Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Old Maid is a card game that has been around for generations. It is a relatively easy game for children to play; but adults can play it as well. The more players the better for this game.
If you choose to get a special deck for Old Maid, there are decks available at toy stores or toy departments in stores. If you just use a regular deck of 52 cards, then remove three of the four queens before you start playing. Whichever queen you leave in to be the Old Maid is up to you.
DEALER: You can choose someone to be the dealer, or you can draw for low card. The play begins with the person to the left of the dealer. That person will deal the next hand, etc.
CARDS IN PLAY: The dealer deals all cards out. If there are not many players, there will be many cards in one hand. Do not worry about holding them all, you may have to lay some down in front of you. Just remember to play them and not wait until the last minute.
OBJECT: To match up as many cards as you can on your turn. Do not get caught holding the Queen (Old Maid) at the end of the game.
PLAY: On your turn, lay down as many matches of two cards as you have. Pull one card from the person to your left. If that makes a match, you may pull another card.
Lay your matches face up in front of you as they are made. Remember, you can only make a match on your turn. If you see a match you should have made and your turn is over; you will have to wait until your next turn to lay the match down.
WINNING THE GAME: You win if you are the first person to have all of your cards laid down in matches and you do NOT have the Old Maid.
DIFFERENCES IN RULES: You are free to make your own rules in Old Maid, but keep them consistent, at least until the game is over.
Some rules say to stop when you make one match from pulling a card from another person. Other rules say that you keep going until you do not make a match.
There are also rules that say you can draw cards from anyone at the table, not just the person to your left.
You may also elect to include a Joker in the deck and leave all four Queens in. The Joker would then be the Old Maid.