Old Maid Rules

This game only requires a standard deck of cards with a Joker added and 2 to 8 players. Players try to get rid of all the cards in their hand before their opponent does by drawing from their opponent’s hand and discarding pairs. The player left with the “Maid” loses.


A standard deck of cards (with a Joker added, or with one card removed to serve as the Old Maid) or an Old Maid deck
2 to 8 players.

Rules to Old Maid

Before dealing, players must decide whether or not to add a card (like a Joker or a card from an identical deck) or to subtract a card (typically the Queen of Clubs) to serve as the Old Maid. Shuffle, and deal all the cards. Players sort through their cards, making as many pairs as possible, and placing these pairs face-up on the table in front of them.

Starting with the dealer, each player then takes a turn fanning out their hands so that the player to their left can draw one card. The player must not be allowed to see the player’s hand from which they are drawing. Play continues in this fashion. As players make pairs in their hand, they discard them immediately onto the table.


Each player is trying to get rid of his cards as fast as possible. The player left holding the unmatched card, the Old Maid, loses.

Change the game

See how the game changes if you decide the winner is the person left with the Old Maid. Call the Old Maid something more appealing like the superhero, the princess, or the secret spy.

Card games are timeless fun for the whole family. The Ultimate Book of Card Games, by Scott McNeely, is sure to offer fun to all ages, households and people who have a pack of cards and time to kill. Get this perfect gift for the game lover in your life here.

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