Old Maid is a constant favorite with children and lots of fun for families playing cards together. Colorful decks made especially for the game are popular, but regardless of the playing cards used, the rules are the same.
Matching, pairing, and recognizing numbers.
The standard 52-card pack is used, however, one of the four queens is removed, leaving a total of 51 cards.
Object of the Game
The goal is to form and discard pairs of cards, and not to be left with the odd card (a queen) at the end.
Any player shuffles the pack and deals them around, one at a time to each player, until all the cards have been handed out. Players do not need to have an equal number of cards.
Each player removes all pairs from his hand face down. If a player has three-of-a-kind, they remove only two of those three cards. The dealer then offers their hand, spread out face down, to the player on the left, who draws one card from it. This player discards any pair that may have been formed by the drawn card. The player then offers their own hand to the player on their left. Play proceeds in this way until all cards have been paired except one – the odd queen, which cannot be paired – and the player who has that card is the Old Maid!
If any player is found to have discarded two cards that are not a pair, (thus causing three unpaired cards instead of one to remain at the end), the player who made the mistake loses and becomes the Old Maid.