There're obviously a lot of expressions that deal with "cards." Some of them do have the word "card" in them, others don't. But referring to "cards" is very common in conversational English. Here're a few simple phrases.
- "I don't know why I failed that test... I guess it wasn't in the cards for me."
- "I know I hold all the aces in this company, so I'm not afraid of being laid off."
- "The new product ended up being the joker in the pack for this company. They would have gone bankrupt without it!"
- Hold all aces - to have a great advantage in something. In cards, an ace is the card that is marked with a single spot.
- The joker in the pack - someone or something that can change a situation in a surprising way. The joker in a deck of cards that can be used as any card in some games.
- One card short of a deck - not smart, a little crazy, "not there" completely. Example: My neighbor is very strange. He seems to be one card short of a deck. Literal meaning: If you are one card short of a deck it means you don't have a full deck of cards.
- Put one's cards on the table - be open about your plans or intentions. Example: The boss put his cards on the table and spoke about his resignation.
- Show one's hand - to reveal one's plans. Example: I wasn't ready to show my hand yet, but I knew I had to let my parents know about my plans of working overseas. In cards, a "hand" is a combination of cards that you get. You can be given a good or a bad hand depending on what cards you're given to play. Here's the Russian translation of the word.
- Strong suit - Your "strong suit" is something that you're good at and very knowledgeable about. There're 4 suits in a deck of cards: hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. Example: The strong suit of my boss is his ability to negotiate.
- In the cards - If something is in the cards for you it is bound to happen, it will surely happen.
The video below will help you remember the last phrase better. The characters in the movie also use a Latin phrase "carpe diem" which means "seize the day," - take the best out of your day. They share how sometimes it doesn't happen for them and they get upset about it. If you'd like to get the lesson plan for this video you can sign up for our free course "The Magic Ten." The sign-up form is here!