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A children's game enjoyed by adults, Spoons is a fast-action, knuckle-punishing adventure. Place some spoons in the center of the playing area: one less spoon than the number of players, with the spoons set up like the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

Deal five cards to each player. Player to the left of the dealer takes the top card from the deck, looks at it, and discards a card face down next to the player to her left. The player to the left repeats this process, using right hand opponent's discards, always discarding to the left. And so on for each player. If the original deck is exhausted, then the player to the left of the dealer continues by using the dealer's discards.

This goes on, often at ever-increasing speed, until a player gets 4 of a kind. Immediately after that player has discarded (and has only 5 cards) she is entitled to grab a spoon. Then the fun begins. As soon as one player has grabbed a spoon, all of the others should instantly do the same. Whoever does not get a spoon loses that hand.

If someone is first to touch a spoon, and it turns out that at that time no one actually has 4 of a kind, then the first toucher loses the hand.

Scoring: the loser has a letter in the word "s-p-o-o-n-s" counted against them. That is, the first loss is "s", the second is "p", etc. When a player has accumulated all six letters in "spoons", she drops out of the game. At that time, the number of spoons is reduced by one. The game continues until only the winner is left.


Bluffing is encouraged, as you can reach for a spoon at any time as 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.

One can also play without ever looking at the cards at all. Just pass the discards from right to left, keeping both eyes on the spoons.

Because players are focused with their own hand, when you get four of a kind, surreptitiously nab a spoon. They card-passing may continue for several seconds while you watch the fun.