pl. n. gambits
1. in chess, an opening tactic by the White player in which a minor piece, usu. a pawn, is sacrificed to gain some kind of advantage; if the Black player does the same thing, this is a countergambit; from Italian dare il gambetto (“to trip someone”), from gamba “leg”, Latin gamba “calf”; 1561.
2. in games, any tactic involving the loss of something in exchange for a benefit.
3. in general usage, and in games, any tactic or stratagem.