What Does the Expression “When the Chips Are Down” Mean and Where Did the Phrase Originate?

Chips are used as a substitute for money in gambling.

When things aren’t going well a player’s pile of chips dwindles until he loses everything or makes a recovery.

How he acts under this pressure, “when the chips are down,” is an indication of his character.

what does the expression when the chips are down mean and where did the phrase originate

That is also how secure, relatively high-yielding stocks came to be called blue chips, because in poker, blue chips are more valuable than white or red ones.

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Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.