A

card game of

epic proportions.

The basic rules:

You need an even number of players, greater than 4. The ideal amount is 8, but 6 or 10 will do. The players are randomly paired up and seated across from each other. Each player is dealt 4 cards, then 4 cards are dealt face up in the center of the players. On a signal from the dealer, the game starts, and the players take a card from the center and swap it for a card from their hand. There are no turns, this is done in a free-for-all format. The object is to have 4 of a kind in your hand. When this is achieved, the player must let their partner know, through a predetermined secret signal, that they have a winning hand. The partner, picking up on this signal yells "Grift," ending the hand and giving that team a point. If a Grift is incorrectly called, the hand ends and the offending team is docked a point. If at any time a player thinks that another player has four of a kind, either by watching their hand, picking up a signal, or just vibes, he yells "Swede." If he is correct, his team gets a point, if incorrect, his team loses a point.

That is Grift-Swede at it's most primitive.

Then you add the cheating.

Foul-play is both encouraged and necessary. There are few limits to the depths of connivery that one may sink to. Dealing from the bottom, sneaking looks at other players' cards, hiding cards, and starting the game before the other players are at all ready. All of these are viable tactics.

A look at a sample hand:

Ben knows that Aaron has a 2 because he looked at his hand while Aaron went to get more coffee. A 2 comes up in the center and Aaron picks it up. Ben has two 2's in his hand. Ben casually swaps one of them for a completely unimportant Queen. Ben waits a little longer so as not to let Aaron know what's up. He sees another Queen come up and makes a big show of pouncing on it, laying down his other 2 carelessly. Aaron, thinking he is as clever as he is lucky, slyly reaches for the 2. As soon as his hand touches it, Ben triumphantly yells "Swede," does a victory dance, and gains a point.
And that is how it's played.