Old maid card game rules

Old maid card game rules

Old maid is an ancient game and can be played by families and children altogether. The game is played with a deck of 52 cards, and only one queen card is used instead of two. Special cards are also made to play an old maid. A total of 2-8 players can play this game.

 How to play old maid

The dealer starts dealing from his left, and there might be one card extra with some player once the dealing completes. Players discard the exact pairs like two queens, two eights, etc. 

The dealer offers cards to the player at the left face down. The player chooses a face down to add it to the stack. The player discards the pair of cards made with the selected card and offers it the player sitting on the left. This keeps ongoing.

  Old Maid






  Standard deck


  Skills Required

  Recognizing Numbers, matching, pairing, and discarding.


Old Maid
Age Kids
Deck Standard deck
Skills Required Recognizing Numbers, matching , pairing and discarding.


Game Objectives

The objective of the game is to discard cards until only one player is left with a card. The card left is usually the Queen because of the queen cards in odd numbers. The player with an unmatched card is the Old Maid.


Variations of The Old Maid

  1. The queen card can be replaced with jack cards, and the player will have an odd Jack card. The game is called Black Peterin Dutch, Piotruśin Polish, Svarti Pétur in Iceland, and Svarte Petter in Swedish.


  1.  Reverse Version– The game rules are the same, but the twist is that the player left with the last card is announced as the winner.


  1. Special old maid game cards of the farmyard animal and like a jack in a normal game here we have one card i.e., Donkey, the odd card left with a player at the end of the game.


  1.  Baba – Nuki Versionof Japan. Joker is added to the stack of cards. The player with the last card as Joker is the loser.


  1.  ungguy-ungguyanversion of the Philippines. The rules of the game are the same. The player left in the end with an unknown card partnered with (Monkey or Tagalog) is the loser.


  1.  Scabby queenVersion of the U.K. The deck of cards is shuffled again (except Queen and Joker) after the loser of the game is declared. The bottom card of the stack is chosen to decide the losers’ punishment. Red color card means wrapping the cards around the hands, whereas a black color card means wrapping the cards around the knuckles. And the face value of the card decides the repetition of the punishment. Cards are then ripped off the skin, which is painful. Players can create their own version of the game by changing the degree and type of punishment.
  1.  Brazilhas two variants of this game. One version is played using the standard deck of cards known as “Fedor.” Fedor means to stink. 

The second version is played using a special deck called “Jogo do Mico” or “Capuchin Monkey Game.” All the cards are represented as male or female, but only capuchin Monkey does not have any gender representation. 


8. “Abu Foul” Version in Egypt. Only one king is left in the deck. Game continues until a player is left with a king. The number of decks to play can be chosen according to the players in “Abu Foul.” Loser has to shuffle all the cards and give one to each player. The players then give dares to the loser to humiliate him as a punishment.

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