Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Ace In The Hole

Posted by Elyse Bruce on October 25, 2010

Whether you’re talking poker or the game of life, having an “ace in the hole” is definitely an advantage.  So how did this phrase come to mean someone has a hidden advantage?

Back in the 1920s, when stud poker was a very popular game, the rules were such that after each round of betting, players were dealt an additional card face up.  The only one who was dealt a card face down was the last player.  This card was referred to as the “hole” card.

The winner of the game was decided by the highest as well as the lowest scoring hand, and those two would then divide the winnings in the pot.

If you were the last player and the card that was before face down in the “hole” position just happened to be an Ace, that player most definitely had a hidden advantage that no one … not even the last player … knew he had.

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