Old Maid

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Evolved from Victorian England as a means of determining who paid for a round of drinks, this is a game that can be played with a large group of friends, which is bound to be entertaining activity for everyone involved.


Old maid can accommodate quite a few players with, games ranging at a minimum of two players to a maximum of twelve.


For this game you can use a specially designed pack of old maid cards, or a regular pack of cards will be suitable for this game. Though when you play with a standard pack of cards, a card must either be removed or added, with the common choice being to remove the queen of spades or to use the joker card as the old maid.

Game Play

  1. If you are playing with a standard 52 pack of cards, remove the queen of spades, keep the joker card in the deck or assign a card of your preference to be the old maid.

  2. Shuffle the now old maid suitable pack of cards and distribute them to the players until all the cards are gone, it doesn’t matter if card distribution is irregular.

  3. Once all the cards have been dealt, each player should check their cards to see if they have any pairs, the established pairs should be put aside. What constitutes a pair should be discussed before the game commences, i.e. is it based on colour and rank or just rank.

  4. Once the initial pairs have been removed, the starting player should place their cards face down on the table in front of the person on their left. This person then picks up a singular card at random from the facedown ones and adds it to their hand. If the newly added card creates a pair then they should be placed aside like the rest of the pairs.

  5. Then this person shuffles their cards and sets them facedown to the next individual on the left, who then in turn picks a card and acts like the player before them.

  6. This continues till all the cards are paired and therefore put aside and the only card left is the “old maid”. The person that ends up with the old maid loses the game.
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