to stack the deck

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - stack the deck

"to stack the deck"

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 deck

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 deck.

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 deck

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 deck for a favorable outcome. How could she say no?

to stack the deck - Usage:


to stack the deck - Gerund Form:

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

to stack the deck - Examples:

1)  ... and create some wiggle room for negotiations. However you choose to stack the deck 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 deck against the opposition. How ridiculous is the process?

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

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

5)  You can exclude the abnormal (human embryos) from the transfer, stack the deck 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 deck in your favour, to increase your chances of winning.

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

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

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

10)  The company has worked hard to stack the deck 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 deck to ensure they stay there -- this may be just the beginning.

12)  He added that the group stacked the deck 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 deck against it.

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

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

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

17)  China's objection certainly stacks the deck 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 deck 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 deck in favor of Christian faith.

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