How to Play Spoons Card Game – A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to play spoons card game with our step-by-step guide. No experience is required! Get ready for a fun night of entertainment and laughter.

How to Play Spoons Card Game

Are you ready for some serious fun? Spoons, a classic card game beloved by kids and adults alike, provides hours of competitive entertainment. 

The simple concept is surprisingly strategy-filled and engaging: do whatever it takes to get four of the same cards to grab one of the spoons before another player does. 

This fast-paced card game requires sharp reflexes and thinking on your feet! Keep reading to learn how to play spoons card games, master tips from experienced players, and hear engaging anecdotes collected from people who have made this classic their go-to pastime.

Introduce Spoons Game

Introduce Spoons Game

Spoons is a fast-paced, family-friendly card game that requires quick reflexes and a bit of cunning to come out on top. The goal of the game is to be the first player to collect four cards of the same rank and grab one of the spoons in the center of the table before anyone else does. 

Spoons can be played with 3-13 players but are ideally played with 6-8 players for the most enjoyment. Players sit in a circle around a table and each player is dealt four cards from a standard deck of playing cards. The remaining cards are placed facedown in the center of the table to create the “spoon pile”.


Spoons aim to outlast all other players in the game by collecting a spoon in each round. This can be achieved by either forming a set of four matching cards and being the first to grab a spoon, or by quickly grabbing a spoon after the first player has done so.

Number of Players

Number of Players

The spoons card game is enjoyable with 3 or more players, with the optimal range being 3 to 4 players. To accommodate larger groups, it is advisable to include extra decks of cards to ensure sufficient supply for each player’s hand and draw piles. For 6-10 players, we suggest using 2 decks, while 10-15 players would benefit from 3 decks.

Duration of Play

A standard game of Spoons involving 4 players typically lasts between 5 to 10 minutes. Each round takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to complete.

*In the alternate version of the game, where players are not eliminated but instead receive penalties in the form of letters from the word SPOONS for each lost round, the playtime extends to around 40 to 60 minutes for a group of 4 participants. More information on this variation can be found in the section below.


This game is not only enjoyable, but it also helps build crucial abilities:

  • Math: Sharpen your number identification skills as you form matching number sets.
  • Fine motor skills: Constantly draw from the deck, hold cards, place them in the discard pile, and quickly grab spoons.
  • Focus & multitasking: Test your ability to draw cards, analyze your hand, and discard while keeping an eye on other players who might be reaching for spoons.

Play Spoons and develop valuable skills!


The Spoons card game is perfect for kids in Kindergarten and above. It is also suitable for younger children who have basic number identification skills, as they will need to create sets of matching numbers using four cards.

Essential Information Before Playing Spoons

To begin, arrange the spoons in the center of the table and distribute 4 cards to every participant.

The dealer selects a card from the deck and gives a card to the player on their left while discarding another.

This procedure of passing a card to the left is repeated by all players.

The first individual to acquire 4 cards of the same kind has the opportunity to grab a spoon. Subsequently, all players strive to seize a spoon until only one person remains. Let the game continue!

Spoons Game Supplies

All you need to enjoy this thrilling game is a deck of playing cards and some spoons. Simply gather your friends and family and let the fun begin!

To ensure everyone can join in the excitement, make sure to have one fewer spoon than the number of people playing. For example, if 8 people are playing, you’ll need 7 spoons.

If you have a larger group, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. For groups with more than 7 or 8 players, we recommend using two decks of cards.

Get ready to create unforgettable memories with our Spoons Game Supplies. It’s time to gather around, shuffle the cards, and race to grab a spoon. Let the competition begin!

How to Play Spoons Card Game?

Gather around a table or on the ground in a circle. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals four to each player, keeping the rest in a draw pile. Place one less spoon than there are players in the center.

Everyone looks at their cards. The dealer takes a card from the pile to their right, adds it to their hand, and discards one to the left. The next person picks up the discarded card.

The goal is to collect four of a kind. The dealer decides whether to keep each new card or discard it based on their hand. If they keep a card, they discard another to the left so they always have four cards.

The person next to the dealer takes the discarded card and discards one of their own.

Play continues clockwise, with each person picking up a card from the right and discarding one to the left.

This process is repeated, with the dealer picking up a new card and the person to their right adding to the discard pile.

Players continue to circulate their cards rapidly, making the game more fast-paced. It can be challenging to keep up, but that adds to the excitement!

The first person to collect four of a kind grabs a spoon. Once someone takes a spoon, others can grab one too, even if they don’t have four of a kind. The player left without a spoon loses at the end of the round.

Note: Players are usually sneaky about grabbing a spoon to keep the game going without others realizing one is missing.

As soon as you notice a missing spoon, grab one. Pay attention to other players’ actions and check the number of spoons on the table during the game, even if you’re focused on getting your four-of-a-kind.

Remove a spoon each time you eliminate a player from the game. For example, if there are six players and five spoons in the first round, there will be five players and four spoons in the second round. Play until there is only one person left, who is declared the winner.

Rules of the Spoons Game

  • When drawing a card, only one new card can be evaluated at a time.
  • Players must discard a card to have a maximum of 4 cards in their hand.
  • They can draw another card only after discarding it and will then have 5 cards in their hand.
  • Players can draw and discard cards promptly until the draw pile is empty.
  • There is no need to wait for other players to take their turns.
  • If the deck of cards runs out, continue playing until all cards are in the discard pile on the right of the dealer. Then shuffle the cards and start again with the dealer.
  • If a player grabs a spoon without having a set of four cards of the same kind, they lose the round and earn a letter. This is a cool loophole if they manage to draw to a set before anyone notices.

Mastering Spoons: Effective Strategies for a Thrilling Game

  • As the dealer, keep the momentum high by swiftly picking up and discarding cards. No need to wait for the first card to come full circle. This keeps the game fast-paced and incredibly enjoyable.
  • Rotate dealers with each new round.
  • If you run out of cards from the original pile on your right as the dealer, simply start picking up from the discards of the person on your right.
  • Once you collect four of a kind, make a bold move and snatch a spoon, sparking a frenzy among everyone else. Alternatively, maintain your composure while discreetly grabbing a spoon and observe how long it takes others to catch on.
  • If someone touches a spoon without having four of a kind, the round comes to an end and that individual earns a letter. Use cunning tactics to deceive fellow players by feigning a spoon grab, even without four of a kind. Others may be fooled and snatch a spoon, resulting in the round concluding and them earning a letter.

Adding Variation to the Game of Spoons

Adding Variation to the Game of Spoons

Score-based Variation

Enhance your Spoons game with an exciting twist – the spelling method! Similar to the popular basketball game Horse, this variation adds an element of competition and strategy.

Here’s how it works: after each round, the loser is assigned a letter from the word “Spoon”. For example, they may receive the letter “S” in one round, followed by the “P” in the next. The first player to collect all the letters to spell out the word “Spoon” is declared the loser.

By implementing this variation, the gameplay becomes more challenging and engaging, keeping players on their toes. Although the game may take a bit longer, the added thrill is well worth it.

Prepare for an epic battle of wits and strategy. Be warned, though – this version of the game may take longer, ranging from 40 to 60 minutes. For instance, a typical game with four players could have anywhere from 18 rounds (6 letters of SPOONS multiplied by 3 players) to 23 rounds ((6 letters of SPOONS multiplied by 3 players) plus (1 player multiplied by 5 letters of SPOON)). Each round lasts approximately 2 to 3 minutes, making the total game time range from 36 to 69 minutes.

Adjust the game duration by choosing shorter or longer words instead of utilizing the example mentioned above with the word “SPOONS”. Opting for words such as “SPOON” or “KID” will result in a shorter game, whereas a word like “PLAYINGTIME” will extend its duration.

Try out this score-based variation to Spoons and discover a whole new level of excitement in your gameplay!

Exciting Variations

Take your spoon game to the next level by incorporating thrilling variations. Instead of placing spoons in the middle of the room, scatter them across a large area to create a wild and energetic experience. 

Participants will need to sprint and snatch up a spoon from various locations, increasing the excitement factor. Consider positioning spoons along walls or underneath furniture for even more action-packed gameplay. Get ready for a crazier and more exhilarating game of spoons!

Wildcard Jokers

Make your game more exciting by incorporating jokers as wildcards. By including two jokers in your deck, you can speed up the process of creating a four-of-a-kind. 

With the ability to use jokers as a wildcard, you have the flexibility to combine them with any combination of cards. Add a new level of strategy to your game with wildcard jokers!

Spoon Safety for Young Players 

Ensure the safety of young players by using plastic spoons instead of metal ones, reducing the risk of accidents when multiple children reach for the same spoon.

Make Spoons Available Outdoors

No spoons? No problem! Get creative by using sticks, leaves, or even coins as a suitable alternative for an enjoyable outdoor game.

Expand Your Spoons Game with Unique Patterns

Discover a new level of excitement with Spoons by incorporating diverse matching sets. Elevate your gameplay by integrating phonics patterns or advanced math concepts like ten frames and addition. However, keep in mind that lengthier card evaluations may impact the pace of the game. Take your Spoons experience to the next level and embrace the countless possibilities!

Tongues Out

Instead of simply grabbing spoons, players have the thrilling opportunity to stick out their tongues when they collect a set of four cards. This adds an element of stealthiness as players must now pay attention to their opponents’ faces, not just the spoons themselves.

But it doesn’t end there – imagine being the last player, with everyone sticking their tongues out at you! This hilarious twist adds a fun dynamic to the game. However, keep in mind that when the action speeds up, it may be harder to track the order in which tongues are stuck out.

While grabbing spoons offers a clear indication of who has them, “Tongues Out” takes the excitement to a whole new level. Get ready for a sneaky and laugh-out-loud experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Remove face cards and play A-10

Simplify the game for young players by eliminating face cards and focusing on A-10 (with Ace as 1). This approach not only makes the game easier but also enhances number sense skills by reinforcing the numbers 1-10.

The Benefits of the Spoons Game for Kids: Enhancing Skills while Having Fun

The Spoons game is a fantastic way for kids to develop a range of essential skills, including math, social skills, fine motor abilities, and focus. This fast-paced and easy-to-understand game guarantees an enjoyable experience for young players.

Why do kids love the Spoons game? Here are three compelling reasons:

  1. Fast-paced action: From the moment the game begins, the excitement never stops. Kids are constantly on the move, keeping their adrenaline pumping.
  2. The thrill of sneakiness: Kids relish the opportunity to be sneaky by stealthily grabbing a spoon and outsmarting the other players. It adds an element of mischievousness to the game that they find irresistible.
  3. The urgency of grabbing a spoon: The realization that it’s time to snatch a spoon creates a surge of exhilaration among players. The race to secure a spoon and avoid being left out intensifies the energy and engagement levels.

With the Spoons game, children not only have a blast but also develop essential skills in a fun and engaging manner.


Does the dealer play with the other players? 

Yes, the dealer participates in the gameplay along with the other players. They also have to try and grab a spoon when they have four of a kind.

How many players can participate in a game of Spoons?

There is no set limit on the number of players who can participate in a game of Spoons. However, it is recommended to have at least three players for a more enjoyable experience. Additionally, the number of spoons used should be one less than the number of players to ensure that there is always an open spot to grab a spoon.

Can younger children play Spoons?

Absolutely! The game can be adjusted based on the age and skill level of the players. For younger children, simpler words or numbers can be used, and the game can be played with a smaller number of cards. Additionally, using plastic spoons instead of metal ones can also make the game safer for young players.

Is it necessary to have a deck of cards to play Spoons?

While using a deck of cards is the traditional way to play Spoons, many alternatives can be used, such as using a deck of playing cards or even creating your own set with paper or cardboard. The most important aspect is having matching sets for players to collect and spoons (or suitable alternatives) to grab.

Can Spoons be played outdoors?

Absolutely! Playing Spoons outdoors can add an extra element of excitement and physical activity to the game. As mentioned earlier, you can get creative with the items used as spoons and enjoy a fun game of Spoons in nature. Just make sure to keep an eye on any potential hazards and adjust the gameplay accordingly.

What happens if no one gets 4 a kind? 

If the game reaches a point where all cards are taken and no player has four of a kind, the dealer can choose to reshuffle and continue playing.

Alternatively, if you want to add an extra layer of strategy, you can implement a rule that after a certain number of rounds with no one getting four of a kind, players must discard and draw new cards from the remaining deck. This keeps the game moving and adds an extra challenge for players.

However, it is important to make sure that all players are aware of this rule before starting the game. Overall, there are many variations and adaptations of Spoons that can make the game even more exciting and enjoyable for players of all ages. 

Is it necessary for all players to pass discarded cards simultaneously?

Indeed. If a single player fails to pass their cards at the same pace, it has the potential to disrupt the overall game progress.

Is it possible for two people to play spoons?

Although spoons are typically played with three or more players, it is still feasible for two individuals to play. However, it is important to note that the game dynamics may not be as enjoyable with only two players.

In this scenario, the objective is simply to be the first player to collect a set of four cards, and there is no urgency to grab the spoons after observing the first player acquire their spoon.

Is it possible to play spoons with a single deck and up to 13 players?

Interestingly, some tutorials suggest that you can play spoons with up to 13 people by simply giving each player 4 cards from a standard 52-card deck.

However, this approach leaves no cards for drawing or discarding. Even with fewer players, such as 10, using just one deck leads to a subpar gaming experience because there isn’t enough room for discard piles to form, resulting in more waiting time for players.

Our recommendation is to use a second deck for 6-10 players, and a third deck for 11-15 players. This ensures a better gameplay experience with sufficient cards for drawing, discarding, and forming discard piles.


To sum it up, playing spoons is a great way to have fun with your friends and family. It’s an easy group game that anyone can enjoy regardless of skill level. 

With this introduction of how to play the classic card game, you’ll soon be ready to get your spoilin’ on! 

So, grab some spoons, round up a few competitive friends or family members, and start handing out cards. Who knows – by the end of the night you may even find yourself the grand champion of spoons!

Thanks for reading our article How to Play Spoons Card Game. If you want to know more information, visit our website here.

Read more:

How to Play Speed?

How to Play Spoons: Instructions, Rules, & More

How To Frame Kids’ Art?

Leave a Comment