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Old Maid Rules and Gameplay

Old Maid is a fun easy to play card game that can be played with a standard 52 card deck. It's one of the more simple card games for kids.

Setting up the Game

First you need to remove three of the queens from the deck. Whatever queen you leave in the deck is the Old Maid.

Next deal all the cards out to the players. It may be that all the players don't get exactly the same number of cards, but this okay.

The first thing all the players do is to sort out their cards and remove any pairs. If a player has three cards, they just remove one pair and keep the third card in their hand.

Taking a Turn

The dealer takes the first turn. They show the player to their left their hand face down. The player to the left picks one card. If the player then has a pair, he puts the pair down. If not, the player keeps the card in his hand.

This continues in clockwise direction, until there are no more pairs left.

Winning Old Maid

In Old Maid, everybody wins, but the loser. The loser is the player who is left holding the Old Maid once all the other cards have been discarded into pairs.

Other Ways to Play Old Maid

- Instead of removing cards, you can add a single Joker and use the Joker as the Old Maid.
- To make the game take longer you can match cards by both rank and color rather than just rank. For example, a pair of sixes must be either diamonds and hearts (red) or spades and clubs (black).

Old Maid Strategy

There isn't a lot of strategy you can use in the card game of Old Maid. If you have the Old Maid in your hand, you need to try and get the person to your left to take it. You can use reverse psychology to try and get them to take it. Try hiding it or putting some cards out front, maybe they will try to take the hidden card. Also, if they take the card from the same place every time, put the Old Maid card there the next turn.

To reduce your chances of getting the Old Maid, don't take the card from the same spot every time or the other player may catch on.

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