You will need at least three players, although 5 – 7 is better, and a standard deck of 52 playing cards. As the name suggests, the game requires spoons. The number of spoons is equal to the number of players playing, less one. So for a seven player game, you need six spoons. Place the spoons in the middle of the table, so that each player can reach them easily.
Sort the deck into ranks, and choose four cards of the same rank for each player. Once done you can shuffle the deck and deal out four cards face down to each player.
Rules for Playing Spoons
Each player will choose one of the four cards and pass it to the player on their left. This also means they will receive a card from the player on their right. You will continue to do this until a player has received four of a kind. When a player has four of a kind, the player will grab one of the spoons from the center of the table.
You want to grab your spoon as discreetly as possible. When a player reaches for a spoon as a result of collecting four of a kind, all spoons are fair game. This means the other players will also reach for a spoon and could put you out.
The person who was unable to grab a spoon in time is out and a new round begins. The losing player’s four cards are mucked.
Once you get down to two players, the game ends and a new one can begin.
Variations of the Card Game Spoons
There are two other variations of this game – Pig and Tongue.
How to Play Pig – Instead of using spoons, players will touch their nose when they receive their four of a kind. Finger must remain on the nose.
How to Play Tongue – In this version, players will stick out their tongue when they receive four of a kind.
Increase the Level of Difficulty
You can play with a full deck of cards if you want to increase the level of difficulty. To do this, deal each player four cards face down.
The first player to the left of the dealer will pick up the top card from the deck and decide whether he will keep it or pass. If he chooses to keep it, he will select a different card from his hand and pass it to the player on his left.
When the card makes it way to the last person at the table, the player will keep or pass the card, at which point the extra card will be discarded. A new round will begin with the second player to the left of the dealer, and so on.
Each player will take a turn starting the next round, until someone has called four of a kind by either touching their nose, grabbing a spoon or sticking out their tongue.