Old Maid Rules

The Old Maid rules are easy to learn and this makes the game very fun to play. You just need a standard 52 card deck and 2-8 players. The object is to get rid of all of your cards. The person holding the "Old Maid" is the loser.


How to Deal

First off, 3 of the 4 queens are removed from the deck. It really doesn't matter which queen is left. It can be any suit or color. The remaining queen is called "The Old Maid".

Note! - In other versions of the old maid rules, they say to discard one queen and the other queen of the same color is the old maid. So if you discarded the queen of clubs, the queen of spades would be "The Old Maid". For simplicity sake, I like the first way of doing it better. That way there's no confusion over which queen is "The Old Maid". Which Old Maid rules you follow are completely up to you!

Once you've designated which card is the maid, the dealer then deals the cards out to all players evenly until there are no more cards. Since we've discarded the other queens, some people will have more cards than others. That's okay. It doesn't matter whether all players have the exact same amount of cards.


How to Play

First - Everyone takes a look at their own cards. Don't show each other! The object is to remove any pairs that you have in your hand. So everyone goes through their own hands and takes out all the pairs and discards them. If they have 3 of a kind they still can only discard 2 of the cards.

Now that everyone has discarded all their pairs, the real game begins. Whoever dealt is the first player. He or she turns to the person on their left and offers their hand of cards (Face down!). That player then takes one card at random from the dealer's hand. If that card matches one of their cards they can discard them both. If it doesn't match any of their cards, that player has to keep the card they took.

After that, the play continues to the left. The person who just took a card from the dealer then turns to the player to their left. They offer the cards (Face Down!) and the next person in line takes a single card. The same rules apply - If it matches a card in their hand, they can discard both cards. If not, their hand just grew by a card.


How to Win!

According to the Old Maid rules, the game doesn't have 1 winner, but 1 loser. After all the cards are discarded and the old maid is the only card in play the person holding the old maid loses.

I know what you're thinking - Where's the fun in this? Well for me, the fun is in watching the Old Maid cards get passed around. Remember that the person to your left who takes a card can't see which card they are going to get. So if you have the Old Maid card, you want them to take it! Then it's fun just watching them try to influence the person to their left to "randomly" grab the Old Maid out of their hand! People get really creative!

Old Maid cards is a lot of fun for all ages which makes it a perfect candidate for a Best Family Game!

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