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The Game of Spoons

Imagine everyone fighting for survival in the next round, like two people stranded on a desert island fighting for the last coconut. Now you have the picture of what it’s like playing the game of spoons.

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While this is technically a matching game it requires speed and memorization. It’s a pretty easy game to play, but you must be quick to make it to the final round.

Ages: 5 and up

Number of players: 3-12

What you need:

  • one or more depending on the number of players) standard decks of playing cards with the jokers removed
  • spoons (one for each player)

Playing time: varies, but typically less than 15 minutes per game

Set up:

Spoons are placed in the center of the playing area with the handles facing out. Place one fewer spoons than the number of players in the circle. A dealer is chosen to deal 4 cards to each player. Each person looks at their hand to determine how they can get 4 of a kind.


Everyone picks up the 4 cards they’ve been dealt. The dealer starts by picking up the top card from the deck. The dealer will add the card to his hand if desired or just pass it to the left. The next player will pick up the card and choose if he/she wants it. If the player does not want it they continue passing it to the left. Only 4 cards can be in a player’s hand at a time. If you choose to keep a card you must discard a different one from your hand.

Gameplay is quick so if someone is slow there could be a buildup of cards by that player. The player at the end of the circle will put unwanted cards into a discard pile by the dealer.

Grabbing Spoons:

When a player gets 4 of a kind in their hand they can grab a spoon. Once a spoon is taken it’s a mad dash for everyone else to take a spoon. The one player who comes away empty handed is out of the game. One spoon is removed so that there is, again, one fewer spoons than players. Play continues until there is a winner who grabs the final spoon in the last round.

Long Play:

If you want the game to last a little longer give the looser of each round a letter for each loss to spell out S-P-O-O-N. When a player looses 5 times to spell the word “Spoon” then they are eliminated. Gameplay continues until there is one winner just as in the gameplay above.

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