Reply to "play them off against one another"

navi posted:

Is there a difference between:
1) Play them off against one another
and
2) Play them against one another

If yes, what is the difference?

Hello, Navi,

In perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of a thousand, (1) and (2) will have the same meaning.

But have you ever heard of people who play (the) spoons? They play them against one another.

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