Best played with a larger group of players, the aim of Cheat is to get rid of all your cards first.
Begin by dealing out the entire contents of the pack of cards between all the players. The players are allowed to look at their cards, but no-one else should be able to see them.
From there, group your cards into any pairs or sets you might have of the same cards.
Next players take it in turn to place their cards in the middle of the table, face down so that no one can see them, and then tell the group what cards they’ve placed down – for example, two fives.
The person next to them would be able to place down cards one above or one below the person before them – so either fours or sixes.
The twist is that you don’t have to actually be putting down the cards you say you are – you could put down a six and a Queen and lie and say you’re putting down two sevens.
If you suspect someone is lying – for example, someone says they’re putting down three eights, but you already have two eights, then you shout: “Cheat!”
If the person who has been accused of cheating is actually cheating, they have to take all the cards in the centre and add them to their hand.
If the person accused of cheating is actually telling the truth, then the person who accused them in the first place must take all the cards in the centre of the pile.
There are several types of cards that will be picked up in the ordinary course of play from an opponent’s discards. There are also occasions when thought is required as to whether or not to pick up an opponent’s discard. The picking of a stiff for either offensive or defensive purposes is a good example of this. There are also times when thought is required as to whether or not to pick a card that would be the fourth card on a run. There are times during a game when thought is required as to whether it would be advisable to pick a very small card and discard a larger valued one, either in preparation for a knock or merely to reduce a hand for a count. But if you are sitting with two Kings when your opponent discards a King and you hesitate and then pick it up to give your opponent the impression that you do not really need it for a meld but are picking a stiff to try to induce him to knock on the next card, figuring you are holding two Kings instead of a meld, it is “coffee-housing”.
When playing cards at a gambling casino or against professional gamblers it is considered perfectly proper to deceive an opponent or give him a false impression or even to take advantage of any opportunities offered short of out and out dishonestly. However, when playing gin rummy in a social manner, either at home, in clubs, or at resorts with people you know, you must play and expect them to play at all times in the same way you conduct yourself. It has been said that playing cards with somebody is the simplest and quickest way of determining character.