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Spoons Card Game Rules: How do you Play Spoons?

Charles Lamb was once quoted as saying that ‘cards are war in disguise of a sport’.   As lightly as we think we are taking the game and that we are having good old fashion enjoyment, it does become a true act of war, spite and revenge.  What fun!

This all boils down to one card game in particular.   Spoons. The Spoons card game rules are easy to understand and there are many variations. And surprisingly enough, a little trivia reveals that this hilarious game was published way back when.

The object of the game is to get rid of all the cards that you can, being careful because there are penalties if you don’t follow the rules, and that penalty is to draw a card.

Okay, let’s get set up with the Spoons card game rules: 

You are going to need two standard packs of cards so that you have 104 cards excluding jokers, with no less than three and no more than eight players participating.


A deck of playing cards


Okay, let’s get started:

If there are eight players, there should be seven spoons.  There is always one spoon less than the number of players.  Place the spoons in the middle of the table making sure that each player is easily able to reach out and grab one comfortably.  Make sure, just for the sake of safety, that you use spoons and no other kitchen utensil such as a fork or knife.

Dealing the cards

The first person to deal can be decided randomly.    Depending on how many players are sitting at the table determines how many cards are given out:

  • 3-4 players, deal 7 cards each
  • 7-8 players, deal five cards each
  • The remainder of the cards are placed in the middle of the table in a pile
  • The top card is turned over.  This will be the start of the discard pile

The dealer will remove the top card off the deck so that he has five cards in his hands and removes one and places it face down on the table.  He moves that card to the left and each player discards one of their cards to the player on his left.  Remember, the object is to make four of a kind.

If you are the last player with no one to pass to, you place your card in a trash pile.  Continue the motion at a fast pace.  So again, each player picks a card and passes one to the left quickly until someone gets four of a kind and grabs a spoon from the middle of the table.  Once that person grabs the first spoon, anyone can jump in and grab one.  The person, however, who is sitting without a spoon in his hand, ends up with a letter, which is the first letter of the word spoon. are five letters in the word SPOON…if you spell it, you’re out!   There are different ways the player who reaches four of a kind can get to that first spoon, which is calmly and sneakily or grabbing at that spoon in a very dramatic pull causing a wild free for all.

The Spoons card game rules vary among different groups of people. For example, college students play it in a more exciting way, full of speed, luck and spite.  The same set-up applies, which include cards, and spoons.  This is an exciting version for those students but must be played with responsibility. You still need 4 or more players with one exception, and that of course is a lot of beer!

There is an Alternative Version that drives players crazy:

Remove the Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks from the deck and just as before, place the spoons in the center of the table.  Once the cards are dealt, the dealer yells,  ‘PASS!’  Everyone passes one card to the left.   The dealer can also yell ‘PASS RIGHT!’ and change the direction unexpectedly, and he can do this every five seconds if he chooses.  No one should have a chance to relax in this version.

If you’re getting your group together, follow the Spoons card game rules initially, then make the rest up.  Be creative and expect a lot of excitement. Have fun!

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