What Does the Expression “Won Hands Down” Mean and Where Did the Phrase Come From?

To win hands down has nothing to do with placing a winning hand of cards face down.

Instead, the expression comes from the earliest days of horse racing.

If a horse had proven its superiority and was approaching the finish line well ahead of the pack, the jockey would release the reins, giving the animal free reign to the finish.

what does the expression won hands down mean and where did the phrase come from

He therefore would win the race “hands down”, which also means he won the race without question.

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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.