In English there is the idiomatic expression "with high stakes." There is also the adjective high-stakes, which means involving serious risks if there is no success. Is there a similar idiom in Japanese?

a "high-stakes" negotiation

a conversation with "high stakes"

  • Good question. ALC lists いちかばちか in a couple of its entries as a TL for high-stakes, but that doesn’t seem that good, because いちかばちか is more about “going all in”/doing something risky as opposed to the thing on the line being very valuable/expensive/important... Sep 20, 2019 at 3:39
  • I don't think I've ever heard "to be with high stakes". What is it supposed to mean? Sep 20, 2019 at 16:06
  • 2
    In similar situation we say like: [背水]{はいすい}の陣{じん}, (大きな)[賭]{か}け,([大]{おお})[勝負]{しょうぶ} and([大]{おお})[博打]{ばくち}.
    – puhitaku
    Sep 20, 2019 at 16:11
  • @IgorSkochinsky "To be with high stakes" means the same as the adjective "high-stakes," whose definition I gave in my question. For more context, please visit the website of the British Council - learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/intermediate-b1-listening/…. The phrase "conversation with high stakes" is used there.
    – Enguroo
    Sep 21, 2019 at 4:42
  • @TakumiSueda thank you very much!
    – Enguroo
    Sep 21, 2019 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


I see more idiomatic phrase like 乾坤{けんこん}一擲{いってき} の大勝負{おおしょうぶ}。


"Playoff game for the Championship competing with Hawks at Fukuoka as away team. All or nothing game with high stakes to hit the jackpot."


一世{いっせい}一代{いちだい}の大勝負{おおしょうぶ}に出る is also used often when you are taking risk a lot.

「だから一世一代の大勝負に出て投資用にアパートを買っても、入居者がいなかったら毎月赤字を垂れ流すリスクがあった。」the sentence from 「利回り」で金を生む家・車・時計の選び方|新R25.

"If you bought an apartment with high stakes for an investment and found no tenants, you had risk to face deficit every month."

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