Lay Your Cards on the Table

I need to be honest with you, I need to lay my cards on the table. I am in the process of formatting my collection of short stories, and since I have never done this before, I have no clue what I am doing and I’m really caught up in the how-to of this. So, for the next few weeks, I will continue to write this blog twice a week, but the days will not coincide with the Tuesdays and Fridays I have set aside for this writing. Bear with me, I will be on track once again.


But, really, how in the world did “lay your cards on the table” or “put your cards on the table come about”? I looked and looked for the origin of this idiom/phrase, and I could not find the origin, but then I began thinking about playing cards, specifically poker. I am a novice poker player, which means I know enough about the game to know that after all the bets are made, after all the cards are drawn the players lay their cards on the table face up. They show what they have, the truth is out. Until that time when the cards are laid on the table they keep the cards close to their chest where they do not share their plans with anyone. Secrets are kept when you play your cards close to your chest, but when you put your cards on the table you are opening up, being honest with what you have, what your intentions are.

As Kenny Rogers sang in the Gambler 

you’ve got to know when to hold ’em/ know when to fold ’em/know when to walk away/ and know when to run.

So it is with me right now. I no longer am keeping my writing close to my chest, the stories are written, edited, rewritten, edited, and rewritten; and at this very moment in time, I am laying my cards on the table, saying its publishing is of paramount importance.


Until next time…have a great one…



Filed under idioms, phrases

4 responses to “Lay Your Cards on the Table

  1. Jean

    Good luck Mary!

  2. Victoria Chilo

    I really like the way you explain things. My daughter asked me the other day what ” close but no cigar meant.” I told her it means you just missed the prize, but any idea on the origin of the saying?

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