How to Play Old Maid Card Game

This is a quick and easy card game which anybody should be able to learn and enjoy. It can be played with two players, but is probably best with 3 – 5 players.

How to Play Old Maid

Remove the Queen of Spades from the deck, and deal the remaining 51 cards between the players (it doesn’t matter if some players have one more card than others.)

Each player checks his or her cards for any pairs (two cards of the same rank. e.g. any two nines).  These pairs are removed and placed face-up in the centre of the table (a discard pile).

Each player then shuffles their remaining cards and holds then facing away from other players. Play starts from the left of the dealer.

On your Turn:

Spread out your cards in front of you, face down (spread out in a fan manner). The player to the left of you chooses one of your cards to add to his hand.

If this card enables him to make a pair, he discards the pair; if not, he keeps the card.

He then puts his cards face down for the player to his left to choose one, and so the game progresses.

Eventually all the cards will be paired except the remaining Queen (whose partner, the Queen of Spades, was removed at the start of the game.) This remaining Queen is known as the Old Maid, and whoever is left with it loses the round.

Carry on playing for your pre-determined amount of rounds, and the player who wins the most rounds is announced the overall winner.


Obviously you don’t want to get stuck with the last, lone queen. So when you get it try get rid of it quickly. If you notice the player next to you often chooses the card near the middle, then try placing the Queen somewhere in the centre to help your chances of getting rid of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.