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For other uses, see Spoons (disambiguation).
Spoons Card Game Start.jpg
Starting a round of Spoons
Type Matching
Players 3-6 (6-13 best, can have 13+ if varied)
Skill(s) required Speed, Memorization
Age range any
Deck Anglo-American
Playing time varied ( but not more than 15 min.)
Random chance Easy
Related games
Spit, Speed

Spoons, also known as Pig or Tongue,[1] is a fast-paced game of matching and bluffing, in the Crazy Eights group of card games, closely related to Craits.[2] It is played with an ordinary pack of playing cards and several ordinary kitchen spoons or other objects. It is played in multiple rounds and each player's objective is to be the first in the round to have four of a kind, or not to be the last to grab a spoon. So players can either focus on collecting cards or wait for someone to grab a spoon. Once one spoon is taken, everybody attempts to get the remaining spoons. A popular variant of the game is to replace the spoons with the players' shoes,[citation needed] in situations where cutlery is not available.

Playing the game[edit]


The game Spoons can be played with 3 or more players, using two decks of 52 ordinary playing cards and a number of spoons totalling one fewer than the number of players. Even though spoons are recommended, virtually anything can be used. The spoons are placed in the center of the table in a circle with handles pointing outward so that they may be easily grabbed by any of the players. One person is designated first dealer and deals four cards to each player. The dealer will use the remaining cards to draw from.


Players are not allowed to pick up their cards until the dealer has. If they do, they get a letter which will begin to spell out the word "SPOON". Often the dealer may trick everyone into picking up their cards by hovering their hands over them or even touching them. Once everyone has picked up their cards, the game can begin. The dealer selects the top card from the pile and then discards one card to the right, face down on the table. The next player picks up the dealer's discarded card, discards a card to the right, and play continues with the next player. The last player discards his card into a "discard pile", while the dealer continues to select cards from the original pile. A player is not allowed to place a discarded card in their hand until they have discarded one, so if they are slow, their piles could build up. Each player is trying to make their four cards into a set of four of a kind (four queens, four twos, etc.) by drawing new cards and discarding unused ones. A player should keep the four cards that are most likely to produce a matching set. No player may have more than 5 cards or fewer than 4 cards at any given moment. Players must hold their cards in their hand.

Grabbing spoons[edit]

As soon as any player has a set of four of the same card, anyone is allowed to take a spoon from the pile in the middle of the table. As soon as any player grabs a spoon from the pile of spoons, any other player is allowed to take a spoon as well. This usually causes a mad grab for spoons leaving one player empty handed. The player who ends the round without a spoon gets a letter to spell out SPOON.


A player losing a round for the first time earns the letter "S", then at the next loss the letter "P", and so on gradually spelling out "S-P-O-O-N". When a player has accumulated all five letters in "spoon", they drop out of the game. At that time, the number of spoons used in game play is reduced by one. The game continues until only one person remains. That person is the winner. Once a person receives all the letters for SPOON, they are now out of the game. The people still in the game are not allowed to talk to, speak of, or acknowledge those with SPOON. If so, they get a letter for SPOON. People with SPOON can try and get people out by distracting them but are not allowed to touch the people in the game. Alternatively, players may be eliminated after one loss and the last remaining person declared the winner for quick games.


  • Bluffing: Bluffing is allowed and sometimes encouraged. Spoons can be reached for at any time so long as the spoon is not actually touched. This can have a distracting effect on one's opponents, or even cause someone to improperly grab a spoon prematurely.
  • Eyes on the spoons: Players should be vigilant while playing their cards that all the spoons are accounted for. Sometimes a player can quietly get four of a kind in their hand and slip a spoon away from the pile without anyone noticing. Because players are focused on their own hands, a player getting four of a kind can surreptitiously nab a spoon and card-passing may continue for several seconds while they watch the fun.
  • Eyes off the cards: One can conceivably play without ever looking at the cards at all and just pass the discards from left to right, keeping both eyes on the spoons. Often players employing this strategy will look at their cards at the beginning to try to close out as many matching sets as possible by keeping four cards of different ranks in their hands.
  • Playing with an alliance: Depending on how serious a player is, some players may employ and organise an alliance in secret. An alliance allows the aligned players with a better their chances of winning and/or eliminate a stronger player. Usually the members of the alliance will signal each other if they have a 4 of a kind, allowing the others to prepare to grab a spoon. A downside of having an alliance is that if it is discovered it may be frowned upon by other players and the others may form a counter-alliance.


  • Extreme Spoons: Instead of placing the spoons in the center of the table, the spoons are placed in some nearby but inconvenient location.
  • Joker Spoons: The rules remain the same but jokers are also in the deck and are wild.
  • Final Round Tug: When the game reaches 2 players, those players play 2 games against each other. If the same person wins both games, that person wins the game. If each person wins once, the 2 finalists have a tug-of-war match for the spoon to see who wins the game. Each person holds one half of the spoon, which is decided randomly. 1 and only 1 Joker is put into the deck in a random location. A player who was eliminated flips over 1 card at a time until the Joker appears. Once the Joker is face up, the fight for the spoon begins. Whoever pulls the spoon out of the other player's hand wins the game. If the spoon breaks during the fight, whoever has the bigger piece wins the game. If both pieces are exactly the same size, the players must use a different spoon and fight again until the game is won by a player. (This only works in single elimination spoons and not in the S-P-O-O-N spelling version.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Board Games About Board Games About
  2. ^ John McLeod Rules of Card Games

External links[edit]