Good explanation of this one on Uk Family and Wikipedia. The aim of the game is to make 4-of-a-kind, and pick up a spoon, OR to not be the slowest to pick up a spoon.
Start with a deck of cards, between 3 and 8 players, and one less spoon than you have players. You need to play this at a table so that everyone can reach the spoons.
The dealer deals 4 cards to each player, and then puts the rest of the deck on the table. He takes the top card, and adds it to his hand. He then chooses a card, which he passes on to the player on his right, by sliding it face down along the table.
The player on the right picks up this card, and then chooses one of her (now) 5 cards to pass on to the player on her right. In the meantime, the dealer has taken another card from the top of the deck, ready to pass one on.
In this way, the cards are ‘fed’ all the way around and back to the person to the left of the dealer, who places one card into the discard pile. No player may have more than 5 cards or less than 4 cards in their hand at any point.
Should the deck run out, the discard pile is shuffled, and re-used.
When someone manages to get 4-of-a-kind (4 cards of the same value), they pick up one of the spoons. At this point, everyone else has to pick up a spoon as quickly as possible. The person who is left without a spoon is “out”. One spoon is taken away, all the cards are returned, and the next round is played with one player less.
The player who first picks up a spoon should do so as subtly as possible – gameplay may continue for several seconds before other people realise a spoon as been picked up.
A spoon may only be touched when either the player has 4-of-a-kind, or another player has picked up the first spoon, although feints are quite allowed, as long as the spoon isn’t touched.
The winner is the person holding the final spoon!