This in-depth guide will share everything you need to know about the Old Maid card game rules. Old Maid is a classic children’s card game that can be played with regular playing cards or a unique deck of cards.
While Old Maid is a children’s game, it is perfect for family game night. Of course, adults can also enjoy it, even if it’s just for the nostalgia factor. But before you play, you’ll need to know all about the Old Maid card game rules.
What is The Old Maid Card Game?
The Old Maid is a Victorian game, and it can be played with 2 to 8 players. Some of the first published sets were produced in the late 1880s. Because of its age, the game’s history is a bit of a mystery, so we can’t say for sure who created it.
But it was likely that the Old Maid was based on some form of old drinking game. This is ironic when you consider its popularity as a children’s card game. The game is also very similar to the European card game Black Peter.
There are several variations to the standard Old Maid card game rules. In this guide, we’ll focus on the most popular/ commonly used rules. But before we do that, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to play.
What You’ll Need?
As we mentioned earlier, the Old Maid card game can be played with either regular playing cards or a unique deck of Old Maid cards. Unlike some other games, using standard playing cards isn’t very difficult.
But children will likely find the special Old Maid card deck designs more fun. However, some Old Maid card sets won’t be equipped for 8 players. Most will only be able to accommodate 4 – 6.
Whichever method you choose, finding some cards shouldn’t be overly complicated. Below we have listed some examples of the cards you can find.
Hand And Foot Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The aim of the Old Maid card game is simple. Players need to take cards and discard pairs as quickly as they can. This continues till no more pairs can be made. The player that is stuck with the one card that has no match (the titular Old Maid) loses.
The Old Maid card game might seem unusual because, in larger group games, there is only one loser. Every player who doesn’t receive the Old Maid card wins! So, you will want to avoid being the loser.
Setting up the game will be slightly different if you’re playing with standard playing cards. If you are, then the dealer (who can be any player) should remove one card from the deck. This is usually done with one of the Queens, but it can be done with any card.
If you want to add a fun twist to traditional Old Maid card game rules, shuffle the deck, then remove the top card. Don’t look at the card either, and if you do this, then no one will know what the Old Maid card is till the end of the game.
Once a card has been removed, the dealer should shuffle the deck thoroughly. If you are playing with a special Old Maid deck, you will not have to remove a card. Instead, you can go straight to dealing them out.
Every player should be dealt one card at a time till all the cards have been dealt. Depending on the number of players, not everyone may receive an equal amount of cards. Don’t worry; this is acceptable, and the game can continue.
Playing Old Maid
Play in Old Maid is turn-based, and the dealer should go first. In your turn, you should discard a matching pair from your hand. If you’re playing with regular playing cards, the red and black suits will pair.
For example, the 2 of diamonds will pair with the 2 of hearts. You can discard more than one pair at a time. For example, if you are playing with an Old Maid deck, you will match the character/ symbol cards together.
Once you have discarded all available pairs, you should fan your remaining cards out. Then, have them face down and offer them to the player on your left. That player should then select one card at random and see if they can make a pair with it.
If they can, that player should discard it. If they can’t, the player should offer their cards face down to the player on their left. This process continues until all the cards that can be paired have been discarded.
One unlucky player will be left with the Old Maid card and won’t be able to pair it. So that player will lose, and the others will win! Old Maid is ideal for family game nights as the rules are simple, and the game generally goes by quite quickly.
The Reverse Rule
Try the reverse rule if you enjoy the classic Old Maid card game rules but want to add a new twist. With this rule, the player with the Old Maid game is the winner! This can be made even more interesting if the Old Maid card is chosen face down. This way, no one will know who the winner is till the very last moments of the game.
The Old Maid Card Game – Family Fun!
The Old Maid card game is a classic! Its simple, fast gameplay is the perfect card game for a family game night. Whether you are playing with a standard deck of cards or a unique set, the Old Maid will be a fun experience.
Plus, you can even add some rule variations to the game to make it more exciting. It’s a great 2 player card game but also suitable for larger group play as well.