The players sit around a table, and a number of pens (one less than the number of players) are laid with equal spacing in the center of the table, at an equal distance from each of the players. Cards are then removed from the pack such that only one group of four of a kind per player remains. For example, if there were four players, one possible pack would be all the threes (diamonds, clubs, spades, hearts), all the kings, all the jacks and all the eights.
The pack is shuffled, and four cards are dealt to each player. No player may look at another player's cards. The game starts when one player says "1, 2, 3, pass." On 'pass,' each player passes any one of their cards, face down, to the player to their left. This process repeats until somebody has a hand of four cards of the same value, at which point they grab one of the pens in the middle of the table. The other players then do the same. The person left without a pen drops out, and the whole game repeats without that player. This continues until there is only one player remaining. That player wins the game.
If a player grabs a pen despite not having four of a kind, they lose the round. However, feinting is allowed, and if by motioning as if to grab a pen (without actually touching one) a player causes others to grab for the pens, the first to touch one loses the round.