How to Play Old Maid - A Classic Card Game

How to Play Old Maid - A Classic Card Game

Players: Three or more players

Ages: 5 and up 

Objective: The object of Old Maid is to avoid being left with the Old Maid card when all the other cards have been matched.

  1. Shuffle and deal all the cards. Players hold their cards as a hand, so that others cannot see the faces. Each player looks for matching pairs in their hand and puts them face up on the table.
  2. The youngest player begins by turning to the player on their left and choosing one card from that player’s hand. If the drawn card matches one in the youngest player’s hand, they place the pair on the table. If it does not match any of their cards, they keep it in their hand.
  3. Play proceeds to the left. The next player draws a card from the hand of the player to their left and follows the rules above.
  4. Play continues, going around the table to the left until all the pairs have been matched and laid on the table.
  5. At this point, the game is over and the player who is left holding the Old Maid is the loser.


  • With the holder of the Old Maid card excluded, the other players can count the matched pairs they laid on the table. The player who made the most matches is the winner.
  • Change the rules so that the player left with the Old Maid is the winner. They can then choose the occupation they like most from the pairs on the table.

Career Memory Game

  1. Remove the Old Maid card from the deck and shuffle the remaining cards.
  2. Lay the cards face down on the table in as neat a grid as possible.
  3. The first player flips over any two cards. If the two cards match, the player removes them from the grid and places them in a pile on the table in front of them.
  4. After making a match, the player flips over two more cards. The player’s turn ends when a match cannot be made.
  5. The next player takes a turn by flipping two cards, trying to make a match.
  6. The game is over when all matches have been made. The player with the most pairs wins.

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