How to Play Spoons (Card Game)

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Updated: January 13, 2020

Explore this Article Playing Spoons Printable Rule Sheet Article Summary Video Questions & Answers Related Articles References

Spoons is a classic card game that combines the simple fun of matching games with the frantic thrills of musical chairs. Though Spoons may seem confusing or complicated at first, it is incredibly easy to learn and an absolute blast to play.

Playing Spoons

  1. 1
    Count your players. In the middle of the table, place however many spoons is one less than the number of players you have. For example, if you're playing with 6 people, use 5 spoons.[1]
  2. 2
    Shuffle a standard 52-card deck and deal 4 cards to each person. Have the dealer keep the deck next to them.[2]
  3. 3
    Have everyone take one of their cards and discard it to their left simultaneously. The person to the right of the dealer, however, should put one of their cards down on the table to start the discard pile, while the dealer picks up a new card.[3]
    • You do not have to exchange cards with the card you are given, if you do not want to. Instead, just pass the card you received on to the player to your left.

    Tip: It is good strategy to exchange cards for a card that matches another card that you already have in your hand.

  4. 4
    Repeat this process of everyone passing to the left. Each round the dealer should pick up a new card and the person to their right should add to the discard pile, so as to have a continuous influx of new cards.[4]
    • All players continue to circulate cards. It usually goes pretty quickly, and can be tough to keep track of! This is intentional, and makes the game more fun.
  5. 5
    The first person to have 4 of a kind (e.g. all 4 aces or all 4 nines) has to pick up a spoon. Following this, all other players need to do the same, with the slowest person left without a spoon and out of the game.[5]

    Note: Often, players will try to be sneaky about grabbing a spoon, so that others will continue to play the game without realizing that a spoon has been drawn.

  6. 6
    Make sure to grab a spoon as soon as you notice one missing. It can be easy to get caught up in trying to get your own four of a kind — try to pay attention to other people's movements as well as your hand.
  7. 7
    Remove a spoon every time you remove a player from the game. So if the first round had 6 players and 5 spoons, the second round would consist of 5 players and 4 spoons. Continue playing until you're left with a single person, who is the winner.[6]

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question
    How many cards do you get in the game of spoons?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    To begin the game, you deal four cards to each person. The remaining deck of cards stays next to the dealer.
  • Question
    Can you play Spoons with 2 players?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    To play Spoons properly, you’ll need at least 3 players, and an ideal amount is somewhere between 5 to 7 players. You could try with 2 people but it won’t be as much fun as when you have more players. You would have to use one spoon and the winner of that round is the winner of the game.
  • Question
    How do you hold your spoon?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    In the game of Spoons, it's a case of just grabbing the spoon, either subtly or obviously, depending on what your strategy is. For help with holding or gripping your spoon properly for eating, check out the wikiHow How to Hold a Spoon.
  • Question
    How do you play the drinking game Spoons?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    You can play the game the same way, you just add in "drinking rules" to the game. For example, the loser might have to finish their whole drink or drink for 4 seconds when the 4-of-a-kind is won. You can also have "penalty drinks," which players have to drink when they have more than 4 cards in hand during the game or if they’re too intent on watching the spoons. Be creative and make up your own drinking rules for the game too!
  • Question
    Is it supposed to go very quickly?
    Community Answer
    Yes, that's what makes it so fun! Not only do you have to watch your cards, but other people's cards too, so that if someone else grabs a spoon, you will be the first to know. One a spoon, is grabbed, it is a frenzy of activity, and is very fast.
  • Question
    Do I want to be sneaky when I grab a spoon?
    Community Answer
    You definitely want to try and stay sneaky.
  • Question
    Can I pick up a discarded card?
    Community Answer
    No, because it has already passed you. The discarded cards are reused after the deck runs out.
  • Question
    If I have a lot of players (10 players), should I get more decks?
    Community Answer
    No. Try to keep only one deck, because the cards will get all mixed in, and it'll be harder to organize the decks later one.You can easily play Spoons with 3 to 13 people using just one deck.
  • Question
    Can three people play?
    Community Answer
    Yes. Just use two spoons and the game will last two rounds before the game is over. Three people is better than two but not as good as five or six.
  • Question
    Can I pass the spoons to other people in the game to make that person lose?
    Community Answer
    No, you cannot.
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    wikiHow Video: How to Play Spoons (Card Game)

    Article SummaryX

    To play the card game Spoons, you'll need a deck of cards, 3 to 13 players, and enough spoons so you have one less than the number of people playing. The goal of the game is to be the last player left. If you end up without a spoon, you’re out! To set up the game, sit in a circle and place the spoons in the middle of the playing area. Then, deal 4 cards to each player, and place the rest of the cards face-down in a pile. Start the game by having the dealer take one card off the top of the deck. The dealer places that card in their hand, then passes one of the other cards in their hand to the player on their left. That player then passes one of their cards to the player on their left. This continues around the circle, with the dealer continuing to draw cards from the pile and the last player in the circle placing their cards in a discard pile. As you’re passing cards along, try to get 4 of a kind. Once you get 4 of a kind, take one of the spoons. At that point, everyone else can grab a spoon too. Whoever is left without a spoon is out. Then, the next round begins. Keep playing rounds until only one player is left standing! To download a printable rule sheet, read on!

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    • Similar to the basketball game Horse, you can have several rounds of Spoons where the person that doesn't get a spoon at the end of the round will get a "letter". For instance, if they spell out the word, "S-P-O-O-N-S", they're out of the game.
    • Spoon-grabbing can be done quietly, in a subtle manner, or with an obvious grab that will lead to chaos amongst everyone else; it all depends on your strategy.
    • You can substitute other items if you don't have enough spoons.
    • It is best for beginners to use plastic spoons.
    • It is easiest to use a round table if you have more than 4 players.
    • Alternately, you can play so that when the first person gets their spoon, everyone else just keeps playing. In this method the loser of the round will be the last person to get 4 cards of a kind.
    • Create variations on the game for an interesting twist. For example, you can mix it with the card game BS and allow people to bluff and bet.

    Things You'll Need

    • Standard 52-card deck
    • Plastic or regular spoons (one fewer than the number of players; for example, 3 spoons and 4 people)

    Article Info

    wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 25 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 6 references.

    Categories: Matching Card Games

    In other languages:

    Espa?ol: jugar a las cucharas (juego de cartas), Fran?ais: jouer aux cuillères (jeu de cartes), Deutsch: L?ffelkarten spielen, Русский: играть в карточную игру Спунс, Nederlands: Spoons spelen

    Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,183,046 times.
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