Old Maid

Old maid

Old maid is an inexpensive and convenient card game that you can play with family or friends.
Plus, the rules of game are quite simple so even young children can join so you can have that game night when on family vacation!

This game is known by various names in many parts of the world. For example it is Schwarzer Peter (Black Peter) in Germany, Vieux Garçon or Le Pouilleux in France, Ekae in Thailand, Babanuki in Japan.

With its simplicity and worldwide popularity this game is sure to be a winner!

You will need:

  • Cards: Standard deck of 52 cards is used, but with one queen removed

Set up:

  • It can be played by two or more players.
  • From a standard 52 card pack remove one queen leaving 51 cards
  • Deal and play are clockwise

How to play:

All cards are distributed face down to players. Some players may have more cards than others, but this isn’t problem.

Each player classifies their cards into matching pairs of the same number or fit, keeping them hidden from other players.

Players holding pairs of matching cards lay them down on the table 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 two pairs down on the table.

The dealer begins. At your turn you must offer your cards spread face down to the player to your left. That player selects a card from your hand without seeing it, and adds it to her hand.

If you get rid of all your cards you are safe and you take no further part. The turn passes to the next player to your left, who spreads his or her cards for the following player to draw one. Eventually all the cards will have been discarded except one queen (the old maid) and the holder of this queen loses.

In some countries, where the game has a male name, such as Black Peter, it is a Jack that is removed rather than a Queen, and the loser is the holder of the odd Jack at the end.

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