IDIOM ►

get (have) the short end of the stick

Meaning 1
to be at a disadvantage in playing the game as above
Sentence 1
I got the short end of the stick.
Meaning 2
to get (have) less than one thinks one should have; to feel cheated
Sentence 2
I always get the short end of the stick.

Derivation

This dates back to the medieval gambling practice of throwing a stick to your opponent who would catch and hold it. Players would alternate hands around the stick until one won by having "the upper hand" on the stick, no room being left for another hand.