house of cards

Everygame Casino Invites You To Play Your Cards Right

English is the most flexible and inclusive language in the world.  It easily adopts words from any language it comes in contact with.  For example, a pajama was a thin garment that men on the Indian sub-continent wore during the day in public to combat the oppressive heat.  British soldiers adopted the pajama as sleepwear.

The medical bandage material we call gauze originally came from the Gaza Strip.  The name Gaza is unpronounceable to English speakers as it is a g-like sound that is uttered deep in the throat.  So, English speakers called the land area Gaza.

Although English is ostensibly a Germanic language, it has adopted many French words.  That could be a good topic of conversation the next time you rendezvous with friends at a favorite restaurant!

So, it should not surprise us that English has many words and terms that derive from gambling, card games, and poker.  since we always say that online casino gaming should be entertaining above all else, we hope you keep some of these words and terms in mind the next time you curl up with your mobile device at Everygame Casino.

To Follow Suit

This term, of course, means to follow someone’s lead.  The term comes from the card game bridge and several other card games in which you have to play a card of the same suit as the leader if you can.  If you can’t follow suit and you’re playing bridge, you might…


We don’t know if the President of the United States knows how to play bridge but, in bridge, the suit that has been bid the highest is the trump suit.  If you can’t follow suit, you can play from the trump suit.  If your trump card is the highest trump card played, you win the hand!

Ace in the Hole

President Trump made the point throughout the campaign in 2016 that he had many aces in the hole.  This term refers to a hidden advantage that a player or negotiator might have.  President Trump, as a businessman used to negotiations knows that negotiations at the business level and thus certainly at the national level often take a long time.  That may be one of his aces in the hole.

In poker, an ace in the hole is simply an ace as one of your down cards.  Your opponents might fold thinking that you have an ace in the hole even if you don’t.

A Card up Your Sleeve

Even if you don’t have an ace in the hole, you might have a card up your sleeve.  This term originally referred to a method of cheating in poker.  If you had a good card up your sleeve and you could distract your opponent, you could win a big pot.  In today’s business world, having a card up your sleeve is the functional equivalent if having an ace in the hole.

To Raise the Stakes

In poker, when you raise the stakes, you increase the ante and the minimum and maximum bets. This is a common term in business also as it changes a negotiation by increasing one or more parameters. 

Negotiations on a national scale can also entail raising the stakes.  The classic example was the use of nuclear weapons to end World War II in the Pacific.  The United States dropped two atomic bombs on industrial Japanese cities.  This raised the stakes so dramatically that the Emperor of Japan surrendered.  The Emperor didn’t know that they were the only two atomic bombs the United States had at the time.

Call a Spade a Spade

The term spades comes from cards as it is the most powerful suit in the deck.  When you call a spade a spade, you are outwardly saying the truth even if the truth is a bit painful to hear.  In the modern world, with micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation, calling a spade a spade is often not politically correct.

However, if you have the ace of spades in the hole, you are always entitled to show it during the showdown!

In Spades

This term refers to having a plentiful supply of something.  It could be money, or liquor for the party, or anything else; if you have it in spades, you have a large amount of it.

Wild Card

This is a poker term that has entered the general lexicon.  In poker the wild card substitutes for all the other cards and in slots, it substitutes for all symbols except the scatter symbol.  In everyday life and especially in business, we talk about a wild card as if it exists even if it doesn’t.

In business negotiations, a person might have someone backing her or him up who wishes to stay in the background until and only if it is necessary to bring that person’s influence to bear.  That is called playing the “wild card”.

Raw Deal

A similar term that means the same is to say that someone was dealt a bad hand.  A raw deal has a rawer connotation.  It means that someone had very bad luck and undeservedly so.  When someone falls very ill at a young age he or she is said to have gotten a raw deal.

Play Your Cards Right

This is a very colloquial term that can be used in reference to many areas of life from a business deal or a romance.  In a business negotiation, to play your cards right includes coming to meetings on time, always being prepared, showing deference when needed and strength of purpose when that is needed.  Negotiations are a delicate process requiring careful “card playing”.

In romance, playing your cards right means always being a gentleman or a lady, saying all the right things when you meet the parents, remembering birthdays, and generally being on your best behavior.

House of Cards

If you try to build a house using playing cards, you’ll quickly learn that it is functionally unlivable.

A house of cards is any “structure” be it a physical structure or, as is more likely, a structure in the imagination, that is so flimsy that it cannot stay strong and must collapse.

Creative Language

Perhaps next week we’ll continue this series on interesting English terms and words that have entered the language through card games and gambling, in general.