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The Sweep

From World Shithead - The International Shithead Federation

The "Sweep" is a move sometimes seen by experienced players after laying one or more permitted cards if they know with absolute certainty that the next player is going to have to pick up the Pile.

It is performed with the player's free hand (i.e. the hand not holding their cards) and involves waving the hand dismissively in a way that mimes "sweeping" the Pile over to the next player. This mime is usually either performed with the fingers extended straight out and thumb pointing up, with the whole hand then moving sideways about 8cm-10cm above the playing surface, or alternatively with the palm facing down approximately 8cm-10cm above the playing surface (similar to if the player were performing The Hover over one of their face-down cards), but with the knuckles bent and the fingers pointing downwards and then extending towards The Pile and towards the player who is about to pick up.

The first style is more commonly seen if the player who is about to pick up is sitting to the left of the player performing The Sweep, whereas the second style is more commonly seen if the player who is about to pick up is seated opposite the player performing The Sweep.

Best used when avoiding all eye contact, this is a popular move with players that are especially good at card counting who wish to show that they know the exact value of the next player's highest permissible card.

The Sweep is an advanced move and can backfire spectacularly, perhaps most famously in the 1972 Shithead World Championships in Oslo. Players who perform The Sweep and then find out that the next player can in fact lay a permissible card often find that their misplaced confidence can affect their understanding of exactly where the remaining Special Cards and High/Low cards are at that specific point in the game.