have the cards stacked against (someone or something)

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have the cards stacked against (someone or something)

To be unlikely to be succeed due to some existing circumstances, conditions, or obstacles that are likely to present difficulties. Tiffany wants to pursue a career in modeling, but she's only five feet tall, so she has the cards stacked against her. Their campaign has the cards stacked against it, thanks to a lack of funding.
See also: card, have, stacked
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have the cards stacked against (one)

 and have the deck stacked against one
Fig. to have one's chance at future success limited by factors over which one has no control; to have luck against one. You can't get very far in life if you have the deck stacked against you. I can't seem to get ahead. I always have the cards stacked against me.
See also: card, have, stacked
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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