Definition of play (or keep) one's cards close to one's chest in English:

play (or keep) one's cards close to one's chest

phrase

informal
  • Be extremely secretive and cautious about one's intentions.

    ‘the less skilled negotiator feels vulnerable and is more likely to keep his cards close to his chest’
    • ‘He keeps his cards close to his vest.’
    • ‘Well, like other national security councils around the world, they tend to keep their cards close to their chest.’
    • ‘So far, the special prosecutor has kept his cards close to his chest.’
    • ‘‘He's playing his cards close to his vest,’ you write.’
    • ‘Yesterday he was playing his cards close to his chest and refusing to speculate about the composition of his front bench.’
    • ‘He always had his own agenda, playing his cards close to his chest.’
    • ‘Who supports the program, who wants to phase it out, and who's keeping their cards close to their vest, trying to figure which way the wind will blow?’
    • ‘Most others were playing their cards close to their chest.’
    • ‘As for the big-ticket retailers, they seem to be playing their cards close to their chest.’
    • ‘Former colleagues recall him playing his cards close to his chest - and keeping an extremely clean desk.’