Card Games Party Games

Spoons Game

Summary: A frantic card game in which players try to be the first to get 4 of a kind.  Once one player gets 4 of a kind, everyone quickly tries to grab a spoon from the center! The last person to realize what happened loses the round.

Ages: All.  Recommended # of people: 6-12.  Messiness factor: Not too messy.  Materials required:  A standard deck of 52 playing cards, and spoons (the total number of players minus one).  Recommended Setting: Indoors.

Spoons Game (Also Known as the Tongue Game or the Pig Game)

Spoons is a high-paced, fun card game to try with your family or friends.  All ages can play!

Setup for Spoons / Tongue / Pig

To play Spoons, all players must sit in a circle, facing inward.  Place in the center one spoon for each person, minus one.  In other words, if you have nine players, you need eight spoons arranged in the center.  Ensure that all players can reach the spoons easily.  If you are playing Pig or Tongue, you don’t need any special equipment besides the deck of cards.  To prepare the cards, you need exactly four cards of the same rank for each player.  For example, if your game has six players, set up the deck so that you have four Aces, four 2’s, four 3’s, four 4’s, four 5’s, and four 6’s.  Shuffle the deck of cards.  You’re now ready to play!

Playing Spoons / Tongue / Pig

The goal of the game is to be the first to get four cards the same rank.  If an opposing player beats you to it, you need to avoid being the last one to realize it.  For each round, shuffle the deck of cards and deal four cards to each player.  When you begin the round, all players simultaneously choose one card in their hand, pass that card to an opponent seated on their left, and pick up the new card they’ve received from the opponent on their right.  You may never have more than four cards in your hand; therefore, you may not add a fifth card to your hand before passing one card to the person seated on your left.

Once a player successfully gets four of a kind, he or she does one of the following actions (depending on which version of the game is being played):

  • If you are playing the Spoons Game: As secretly as you can, take a spoon from the center and quietly place it in front of yourself.
  • If you are playing the Pig Game: Quietly place a finger on the tip of your nose (like a Pig!)
  • If you are playing the Tongue Game: Silently stick out your tongue and hold it there.

As soon as any player does one of above actions, all other players must quickly do the same thing.  The very last player to successfully obtain a spoon, touch his or her nose, or stick out his or her tongue loses that round.  This game is also about good observation skills!

Those players who have already successfully taken a spoon can try to trick the other players by pretending the game is still going on.  In other words, players can continue to pick up and pass cards, making it harder for others to realize what has happened.


If you prefer elimination, after each round, have the loser exit the circle.  Remove a spoon and four cards of a rank.  Keep repeating this process until there is only two remaining – these are the winners!

Click here to see another guide for How to Play Spoons.

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