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How to Play Old Maid

Using only a deck of cards, this simple game can keep children entertained.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Remove one Queen, shuffle, and deal Remove one Queen from a standard deck, shuffle the cards, and deal them one at a time to each player. Continue dealing until you are out of cards.
  • TIP: Trick your friends by pretending to have a "tell," acting happy if you have the unmatched Queen and acting upset if you don't.
  • Step 2: Place pairs Find pairs in your hand. Place each pair face down in front of you, and have others do the same.
  • Step 3: Pick one card from the player to your right Have the player to your right fan their remaining cards face down. Pick one card from their hand to add to yours.
  • Step 4: Pair your new card Match your new card with another card in your hand. Put the paired set face down in front of you, or keep the new card in your hand if you can’t make a match.
  • Step 5: Player to the left chooses Pass the play to the person on your left, with them choosing a card from your hand and discarding any match that's made. Continue to the person to their left.
  • TIP: Put an unmatched Queen that you want to get rid of in the middle of your hand. Most players pick from the middle, not the edges, of the hand.
  • Step 6: Keep playing until only the Old Maid card is left Keep playing and matching cards until the only card that hasn't been matched is the last Queen card. This person left holding the Old Maid card loses.
  • FACT: The French version of this game starts by removing three jacks, leaving the jack of spades. The person left with this card is the "Old Boy."

You Will Need

  • A deck of cards
  • Two or more players

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