The Game Of Spoons!

I thought I knew every card game ever taught to children, but hubby and I went to some friends’ house this weekend, and they said they wanted to teach us to play Spoons. While envisioning a couple hillbillies batting spoons on their knees, they got a regular deck of playing cards, 5 spoons, and proceeded to teach us one of the most enjoyable and lively games I have seen in a long time! The wife said she learned to play Spoons in high school (she’s almost 40), and I’m wondering if this is a well-known game - neither I nor my husband had ever heard of it! PS - anyone wanting the rules can e-mail me!

Is this the game where you pass cards around the table one at a time, try to collect four of a kind, and then pick up the spoons before everyone else does (sort of like musical chairs)?

If this is, in fact, the game that Little Nemo suggests, then first of all you have to have an old table that you don’t mind ruining the finish on.

Then, I suggest you get some bandages for the inevitable scratches.

Also, move anything breakable from the vicinity.

Safety is more important than the rules in this game.

Also, be warned that drinking can severely impair your ability to play this game!

It also helps to have strong spoons and a strong table. At least it helped when I played!

I used to LOVE this game! When we got older we started playing where you could grab more than one spoon and toss one to another person. My favorite was when you were able to silently take a spoon and everyone else was so busy looking for their four of a kind that they didn’t know a spoon had been taken. Fun Fun Fun

For those of you that don’t know (if there is anyone who DOESN’T know this game!)

You put spoons in the center of a table. One less spoon than the number of people playing. Like Nemo said, sort of like musical chairs.

The dealer deals out four cards per person. The dealer then begins picking up cards from the deck one at a time into his hand, then discarding a card from his hand, one at a time and passing it to his left. The next person picks up that card, and discards (passes) one card. The first person to get four of a kind grabs a spoon from the center of the table. When a spoon is taken, everybody else tries to grab a spoon. Whoever doesn’t get a spoon get a letter (a la HORSE, except you spell S-P-O-O-N-S) Whoever reaches “SPOONS” first is dropped out, and you remove a spoon and continue playing. Dealer moves to the left every hand.

This sounds like the homespun version of the game Hands Down that I had as a kid (1960s). It to was played with cards but instead of the business with the spoons, there was a centerpiece contraption with a with a hand-shaped lever facing each of the four players; slap down the lever and a flap in the middle would fold down. The last flap down was the loser.

I’ve played it too… I didn’t remember exactly what the trigger was (the part with the cards), but I definitely remember the spoon-grabbing. I think the question has become, has anyone not heard of this game?

By the way, if you liked Spoons, then you’ll love Egyptian Rat-Screw. To give you a taste of what it’s like, one of the house rules in my circle of friends is “no weapons first round”.

My ex-girlfriend’s Mom was always worried about scratching up the table so instead of going for spoons we would put our fingers on our noses. Then one day the ex-girlfriend’s brother jabbed himself in the eye in the excitement of gettin 4 of a kind. After that we always played with marshmallows.

My family still plays this game every Thanksgiving. We use real spoons and it’s a lot of fun.

Oh yeah! Love this game!

Enright forgot one vital point, you cannot touch a spoon unless you have four of a kind or someone else does. This leads to the beautiful “fake out” move. That’s where you reach quickly and obviously for a spoon, but don’t touch it. Somebody else will ineveitably fall for the ruse and reach out to grab one. Bwahahahahahaha!!! That and the “stealth grab” are two of the necessary skills anybody who wants to become a top-notch spoons player must know.

Wait a minute. You didn’t have the rule that whoever didn’t grab a spoon had to remove an article of clothing?

I love this game and have played it for quite a long time. The last time we played it we played Feltch instead and had to stick a straw in a dirt cake (which is a type of pudding/chocolate cake) and suck out the cake from the end. It was so fun we died laughing the first person that got the feltch. :slight_smile:


Well, don’t just leave us hanging! Who cares if it’s a hijack, it sounds fun! Otherwise, all I have to say is that Spoons is a great game. The quiet contemplation of cards and the brutality of fighting over kitchen utensils.

[stolen hijack]

Egyptian Rat-Screw:

Deal out a deck of cards one at a time to everyone around the table. First player turns over a card. If it’s not a face card/ace, move to the next player. Once a face card comes up, the pile belongs to the player who turned up the face… unless the next person can turn up a face card within four cards if the upcard is a jack, three cards if a queen, two if a king, one if an ace. Object is to get the pile.

That’s the easy part.

If two cards in a row are the same, whoever hits the pile first takes all the cards.

Be prepared to be bruised severely by seasoned players. I like that “no weapons, first round” rule, though.

(Um, FTR, doesn’t this belong in, say, MPSIMS?)



I love this game. I’ve played just about every variation you can imagine. One thing I’ve noticed in these other posts is the mention of bodily harm and damage to furniture. It’ll make my husband feel better to hear it.

We were playing a rousing game of spoons many years ago–last time we played, in fact–on a rickety old table that was sufficing for a dining table. The top was cracked and when my husband grabbed for a spoon, he pulled back with a spoon and a huge shard of the table sticking through his thumb. It was totally disgusting. (sorry I didn’t warn you all) He just looked at it and proceeded to pull it through (again I’m sorry). It didn’t really hurt until later and he went to the doctor to have it looked at. I guess he had a time explaining that one.
So just be careful playing this game. Especially if you’re competitive.

My brother played the finger by the nose version and gave himself a bloody nose. :smiley: I suppose we’re a dangerous crowd…

Have to jump in here for no other reason than when I see the word “Spoons,” I’m curious. But you might have guessed that anyway.

I have to admit that I never knew there was such a game. I got my handle from the fact that I play spoons–the musical kind. I’ve always assumed that those who say that they “play spoons” were either referring to musical spoons, or using a euphemism for something they did with their significant others.

So it can also be a card game. Ah well, the things one learns. Thanks for enlightening me!

Not only does the successful slapper get to take the cards, he also has earned the right to give everyone else playing a two-fingered slap on the forearm. When done properly, this hurts like a bitch. We used to play this game in school all the time.

The girls used to watch us constantly. I suppose it must have been like watching a traffic accident.


Okay Lazarus, call me stupid…but I don’t understand one point of the game rules: what pile does the player turning up a face card get to take? Don’t you deal out the whole deck at the beginning? Do you get to keep your OWN pile? I’m confused…since I’m the Game Coordinator for all family functions, I must have detailed rules!

The “get a letter” version of Spoons was only allowed in my family when playing with under 16s. In the “Adult” version, when you miss the spoon, you drink. First person who had to use the restroom lost. The Stealth Grab was much used–it sometimes takes people quite a while to notice you’re not looking at the cards you pass on. Almost as long as it takes for someone to notice you have more than the allowed number of cards in your hand (4 for single deck, 8 for double deck).

If you don’t want bloody noses or scratched tables, use crayons! We used to do this when we played at recess in elementary school, since no spoons were readily available.