force one's hand
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British pronunciation/fˈɔːs wˈɒnz hˈand/
American pronunciation/fˈoːɹs wˈʌnz hˈænd/
01

to leave someone no choice but to do something they would not do otherwise

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to [force] {one's} hand definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "force one's hand" and when to use it?

The origin of the idiom "force one's hand" can be traced back to card games, particularly poker. In poker, players hold their cards close to their chests and strategically decide when to reveal their hand or make a move. However, in certain situations, an opponent's actions or the progression of the game can force a player to reveal their hand prematurely or make a move earlier than desired. This concept of being compelled or pressured to act due to external factors or circumstances in a card game eventually found its way into figurative language.

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