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I was at the pub the other day, and it was my friends turn to buy a round. As he left the table, he asked what beer we wanted, and I replied with "Dealers choice", meaning that since he was buying the beer, he could choose whatever he liked. He didn't understand what I meant.

Is this an appropriate use of that phrase, and are there other/better phrases that I could use in that kind of situation?

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Btw, I haven't come across "Dealer's choice" as a response to the given context. Could you add some details about the phrase to your question? Is that chiefly a British/American usage? – BiscuitBoy Feb 28 at 8:39
    
"The customer is always right." – Drew Feb 28 at 16:26
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"Dealer's choice" kind of makes sense, but "buyer's choice" would have been more direct. "Whatever you're having" is more direct, but so is "I have decided that I will trust your judgment on what to purchase as you are the one using the currency in exchange for goods and/or services, friend." – tristan Feb 28 at 17:53
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I will usually go for I'm good with whatever you're feeling. – MonkeyZeus Feb 29 at 2:14
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In this exact situation I might say "surprise me", as long as the friend is not of a malicious bent. – Jonathan Allan Feb 29 at 5:02
up vote 28 down vote accepted

I feel a simpler substitution would be "Your call"

From UsingEnglish,

If something is your call, it is up to you to make a decision on the matter.

Usage:

Friend: What will you take? Heineken or BudLight?

You: It's your call!

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You pay the piper, you call the tune

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Something that you say which means that the person who provides the money for something can decide how it should be done. Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

The person who provides the money for something has the right to determine how it's spent. ODO

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This is good... but, in my experience, "pay the piper" is more commonly used in the context of being reprimanded or punished. The saying: "If you dance to the music, you'll have to pay the piper", is more widely used than the other "piper" saying. (US) – Oldbag Feb 28 at 16:32
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In this specific phrase it just means the person who is paying. – stannius Feb 28 at 18:34
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I don't know about you guys, but this would confuse me even more than "dealer's choice" if I was in that situation. – ringo Feb 29 at 1:40
    
This is the perfect expression if the item being purchased is a service rather than a good. – Jonathan Allan Feb 29 at 4:59
    
While this might accurately answer the question, I will note that I have never heard someone actually use this phrase in conversation and if someone did use this phrase in the context of buying a round of drinks I would be very confused. – mikeTheLiar Feb 29 at 20:32

You might just say "It's your money", thereby implying that it's his choice to make.

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Dealer's choice in poker refers to the ability of the person who distributes the cards to specify variations on the rules of the game. For instance, the dealer may say "Deuces wild" and for that hand, 2's, ordinarily the lowest cards in the deck, become extremely valuable, because the holder of a 2 can designate it to be any other card.

Thus your friend was the dealer (distributing beer, not cards), and you were allowing him to make the rules about which beer to buy. So what you said was appropriate, but someone who has never played or heard about a card game with dealer's choice would be completely mystified.

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...which is on the guy who, unfortunately, didn't get your wit. Personally, I like the fact that you re-purposed the phrase, – Egox Feb 28 at 13:05
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In fairness, as an American who is familiar with the phrase "Dealer's choice", I might be slightly confused by the phrase (and in a bar, might expect that "Dealer's Choice" is a name of a beer or mixed drink I've never heard of). I don't think it is not appropriate--it makes sense... but there's probably a better phrase. – nhgrif Feb 28 at 22:21

You could also say:

It's your round, you get to choose.

When one "gets to" + {verb} one has the opportunity or chance to {verb}

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"Whatever floats your boat "

(idiomatic) What makes you happy; what stimulates you.


"Do as you please"

However you wish, whatever you choose, as in We can have meat or fish tonight, as you please, or Go or don't go - do as you please.

This idiom was introduced about 1500 and inverted what was then the usual order, which was "as it pleases you."

It's better said with a smile, or else it might sound like "yeah, whatever!".

Or "you're the boss"

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This is often said in an exasperated tone of voice, I don't think the OP is or was frustrated or particularly annoyed. – Mari-Lou A Feb 28 at 12:13
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@Mari-LouA Of course not. Try saying this with a gentle smile, it'll work. :) – NVZ Feb 28 at 12:14
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@Mari-LouA I understand what you mean. If someone is stressed, anything they say will sound exasperated. "Fine!" (angrily) – NVZ Feb 28 at 12:17
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I usually use whatever you say / whatever you think (is) best which is used:

for telling someone that you are ready to accept their decision, especially when you do not really agree with them but you do not want to argue

[Macmillan Online Dictionary]

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"He who pays the piper calls the tune"

The opposite is:

"Beggars can't be choosers".

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This answer is less appropriate in a friendly (pub) situation, but there is a well-known joke/spoof definition of the "golden rule" which says that, Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

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protected by Matt E. Эллен Feb 28 at 12:28

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