harvard graduate had applied for the same position that I had, I felt I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

A long shot

Meaning: Something with a very slim possibility of success.

Example: I realize it’s a long shot given his hectic schedule, but maybe I can persuade him to assist me with this project.

A shot in the dark

Meaning: An attempt that is unlikely to succeed or has a low possibility of success.

Example: When I tried to fix our washing machine, it was just a shot in the dark, but I could get it operating again on the first go!

Ace in The Hole

Meaning: A significant benefit that is kept hidden until the right time.

Example: My ace in the hole is his embarrassing secret, which I intend to reveal to everyone when he publicly mocks me.

Ace Up One’s Sleeve

Meaning: A secret strategy, idea, or advantage that can be used as and when needed.

Example: She has a trump card up her sleeve if they ever try to terminate her because she is aware of the boss’s unethical business practices.

All Bets Are Off

Meaning: What appeared confident or predictable in the past is now entirely uncertain.

Example: The squad appeared to be on track for a lengthy playoffs run, but all bets are off with their crucial player hurt.

Ante up

Meaning: To pay money for something, usually reluctantly.

Example: I can’t believe we have to ante up a high price for a movie ticket.

Behind the Eight Ball

Meaning: In a challenging or disadvantageous situation.

Example: We’ll be behind the eight balls if we don’t leave early tomorrow, and I doubt we’ll make it to the cabin before dark.

Gambling Idioms 1

Bet the Farm

Meaning: To put everything on the line in a venture that one believes will succeed.

Example: He’s now bankrupt as he bet the farm in a failed business enterprise.

Bet your boots

Meaning: to be so sure of the outcome that you are willing to put everything on the line

Example: You may bet your boots on it. I’m going to that concert; I’ve been saving for it for months!

Bet your bottom dollar

Meaning: Be assured that something will occur.

Example: You can bet your bottom dollar that it will rain tomorrow since I lost my umbrella!

Break the Bank

Meaning: To be extremely expensive.

Example: I don’t have enough money right now to go on a vacation; I’m scared it would break the bank.

Busted Flush

Meaning: A person, organization, or item that had enormous potential or importance at one time but ultimately failed.

Example: Jack graduated from high school with good marks and a promising career, but he became addicted to drugs and became a busted flush.

Call a Spade a Spade

Meaning: To address or describe someone’s or something’s true nature, even if it is unpleasant.

Example: You must call a spade a spade and admit the corruption that has been built into this system!

Cash in One’s Chips

Meaning: to capitalize on a rapid profit

Example: It’s best to cash in our chips now; there are too many risks in reinvesting our profits.

Die Is Cast

Meaning: A plan of action has been developed.

Example: Now that we’ve closed on the house, the die is cast—we’re officially homeowners!

Down to the Wire

Meaning: Until the very last second.

Example: Negotiations went down to the wire, but we could reach an agreement on a new contract before the deadline.

Go for broke

Meaning: To put out one’s best effort into something.

Example: If we want our product launch to succeed, we need to go for broke with this marketing campaign.

Have a Lot Riding On

Meaning: Be reliant on the success or development of something.

Example: Volkswagen’s new models have a lot riding on them after problems with their emissions systems hurt sales.

Gambling Idioms2

Have Hand of Aces/Hold All the Aces

Meaning: Being in a position of power or control over someone or something due to possessing all of the advantages or resources.

Example: I tried to make my points, but Joan had all the cards, and the board voted in favour of her idea.

Hedge your bets

Meaning: To take measures to compensate for a prospective future loss.

Example: I’m not sure I’ll get the lead in the play, so I’m hedging my bets by auditioning for other roles.

Hit the Jackpot

Meaning: To obtain or earn something extremely advantageous or entirely suited for oneself.

Example: Marcy has won the jackpot with her new work— it’s her dream career with a hefty income.

Lay your cards on the table

Meaning: To reveal something that has been kept hidden, such as one’s reasons, goals, views, and so on.

Example: I’m going to lay my cards on the table because you deserve it. I’m afraid I can’t offer you this position, but we might have another that you’d be an excellent fit for.

Let the chips fall where they may

Meaning: Allowing a scenario to play out without being concerned about the implications.

Example: Now that I’ve given the cops everything I know, all I can do is let the chips fall where they may.

Luck of the draw

Meaning: Chance, mainly when it is exclusively responsible for determining a result or outcome.

Example: My college roommate ended up being one of my closest friends for the remainder of my life by luck of the draw.

Make bets in a burning house

Meaning: Engaged in pointless activities while significant situations around them deteriorate.

Example: With investors drawing out from the business venture, the team is making bets in a burning house with this new campaign.

No dice

Meaning: No luck or chance for something

Example: I tried contacting her and one or two of her old college acquaintances, but there was no dice.

Not miss a trick

Meaning: To fail to take advantage of an opportunity or situation to benefit oneself.

Example: Did you try to make a quick buck when the hurricane was raging? You never seem to miss a trick, do you?

On the cards

Meaning: It is very likely or certain that something will happen, occur, or take place.

Example: They’ve played admirably, but it doesn’t appear that a championship triumph is on the cards for this club right now.

On the off chance

Meaning: Under impossible circumstances.

Example: On the off chance that you get home before me, will you be able to put the roast in the oven?

Outside chance

Meaning: Something improbable to happen.

Example: The washer is perhaps busted, but there’s an outside chance I’d be able to fix what is wrong with it.

Play One’s Ace

Meaning: To employ a resource that one knows or believes will result in a decisive and successful conclusion.

Example: During the discussion, she played her ace card by bringing up her opponent’s revenues from investment firms that led to the global recession only a few years previously.

Play the Percentages

Meaning: To decide or select an action based on data or experience that is deemed to have the best possibility of success.

Example: It appears that their business approach is essentially playing the percentages, with no true heart or intuition behind what they’re offering.

Play the Ponies

Meaning: Making bets on the outcome of horse races.

Example: My father used to take my brother and me to the ponies on the last Sunday of the month, letting us choose which horse to play the ponies on.

Play Your Cards Right

Meaning: To operate skillfully and wisely; to make the best and most efficient use of the resources at one’s disposal.

Example: So far, your bosses have been impressed with your efforts. If you continue to play your cards correctly, you could get promoted within a year.

Poker face

Meaning: A emotionless, blank expression that conveys no information about one’s thoughts or intentions.

Example: I kept looking over to see if she was impressed, but she kept a poker face the entire time.

Push your luck

Meaning: To risk losing the good favour or riches one has earned thus far by seeking more rashly or overconfidently.

Example: I’ve had some good luck at blackjack, but I don’t think pushing my luck will be a good idea.

Put your cards on the table

Meaning: To reveal something that has been kept hidden, such as one’s reasons, goals, views, and so on.

Example: I’m going to put my cards on the table because you deserve them. I’m afraid I can’t offer you this position, but we might have another that you’d be an excellent fit for.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Meaning: To do, live up to, or carry out something that one talks about, threatens, or promises, mainly if it includes spending money.

Example: Fans who have been demanding a sequel for over a decade should put their money where their mouth is and buy a ticket!

Queen of Hearts

Meaning: A woman who is the best in her field.

Example: She is the queen of hearts when it comes to hosting events in the university.

Raise the stakes

Meaning: In a specific situation, to increase the level of risk and potential reward.

Example: They raised the stakes in the employee art contest by offering a week of paid vacation to the winner!

Roll the Dice On

Meaning: To take some risk

Example: I’m going to roll the dice on the plant renovation. We’ll be in danger if the market crashes, but I believe it’s necessary.

Run the Table

Meaning: Being so successful in a specific scenario that one dominates and overwhelms one’s opponents.

Example: I knew we could run the table based on how much our first line scored. Isn’t it true that the best defence is a good offence?

Russian Roulette

Meaning: Any reckless, foolish, and risky act or stunt, especially one that increases the likelihood of danger or trouble with the number of times it is performed.

Example: Every time you get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, you’re playing Russian roulette.

Shell Game

Meaning: A deception technique that involves concealing or distorting the truth.

Example: The appliance salesman pulled a shell and replaced the refrigerator I agreed to buy with a used model.

Stack the cards

Meaning: To establish covert arrangements that give oneself an unfair edge over someone or something else

Example: Jeremy, of course, has set the cards against the rest of us for an early promotion just by being the boss’s son.

Stand a chance

Meaning: To have a chance, however remote, of success; to be able to do anything.

Example: If we could get an interception, we might stand a chance to win this game.

Sure bet

Meaning: Something that is likely to occur.

Example: Harry will sure bet not be able to graduate on time based on his marks.

Sweeten the Pot

Meaning: To make anything more intriguing, alluring, or appealing, particularly from a financial standpoint.

Example: If your children are adamant about not doing chores, don’t be afraid to sweeten the pot with some pocket money.

The Only Game in Town

Meaning: The only thing of its sort in a specific location or industry.

Example: For many years, that diner was the only game in town, but a chain establishment is about to open.

Throw the Game

Meaning: To purposefully lose a competitive game, significantly to profit from wagers, put on one’s chances of winning.

Example: There are a number of those guys who would throw a game if they had the money.

Tip One’s Hand

Meaning: To make one’s objectives, plans, secrets, or resources known.

Example: When you enter the meeting, remember not to tip your hand.

When the Chips Are Down

Meaning: When things have become exceptionally unpleasant, desperate, or difficult to recover from.

Example: When the chips are down, you can learn a lot about a person’s character by how they act.

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