THE games called inclusively Solitaire today were formerly known as Patience. There is something in the old name suggestive of quiet content and unhurried enjoyment of idle hours. To play at Patience seems a wise and fruitful use of the days of convalescence.

Out of the endless number of these games of cards to play by one's self half a dozen are described in the following pages. All those given are single-pack games, for they need less space for their lay-out and demand less muscular effort than games played with two packs of cards. If to handle even one pack taxes your strength try a small pack of what are known as Patience cards.

The object of each game is stated in the first sentence of the directions. Before you lay out any cards it will be well to have this clearly in mind.

When you weary of these six games, you can find scores of others in the books listed at the end of this chapter.


The object in this game is to play out the entire pack by covering cards in pairs.

Lay out any eight cards, face upward.

With the two top cards of the pack cover any two cards exposed that are of the same face value, regardless of suit.

Continue to do this until the whole pack is played out or the game is blocked because there is no pair of cards among the eight piles.

A game very simple to play but not so easy to win.

The Tower Of Twenty-Eight

The game is won when all the cards of the Tower have been removed by combining them in pairs adding up to thirteen.

Twenty-eight cards are laid out face upward in successive, overlapping rows of one, two, three cards, etc. up to a seventh row of seven, forming a pyramid.

The cards count by their face values from one to ten, the knave eleven, the queen twelve, the king thirteen.

They are removed in pairs which count thirteen, such as six and seven, knave and two, etc.

Kings are removed by themselves.

No card may be removed if a card of the row below rests on it.

The cards in the remainder of the pack are turned up one by one. Whenever possible one is combined with a free card in the Tower to make thirteen and the two are set aside. Any that cannot be so used are put into the talon, or discard.

The talon may be played through a second time before defeat is admitted.

The game goes quickly and requires little effort of mind or muscle.

The Idle Year

When all the cards of the pack are collected in one pile built up from the first card laid down, the game is won.

The cards are laid out from left to right, face upward, in a single line. They are carried back from right to left in accordance with two rules:

1. Any card may be placed on another of the same face value or of the same suit in the first or third rank to the left of it.

2. The whole pile is moved with its top card when that top card is of the same face value or the same suit as the top card first or third to the left of it.

To illustrate:

Suppose that these five cards have been laid down which have allowed no combinations:- H-3; D-J; S-7; D-5; S-3

If the next card turned up is D-3, it can be placed on S-3, that pile of two on D-5, this pile, D-3 being the top card, can be moved to cover H-3 and D-J can then be placed upon it. This gives two piles topped by D-J and S-7. If the next card turned is D-7 or S-J, all the cards so far played can be collected in one pile. But if D-3 is placed on S-3 and the pile moved to cover D-J, as the rules allow, and the pile thus made is placed on H-3, there will be three piles left and only D-7 as the next card can bring all the cards so far turned up into one pile.

Spaces in the line are filled by moving up all the piles to the right of them.

It may take the whole of an idle year to win this game. The cards may all be kept in a few piles and yet the game may be lost. Or there may be a long series of piles and one card turned may telescope the whole line together and save the day.

The Shield

The object of the game is to arrange the four suits in downward sequence from kings to aces.

The cards are laid out in seven overlapping rows of seven cards each, all facing upward except the first three cards of the first three rows, which make the Shield of nine cards faced downward. The three cards left over are added to the first three vertical columns.

Build on the bottom cards of the rows in downward sequence by suits.

Any card facing upward may be transferred to a bottom card of its own suit ranking one higher but all the cards below it in the column must be moved with it without shifting their order. If, for example, S-3 is at the bottom of the fourth column and S-2 is anywhere in the sixth column, all the cards of the sixth column below it are transferred with S-2 to the bottom of the fourth column.

Only kings, alone or with the cards below them in a column, may be transferred to vacant spaces in the upper row.

Kings may be placed upon aces of their own suits if advantageous.

The nine cards laid face downward in the Shield are turned over as they become bottom cards in their own columns.

If the game is won, you have left four columns, each a suit in sequence from king to ace.

If you do not drop the long lines of cards that are sometimes to be moved together and so produce confusion confounded, this is an interesting game, requiring a combination of luck and skill.

The Beleaguered Castle

The complete suits must be built up from their aces.

Deal two columns of four cards each facing upward, with space between the columns for the aces.

Place the aces in this central column as they are turned up.

Deal the rest of the pack on the original eight cards, overlapping them so that they extend out to the left and right of the central column. There will be six cards in each pile.

Build down on the bottom cards regardless of suit; that is any knave on any queen, any four on any five, etc.

Build up on the aces in suits. Move only one card at a time. When any row is played out completely, its space may be filled in with any card.

A game requiring skill as well as good luck. Difficult but intriguing.


To win this game the four complete suits must be piled up on their respective aces in sequence.

Lay out a row of seven cards, from left to right, the first one facing upward, the others with the face down. Lay out six cards for the next row, placing the first one, face up, on the second card of row one. Continue in this way until you have seven rows, each row one card shorter than the row above it. Vertically this will give seven columns, the bottom card of each one faced up. Twenty-eight cards in all are laid out. To save space each row may overlap the one above it.

These upturned cards, so far as it is possible, are next piled upon each other in downward sequence by alternate colors, any aces being set aside as foundations.

As the bottom card of a column is moved, the card above it is faced upward and comes into play.

There are two ways in which the cards remaining in the pack may be played:

1 They may be turned up one at a time and played through once only.

2 Three cards may be turned over together and played off in succession or placed in the talon or discard. The talon may be played through again, but always by threes, until the game is won or blocked.

However the cards are turned up, they are played on the foundations or the bottoms of columns or placed in the talon, from which the top card must be played whenever opportunity offers.

All aces are set apart as foundations and must be played on whenever possible.

The seven spaces of the top row, when free, may be filled only by a king or a sequence built on a king.

An entire sequence may be moved at once but may not be divided.

This is the most famous one-pack solitaire. It is named for Canfield, a great figure in the gambling world half a century ago.

Books On Solitaire

Games of Solitaire, George A. Bonaventure. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. 1931. One hundred games with a single pack.

Two-Pack Games of Solitaire, George A. Bonaventure. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. 1932.

Fifty Games of Solitaire, P. W. Kearney.

New Deal Solitaire, John Nelson Fitts. Random House, Inc., New York. 1934.

33 new games invented by a college professor during a convalescence.