Collarbone: a short game of patience for half a pack of cards

I have come to the realisation over the past few months that I would count patience with cards as one of my real hobbies. It’s not just something I do when the fancy strikes me: it’s something I look forward to doing, it’s something I hunt out old books describing, it’s something my girlfriend bought me two packs of patience cards for my birthday for.

So, if you’re similarly a fan – get in touch! And if you’re yet to be, let this be a good starting point.

You’ll need pretty much a complete pack of cards, though you’ll only use half.

The layout for COLLARBONE
The layout for COLLARBONE


  1. Take from a pack of cards all of the black cards; similarly take six of the red cards – these can be any value, though I tend to use each of the red court cards. Shuffle these together and set the rest of the cards aside.
  2. The aim of the game is to pile all of the black cards into the foundation, represented by the vertical green pile in the image above.
  3. The red cards represent blocking cards; if these would be dealt into the seven tableau piles, deal the red card face down. Red cards are never dealt into the foundation.
  4. At the beginning of the game, deal seven cards in the shape of the horizontal tableau piles shown in the image above. If you deal a red card at the beginning of the game, turn it face down and deal another card on top.
  5. After you have dealt your seven piles, deal next card to the central, vertical pile. This is the foundation.
  6. The remaining cards form the stock. You will be allowed to deal through this twice during the course of the game.
  7. The foundation is built by counting upwards, regardless of suit.  A complete foundation will have Ace to King twice over — after the King, the next card is an Ace.
  8. You can move any card from the tableau to the top of the foundation; empty tableau cards are filled from the top of the waste pile, or from the remaining stock if the waste pile is empty.
  9. If you cannot make a move, deal one card from the stock to a single waste pile. You may move cards from the top of the waste pile onto the foundation. If a tableau space becomes empty, move the top card of the waste pile into that space (if the card is red, place it face down).
  10. If you run out of cards in the stock, turn the waste pile over without shuffling & assume this is the new stock. You only deal through the stock twice!
Collarbone: a short game of patience for half a pack of cards

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