Old Maid

A popular and easy card game for three or more children. It makes a good starter card game for kids. Also called "Pass The Lady".

Old Maid card game instructions

Number of Players:
3+

Age Range:
5+

Cards:

A standard deck of 52 cards is used, but with one of the Queens removed. This leaves a pair of Queens in one colour and a single Queen (the old maid) in the other.

Instructions:

All the cards are dealt, face down. It doesn’t matter if some players end up with more cards than others.

The players then sort their cards, keeping them hidden from all other players. Anyone holding pairs of matching cards, with the same number or picture, should put them down face up. If anyone has three matching cards, he only puts down one pair and keeps the spare card. If anyone has four matching cards, he puts down two pairs.

The player to the left of the dealer then fans his cards in his hand so he can see them all, although he keeps them hidden from the other players. He offers them to the player on his left, who cannot see them, but takes a random card from the fan. If the card he picks matches any he already he has, he puts down the pair. If not, he keeps it in his hand. Then, he, in turn, fans his cards and offers them to the player on his left.

This continues until all the cards have been put down in pairs, except the Old Maid, which is left alone and cannot be paired. The person left holding this card is the Old Maid, and loses the game.

Variations:

Le Vieux Garcon
This is the French version of the game, and translates to “Old Boy”. The “Old Boy” is the Jack of Spades. All the other Jacks are removed from the deck and the game is played as usual.

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