Years ago I played a card game with a Swedish friend with a standard deck of cards and two spoons on the centre of the table. There were teams of two, with the team members sitting opposite each other.

I can't remember what had to happen for you to be 'out', I think it was that you had to get a pair, but then you had to make a predetermined, secret signal, say pulling on your ear lobe, to your team mate. When it came around to your go again you both grab a spoon from the centre of the table each, but if a member of the other team guessed you had made a signal they can intercept it and win the game.

Any idea of the name of the game? I would love to remember the rules properly?

2 Answers 2


Sounds like a variation on what the internet tells me is called Kemps. (Edit: The specific variation being Spoons related but while Spoons has similar bluffing aspects it lacks the team aspects in common with Kemps

There is a more modern board game (Wink) that has a similar mechanic of getting your partner to announce you have the victory via secret signals I'll see if I can find it.

  • Awesome! This is pretty much it but with shouting Kemps as opposed to spoons! I think the spoon way is better though because I remember we were trying to trick our opponents into thinking we were reaching for the spoons when we weren't, because if they wrongly tried to intercept they lose! Funny you should say there is a similar board game because I recreated my memory of the game into a board game for an college brief when I was studying design. Commented May 2, 2016 at 0:38
  • ahh Spoons. I kNEW i knew what spoons was. yes that IS familiar. As a game of such old and indeterminate origin it goes by many many names and variations. I'd have to poll BoardGameGeek.com but I know I saw---- oh wait. I remember.. It's Wink.
    – Wolfkin
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 0:42
  • Yes Wink - youtu.be/8vdTflFYldo - I often mix it up with the more casual game Wink Murder (youtube.com/watch?v=Ae9yQLPsVhs) or I would have remembered it earlier
    – Wolfkin
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 0:53
  • Brilliant! I just looked it up there and it seems similar too. I remember it being great fun and there being lots of on-edge laughter and trickery! Thank you again!:) Commented May 2, 2016 at 0:57

We played similar at school, was called Bartlet there, although we didn't have spoons in the middle, was 4 cards and people could snatch cards from there before others, they had to get a set in their hand and their partner did too. You call "Bartlet", when you have a set and "Anti Bartlet"+declare couple when you think the others have a set. Brings back memories, how I loved this game!


I've since spoken with my friends, and we're going to be playing bartlett on holiday! Can not wait. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/nov/22/rules-childrens-card-games-bartlett

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