English version

shell game

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishshell gameˈshell game noun [countable] American English  a dishonest method of doing something, in which you pretend to be doing one thing when you are really doing another Critics called the proposal a shell game.
Examples from the Corpus
shell gameThe new program to help science students is just a shell game, as an older program that helps more students is being cut.It was a curious shell game in which each side thought it had the upper hand.Life in the Lubetkin family was a perpetual shell game.The middle class will soon enough tumble to the fact that it is the sucker in Forbes's shell game.The shell game which Dad had instigated so long ago had impoverished all three of us.
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