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Tip one's hand

[ 2010-07-28 11:15]     字号 [] [] []  
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Tip one's hand

Reader’s question:  Shhh! Don't let the landlord hear that I don't have any other options. I don't want to tip my hand when we negotiate over the price. Could you explain “tip one’s hand”?

My comments:

Tip one’s hand is a term derived from the game of poker. “Tip” means to let your hand lean at an angle instead of being straight up, thus enabling one or more of your opponents to see your hand, meaning the cards in your hand.

If you tip your hand, hence, you reveal your plans which you always want to remain secret.

In the above example, the fact that “I don’t have any other options” – meaning I don’t have an alternative house to rent - is the secret. Therefore, “I” don’t want the landlord to know this because he could turn this knowledge against “me” in the upcoming negotiation over rental price.

In all likelihood, the landlord would raise the rent by a notch or two if they knew their lodger had no place else to turn to. Quite frankly, most landlords do. That’s just the age and capitalist environment we’re in.

That’s why the person in question doesn’t want to tip his or her hand.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.