PATIENT DEVIL— a solitaire variant where you choose your damnations

Recently, I’ve been thinking that Canfield just isn’t a complex enough solitaire game.  I’ve designed patient devil to provide you with more options that you’ll feel that you just don’t want to take.

  1. The aim of the game is to get all of the cards from the pack to the four foundations.  They will vary between (& within) games.  Continuous ranking is allowed.
  2. Take a shuffled pack without jokers and deal seven cards face down into the reserve.  Beside this, deal one card face up to form the first foundation, then four cards face up in separate piles beneath to form the tableau.  Keep the remaining cards aside as your stock.
  3. The foundations are built up by suit in ascending order (A, 2, 3, &c.)  As long as its suit is not yet represented in the foundations, at any point you may move a card to the foundation; from there, the suit is built up as usual.  There is no requirement that the value of any of the new foundations match those already present.  Be careful not to do this too soon — you don’t want to find yourself trapped later on.
  4. The cards from the reserve can be played directly to the foundation or can build down on the tableau.  One of your first goals should be to clear the cards from the reserve.
  5. The tableau is built down in descending order, regardless suit or colour (i.e. you may build any Q on any K, &c.).  Cards may be moved individually or in blocks between the four piles of the tableau.  If you have an empty space, it may be filled with any card.
  6. If you’re otherwise unable to make a move, deal the top three cards of the stock into a single waste pile.  You can play the top card of the waste pile to either the foundations or the tableau.
  7. Once the stock is exhausted, you may turn over the waste pile to produce a new stock.  Do not shuffle the cards.  You may do this as often as you please, though you may find yourself at a dead end regardless!

You’ll find the game slightly easier to win than Canfield (though I’ve yet to calculate the likelihood of winning), though it will regularly feel like you’ve made a choice that’ll upset the game later.  Either way, keep going until you fill the foundations or find that you’re unable to progress!

Let me know in the comments how you find the game — or otherwise what your favourite patience games are!

PATIENT DEVIL— a solitaire variant where you choose your damnations

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

FARSKY MAPPERS: a free cardgame of space-time profiteering

This game came about as the product of having run out of battery on my phone and having no lapspace on the tube. Oh, and misremembering the rules to Hand Patience. I hope you like what it brought.

It is the future. Space-freight is a multi-zillion space-pound industry. But space-shipping mega-tonnes of space-materials & goods is a time-consuming business.

Until one space-day.

Using advanced scanning technology & a largely unexplained ability to fold space and create stable wormholes, the FARSKY MAPPERS reinvigorated the space-freight industry.

YOU are a FARSKY MAPPER. Armed only with a packet of cards, you must create the shortest routes through space to sell your services for the highest space-fee.


  • One pack of regular playing cards, without jokers
  • Not even any table space (you can play the whole thing in both hands, like a space-pilot)

Aim of the Game

Fold away (discard) as much of the pack as possible.

  • No cards remain? Perfect route! Top score!
  • Three cards remain? Strong map!
  • Eight plus cards remain? Um, see if you can sweep this beneath the space-carpet.

Playing the Game

It is possible to either play the game on a space-surface, in which case you should have a distinct pile for your stock, a pile for your folds and a fan or row for your route; or you can play between your space-hands, in which case you hold the stock face down in your left hand, pile your folds face up beneath these and fan your route on top of the stock.

  1. Shuffle the pack of cards.
  2. Turn up a card from the stock & add it to your route. Continue doing this until you are able to make a fold.
  3. Folding: if you add a card to your route that matches a value with a card behind (two 3s, two Js, &c.), you may fold space between them – remove all cards between these two & add them to the folds pile. If these cards also happen to match colour, you can also fold the matching cards away because of space-efficiency.
  4. You don’t have to fold space just because you can. However, you can only fold space between the top card of your route and cards behind them.
  5. Because everybody looks the same in space, you can treat court cards (J, Q, K) as the same value for the purpose of folding. To achieve space-efficiency, the cards should be identical value or identical suit.
  6. Continue building your route until you run out of cards from your stock.
FARSKY MAPPERS: a free cardgame of space-time profiteering