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How to Play Spoons

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The card game known as Spoons also goes by a variety of other names as well, but the fundamental rules are the same – be fast and be sneaky!

  • Materials Required: A standard deck of 52 playing cards, several spoons (one less than the total number of players).
  • Number of Players: 4-8 is recommended.
  • Length of Game: Games are fairly quick – about 5-10 minutes per game.

How Do You Play Spoons?

Setup

Have everyone sit in a circle, facing each other.  Shuffle the deck of cards.  Place spoons in the middle.  There should be one less than the number of players; in other words, if there are seven players, then six spoons should be in the middle of the circle.

How to Play Spoons

Deal each player four cards.  With the remaining cards, form a stack.  To begin a game, the first player takes a card from the deck and places it into his hand.  He or she decides whether to keep this card or not.  He or she quickly discards one card from his hand and passes it, face down, to the next person in the circle (in clockwise order).

The goal to try to get 4 of a kind.  Once a person gets 4 of the same rank of card, he or she is now eligible to grab a spoon from the middle.  Once anyone takes a spoon from the middle, the rest of the players can now grab a spoon, even if they don’t yet have four of a kind.  In order not to lose, you must grab a spoon in time.  The last player (the one who was not successful in getting a spoon) loses and must leave the circle.  Decrease the number of spoons by one and repeat this process until there is only one winner left.

Strategies for Playing Spoons

A good strategy is to pause for a moment when all other players are distracted before quietly taking a spoon.  Because there is one less spoon than the number of players, the person who ends up without a spoon loses.

You can also fake out other players by pretending to reach for a spoon (without actually touching any).  If a person erroneously grabs a spoon when no one has 4 of a kind, they also lose.

If you wish the game to last longer, you may decide that a player must lose a few times before being removed permanently.

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