Old Maid card game

Old Maid Card Game

Old Maid. Games for Life.

My granddaughter and I discovered that you really need more than two people to play Old Maid, despite what the rules say.

Or else, near the end, you’ll be able to figure out who has the Old Maid card and it stops being fun.

If you are stuck with the Old Maid card, you lose.

Crazy Eight, Gin Rummy, Concentration, even Canasta and some variations of Solitaire can all be played successfully with two.

Lessons in Cards

But, finding out about the long-forgotten rules of Old Maid was a reminder that playing cards with grandchildren is a relaxing, cross-generational activity that teaches:

  • How to follow the rules
  • When to relax the rules
  • Sometimes skill matters
  • Sometimes luck matters
  • How to win gracefully
  • How to lose gracefully.

Could you wish for more from an afternoon with your grandchildren?

Rules of the Game

Here are the rules for Old Maid:

1. The dealer deals out all the cards.

2. All players discard any pairs in their hands.

3. Each player spreads their cards out in their hand, upside down, in a fan.

4. Starting with the dealer, each player, in turn, picks a card from any other player’s hand.

5. If they get a pair, they discard the pair.

6. Drop out if you have no more cards.

7. Continue until the only card left is the Old Maid.

Although there are special Old Maid card decks, this game can be played with a standard 52-card deck if you remove one of the queens.

Click here to go to a site that describes the rules of Old Maid and a number of other children’s card games.

What card games do you play with your grandchildren?

What other types of games do you play?

What do you think they have learned from playing with you?

What do you hope they’ve learned?

What games did you play with your brothers and sisters, your parents, your grandparents when you were growing up?

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To you and your continuing delight in your grandchildren.

Carol Covin, “Granny-Guru”

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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