Swap! is a card game released by Patch Products Inc., for two to seven players. It is designed to use a special deck of cards created by the manufacturer; however, two ordinary decks can be substituted. The game is described as following, on the box: "Just try to get rid of all your cards---but not so fast! Play cards on matching colors...you might have to Swap hands or race to Swap the pile! Watch out 'cause Super Swap makes everybody swap hands! Quick play and ever changing circumstances make Swap a scream!"
Swap! uses a deck of 104 cards. The deck contains 16 Swap cards and 22 other cards in each of the four card colors: green, red, purple and blue. Each color suite is made up of 12 blank cards, four Slap cards, four Switch Color cards, and two Super Swap cards.
The cards are shuffled and dealt. Each player begins with ten cards, and the remaining cards are stacked face down to form the draw pile. The top card is removed from the pile and turned face up, starting the discard pile. If this card is a Swap card, the dealer chooses a starting color; otherwise the color of the discarded card is used to begin play.
The player to the left of the dealer begins, with play continuing clockwise. On your turn, you lay either a Swap wildcard or a card of the current color on the discard pile. If the card is not blank, do what the card says.
If the card says Swap, exchange hands with another player of your choice, and choose any one of the four colors for continuing play.
If the card says Super Swap, all players pass their hands to the person seated either to the left or the right of them (you choose).
A Switch Color directs the player to choose a new color. The newly designated color may not be the same as was active previously.
For a Slap card, all other players slap the discard pile. The last person to do so must draw one card from the hand of the player whose turn it is.
If you do not have a playable card in your hand (a Swap card or a card of the current color), you take a card from the top of the draw pile. If possible, you play the card immediately. If you can't play the card, you keep it and conclude your turn.
The first player to play all of his cards, wins. As soon as the last card is laid, the game is over, no matter what kind of card it is.
If a player slaps a card that is not a Slap card, many groups enforce a penalty of some sort: draw an extra card, stand and apologize, for example.
Rather than switching hands after playing a Swap or Super Swap card, you can have players switch seats.
If you do not own a copy of the official game, you can substitute two ordinary decks of cards, using the Kings and Queens as Swap cards, Jacks as Super Swap cards, 10s and 9s as Slap cards, and 8s and 7s as Switch Color cards.
Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on LibertyMaven.com, Penguinsightings.org, Pepidemic.com and various other websites. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan.