It’s an Ace in the Hole

Don’t we all wish we had one all the time. That “ace in the hole.” You know, that secret you keep until there is the right opportunity to use it. Then walla, you win. It was the ace in the hole that made the win.


It gives you the leading edge to get ahead at school, at work, at life.

Courtroom dramas use it all the time. It’s the witness the prosecutor has been hiding until the right time to produce the person. It’s a key piece of evidence that has been produced at the right time, not at the time when evidence is revealed, but after the fact — it’s the ace in the hole.

Sports teams use it when they keep a key player back until the right time. The coach is counting on the ace in the hole — for the win.

Sure, you could say he played his “trump card,” it’s the same meaning, but with a bit of difference. Usually, when you play a trump card, it is a one time play. Afterwards, if you try to play the trump card again, people are onto it, and you could simply overplay your hand.

Then there is the “secret weapon.” Again, it means the same, only this time the idiom/ phrase is used in business or politics. There is a competitor here. Slight difference, means the same but where and when it is used is the key.


Best of all is “up one’s sleeve.” This is virtually the same as “ace in the hole” — you keep your secret until the end to reveal information, a plan, a strategy to help you win at school, at work, at life.

It’s fun to see where these terms come from. Long ago, back in the 16th century, people had dresses, pants, etc., but they did not have pockets, so they kept “things” up their sleeve. Shoot for that matter, I can remember my grandmother keeping “things” up her sleeve. I had a boss that kept a myriad of “things” in her bra. People keep money in their shoes or socks or around their waist in a belt when they travel. The list continues as we try to hide the good stuff “up our sleeve” to only pull it out when it is to our advantage.

The “ace in the hole” has to do with playing cards, specifically stud poker. What happens is one or more cards are turned down, or what is termed “in the hole,” and then bets are placed on what cards may be “in the hole.” When you have the ace “in the hole” you have the card with the highest value. You win.

Until Friday…have a great week.




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