stack up against, to

stack up against, to

To compare the worth or power of something. This term comes from poker and alludes to how one player’s chips, representing money, compare to another’s. The higher the stack in front of a player, the more money he or she has. The very similar term to stack something against, however, means to reduce someone or something’s chance of success. Budd Schulberg used this in What Makes Sammy Run? (1941): “You read the papers, you know how the cards are stacked against this nut.”
See also: stack, up