– [Jack] Hello, this is
Jack from And welcome to this English lesson where you are going to learn idioms that come from poker, the game of poker. Now when I was researching this video, I noticed that most of
these idioms are used when it comes to business, or international relations, politics, and also sport, but you can use these
too in everyday English. And I sometimes say these things, and I’m going to give you lots of examples to help you better understand them. So let’s start with
number one and it is this, to bluff or the act of bluffing. Now when you are bluffing in poker, it means you make a bet even though you don’t have a good hand. So you try to deceive people, you try to trick them which is what makes poker so much fun. And the deception is that you’re saying my hand beats your hand, that is why I’m putting all these chips into the middle. So this is bluffing, when you don’t have a good hand but you still bet and you’re trying to deceive people. So you can also bluff when it comes to politics or business or anything in life really. Now here is a good example. It’s quite topical at the moment talking about the Brexit deal, and it’s the headline that says, “Is the government bluffing
about a no-deal Brexit?” So is the government bluffing
about a no-deal Brexit? And the UK government is saying yes, we are going to go through
with the no-deal Brexit unless the European Union
makes a better deal. So this writer doesn’t know if the government is telling the truth, if that they are really
strong about this position, and they might just be bluffing, deceiving the EU to get a better deal. So bluffing is used a
lot in everyday English especially in politics, in
business, and also in sport. I love the next one, poker face, to have a poker face. So in order to bluff somebody in poker, you need to have a good poker face which means that you need
to keep a straight face, to not show your emotions when you feel emotional. So let’s say you are bluffing in poker, you have a terrible hand
but you make a good bet, you want to be able to keep a poker face to make people think that you
actually have a good hand, or a poker face so that people don’t know if you are bluffing or not. Now the term poker face was made popular by Lady Gaga. You know the song. ♪ P, p, p, poker face,
p, p, p, poker face ♪ And I’ll leave a link to that
video in the description. And this is true in real life. You can use your poker face in real life. So outside of poker, to have a poker face means to have an expression
which doesn’t show what you are feeling or thinking. Now actually there was a newspaper article that says, “Lady Gaga Maintains Poker Face “After Nearly Falling During Performance.” So she fell during a performance but she kept a straight face. She didn’t reveal any emotion on her face and just kept on going. So it is used in everyday English. It’s also used in boxing. So sometimes you’ll hear commentators say, even though he got punched really hard, he has a really good poker face, he doesn’t let you know
if that punch hurts, if he is hurt or not. The next one is to have
an ace up your sleeve. Now in poker this means you are cheating by keeping the best card
in poker up your sleeve and then taking it out
when you need to use it. Now to have an ace up your sleeve means that you have
some secret information or a secret skill that
will give you an advantage and something that you
can use at a later date. Here is a headline that uses this. “In Virginia The Election
Stakes Are High,” we’ll come back to stakes are high later, “But Democrats See Obamacare
As An Ace Up Their Sleeve.” So the Democrats see Obamacare, a policy, as this secret thing or
something that they can use at a later date in order
to improve their situation. The next one is hold your
cards close to your chest. Now when playing poker, you don’t want anybody to
see the cards that you have, because then they can use this information in order to beat you and to
either fold or raise or bet. So you want to hold your
cards close to your chest. And we use this in everyday English too. And it means to not reveal your intentions or plans or tactics. So don’t tell anybody about
what you intend to do. Here is a good example
from a Cricket headline, and the Ashes is a game played between Australia and England, and it says, “Langer keeps
his cards close to his chest.” And let’s just read the first paragraph here or this bit here. “Langer was giving few clues away “as to Australia’s likely selection “at Monday’s press conference.” So again the coach of the
Australian cricket team is not revealing anything
about who is going to play and how they are going to play. So he’s not revealing the
tactics or the team selection. He’s keeping his cards close to his chest. The next one is to play
the hand you’re dealt. And in poker this again it just
means if you get bad cards, then you have to play
these cards correctly. For example even if you get bad cards, you can fold your cards
to play them correctly or you can try and bluff. Now in everyday life it just means to make the most out of any situation. Even if you’re in a bad situation, to make the most out of it. And it can also mean to
play to your strengths. So to focus on what you’re
good at and do more of that. Here is a quote from Lebron James about the basketball coach, James Walton. “You have to control what you can control, “and you’ve got to play
the hand you’re dealt. “I think Walton played the
hand as well as he could.” So again it just means
that he did the most out of the situation he found himself in. The next one is when the chips are down. And this means in poker when you don’t have many chips, when you are running out of chips, a situation I’ve been
in many times before. And again this is all about mentality. It’s about what you do
when the chips are down. So when the chips are down means when you are in a difficult or maybe a dangerous situation. It’s used a lot in boxing. How are you going to respond when the chips are
down, when you are hurt, when you are finding it very
difficult to beat somebody? And here is a headline from John Terry, the ex-Chelsea captain. “When the chips are down we
can come together as a team,” which I really like this
quote because it’s saying when we are in a difficult situation, this is when we as a team can
be more united, more bonded. When we find ourselves
in a difficult situation, when the chips are down, we
can come together as a team. The next one is to go all in. And this is when in poker you put all your chips into
the middle of the table and you say all in. Outside of poker, it means to fully commit
to doing something. So to fully commit to doing something. And here is a good headline which talks about a business owner. “Owner of The Copper Closet went ‘all in’ “to start her business.” Now in poker as well as business, if you go all in, it is a little bit risky because you are risking
everything you have. So when it comes to business, to go all in means to
fully commit to something and you don’t have a backup option, you don’t have anything to fall back on. So you go all in, you spend all your money, you spend all your time, and you fully commit to doing something. So it is risky but sometimes
in life you have to go all in. The next one is in or on the cards, if something is in the
cards, let’s just use in. And this means in real life if something is likely or inevitable. Here is another Brexit example. “ETFs in Focus as a No-Deal
Brexit May be in the Cards.” A no-deal Brexit may be
likely or inevitable. And the last one is know when to hold them and know when to fold them. So to hold your cards means to stay in that hand, to not fold, and then to fold is to
say, okay, I give up, I’m not going to continue this hand. Now this phrase has been made popular by a song called The
Gambler by Kenny Rogers. And he says, “You’ve got
to know when to hold them, “know when to fold them,
know when to walk away, “and know when to run. “You never count your money “when you’re sitting at the table. “There’ll be time enough for countin’ “when the dealin’s done.” Now in everyday life this is true as well. And again if you go all in on something, then you might reach a stage where you have to give up on this dream, and knowing when to
continue doing something and knowing when to quit doing something. There’s a very fine line here. It’s not easy to know. And you never really know if you make the right decision or not. So I think this is a
really interesting one because there are times when
we think this is too difficult but we keep on going and
that was a good decision. But then there are also times when we continue doing something even though it’s not working. So you’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. Okay, so thank you so much
for watching this lesson. I’ll leave all the idioms
in the description below and I’ll link to the news articles that I shared in this lesson too. Now if you found this lesson useful, then please like it and also
share it with your friends. For example if you are in a WhatsApp group about learning English, then share this with your
friends in that group. Thank you so much for watching. And I’ll speak to you soon, buh-bye.

Comments (9)

  1. Very very good lesson cheers mate from italy

  2. Thank you for that useful lesson ❤💛💚💙💜👏

  3. Hellow Jack, I really appreciate your hard work to make English ease for us. These videos are really helpful, I have watched your recent videos where you were talking about 52 phrases and generated a script of them too. Please provide these idioms with definition which you have done in previous videos. Thank you

  4. Great tips, man. I love idioms both British and American idioms. Break a leg!!

  5. Who is Lady Gaga ?!?!

  6. Go all in with TF!

  7. Hello from France!
    I like the expression "poker face"
    I have difficulty to maintain a poker face when my mom admonishes me for my bad grades at school. I am sensitive to his judgment!

  8. Good idea Jack!
    Could you make one video about football?

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