Summary Match up all your cards, but don't be left with the donkey.
Description Type: Card Game
Players: 2 - 4 players
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 10 minutes
Developer or Designer: N/A
Not very good with two players
Creased cards can ruin the game
If you know how to play the classic Victorian parlour game, Old Maid, then you know how to play Donkey. The only difference is that there are less cards, the pictures are of animals, and it is aimed at children rather than adults.
Donkey comes as a pack of thirty-three cards, including fifteen pairs, and one odd card. The odd card is the donkey. All the cards will be dealt out between the players, and any pairs will be put to one side.
You then take it in turns to take a concealed card from another player's hand, and see if it matches up with any of your cards. If it does, put the pair to one side.
Someone in the group will have been dealt the donkey, and they have to hope that someone will accidentally take that card from them, because the person left with the donkey at the end is the loser. The winner will be the person with the most pairs.
Although you can play between just two, it does not work particularly well. This is because you will always know who has the donkey and each player will always end up with the same number of pairs. Four players makes for the most interesting game, because it is more difficult to match up cards.
It is also very important that you play with new or good conditioned cards. I loved donkey so much as a child that my pack got played with regularly. It shows. They are worn and creased. The problem with this is, that these individual creases are a dead giveaway as to which card is which, making it easy to avoid picking out the donkey.
Donkey is a great way to while away the time with your kids on a rainy day or travelling on the train.