cards are stacked against

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cards are stacked against (one)

[informal] luck is against one. I have the worst luck. The cards are stacked against me all the time. How can I accomplish anything when the cards are stacked against me?
See also: card, stacked

cards are stacked against

Many difficulties face someone or something, as in The cards are stacked against the new highway project. This term originated in gambling, where to stack the cards or stack the deck means to arrange cards secretly and dishonestly in one's own favor or against one's opponent. [Mid-1800s]
See also: card, stacked
References in classic literature ?
When their hearts is touched they're likely to stack the cards, look at the bottom of the deck, an' lie like the devil - beggin' your pardon, ma'am.
Essentially what we were trying to do is stack the cards against the machine, and even in that situation, it worked quite well," he said.
ONE: Stack the cards in ASTEROID, order and cut the cards as often as you like.
Directing his words towards Iran, Mubarak stated, "The recent crisis has exposed an attempt to exploit the Israeli aggression in order to impose a new reality on the Palestinian and Arab arena -- a new reality that will stack the cards in favor of a well-known regional force, Iran, for the benefit of its plans and agenda.
The fact he's blessed with perfect pitch and an amazing knack of writing delicious pop songs also helped stack the cards in his favour.
The beliefs of parents may then stack the cards in favor of the testing and measurement movement.