Spoons is a game of speed, silliness, and having a sharp eye. It’s engaging, fast paced, and intense!

The first thing you need to play Spoons is a pack of playing cards. The second thing you need is… spoons. To be precise, you will need one less spoon than the number of players who will play.  In other words, for seven players, you will need six spoons. Plastic spoons are totally fine.

In the absence of spoons, please don’t attempt this game with knives or forks. Other than being inconsistent with the title of the game, it could actually cause injury. Still, if the scoopers cannot be acquired, play Spoons with sticks, beer mats, pens, or coins.

The ideal number of players is the number that will fit comfortably in a circle around a pile of spoons — five to eight is ideal. The energetic nature of Spoons means it can be a favorite for any member of the family, except those with brittle knuckles.


  • All players sit in a circle.
  • Place one less spoon than the number of players (eg. for five players, place four spoons) in the centre of the circle, so that the pile is an equal distance away from all players.
  • Deal four cards to each player.
  • The dealer should keep the remainder of the deck near them to their left. The dealer will be the only player drawing from the deck.


  1. The dealer draws a card, then passes a card from their hand to the player on their left. When that player receives their new card, they must too choose a card from their hand to pass along to the left. Meanwhile, the dealer is simultaneously picking up a new card from the deck, and will then pass a card along. In this way cards a continuous flow of cards is created: as soon as a player has five cards, they must choose a card to pass to the left. The trick is to choose and pass quickly, so that there is a frantic pace of play.
  2. The player to the left of the dealer does not pass their chosen card to another player, but instead places it in a discard pile.
  3. When a player has a set of four matching cards, they may take a spoon.
  4. After one spoon has been taken, the race is on: all other players are allowed to grab for a spoon, and the player left without a spoon is the loser of this round.

A player with four of a kind will usually make an immediate grab for a spoon, sparking an outburst of furious grabs and knuckles getting bruised.

They could also make a more discreet acquisition while other players are paying attention to their cards. The spoon holder can then enjoy the ignorance of the rest of the circle (keeping their matching hand by always passing on all new cards given to him) until another player notices that a spoon is missing. In this way Spoons resembles the popular drinking game of observation and sneakiness, Thumb Master.


If you have a little space (free of tripping hazards or antique vases — outside would be ideal), take the spoons some distance away from the players. No, instead of a grab, it’s a run and a dive!

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