to stack the cards

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - stack the cards

"to stack the cards"

to arrange something such that it is unfair to someone, usually to your own advantage or for your own gain


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - stack the cards

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  This upcoming negotiation is really important for us.

Colleague 2:  Then we had better figure out how we can stack the cards.

Colleague 1:  I have already arranged the negotiation to take place in our office.

Colleague 2:  That is an advantage for us. What else?

Colleague 1:  I have arranged a quick one-day seminar on best negotiation practices for our team.

Colleague 2:  Excellent. That should give us a decided advantage.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - stack the cards

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I am going to ask her to marry me.

Friend 2:  And do you think she will accept.

Friend 1:  I have arranged a super romantic getaway weekend to Paris. I have bought an engagement ring worth three-month's salary and I will propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Friend 2:  Sounds like you have stacked the cards for a favorable outcome. How could she say no?

to stack the cards - Usage:


to stack the cards - Gerund Form:

Stacking the cards before a business negotiation can provide a favorable outcome for you.

to stack the cards - Examples:

1)  ... and create some wiggle room for negotiations. However you choose to stack the cards in your favour, just be sure you've taken the time to practise your ...

2)  ... redrawn every 10 years, essentially allowing the party in power to stack the cards against the opposition. How ridiculous is the process?

3)  If that proves to be the case, it would stack the cards in Pul's favour.

4)  ... the state legislature to pass laws against things like branch banking that would stack the cards against smaller banks trying to grow to challenge the big banks. 

5)  You can exclude the abnormal (human embryos) from the transfer, stack the cards in the patient's favor for optimizing a healthy outcome.

6)  As an athlete, you have to do everything in your power to stack the cards in your favour, to increase your chances of winning.

7)  How useless must you be to be the majority and still stack the cards in your favor?

8)  ... said the new groups' practices, such as online voting, can stack the cards and short-circuit the face-to-face interaction necessary for neighborhood consensus building.

9)  It takes a lot of nerve to stack the cards against some asylum-seekers and call them cheats when they lose.

10)  The company has worked hard to stack the cards in its favour on the cost side by holding fast to core principles.

11)  ... controls both houses of the state legislature -- in a state that has stacked the cards to ensure they stay there -- this may be just the beginning.

12)  He added that the group stacked the cards in favor of the resolution by calling the vote so close to the Jewish Sabbath.

13)  ... point toward how it had beaten expectations despite "the establishment" having stacked the cards against it.

14)  ... and the results were interpreted in a way that stacked the cards against poorer neighbourhoods.

15)  Filming begins in around a week. The producers have obviously stacked the cards for one woman, and that's downright cruel. The idea of being rejected ...

16)  In effect, a gene drive stacks the cards in favor of a trait being inherited, even if that trait doesn't help.

17)  China's objection certainly stacks the cards against India because the informal grouping of nations works on a consensus basis.

18)  ... criticisms of trials lawyers who complain that substituting arbitration for a full-blown trial stacks the cards in favor of corporate America and deprives citizens of basic rights of redress. 

19)  ... sole value is money, the sacrifices involved appear trivial; the movie stacks the cards in favor of Christian faith.

20)  So why would anyone want to keep a system that unfairly stacks the cards against people with poor credit?