tip one's hand

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tip one's hand

  1. In card playing, to accidentally reveal one's cards or hand.
  2. (idiomatic) To inadvertently reveal any secret, particularly a secret that puts one at an advantage or disadvantage.
    • 1952 March 10, "Cause for Alarm," Time:
      In Montreal, a 23-year-old pyromaniac tipped his hand by rushing into the fire station a few minutes before the gong rang, shouting: "Where's the fire?"
    • 2004 March 4, Randal C. Archibold, "As Edwards’s Race Ends, Talk of No. 2 Spot on Ticket," New York Times (retrieved 20 Apr 2009):
      In a nearly 13-minute address, he did not tip his hand about what he might do next.