Forty Thieves Solitaire Rules

Forty Thieves SolitaireForty Thieves is the basis for an entire family of solitaires (see the list of variations below). The number "forty" in the title refers to the number of cards in the tableau (ten piles of four cards each).

It's a rather difficult game to play, and requires a good deal of skill, but has proved to be an enduringly popular game, regardless.

Rules

Number of Decks: 2 (104 cards)

Alternate Names: Big Forty, Le Cadran, Napoleon at St. Helena, Roosevelt at San Juan

Initial Layout: Begin by dealing 40 cards to the tableau, face up, as ten piles of four cards each, spread out vertically so that all cards are visible. Leave space for eight foundation piles above the tableau. The remaining cards form the stock, and are held in a single face-down pile. Also reserve space for a single wastepile.

Object: The object of the game is to build all eight foundations up in suit from ace to king.

Play: Within the tableau, cards are built down and in suit. Only the top card of each tableau pile is available for play. Only one card at a time may be moved, either to a foundation or to another tableau pile. Spaces within the tableau may be filled with any card.

The top card of the stock is available for play to a foundation or to a tableau pile, or may be put on the wastepile. The top card of the waste pile is also available for play to a foundation or to a tableau pile. There is no redeal.

Variations

  • Ali Baba - Same as Forty Thieves, except that Ali Baba is a one-deck game. Tableau sequences may be moved in part or in whole.
  • Indian - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the tableau consists of ten columns of three cards each, and the bottom card of each column is dealt face down. In addition, cards are built down by any suit other than its own.
  • Limited - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the tableau consists of twelve columns of three cards.
  • Little Forty - Same as Forty Thieves, except that tableau sequences may be moved in part or in whole, tableau piles are built down regardless of suit, cards are dealt from the stock three at a time, and there are three redeals.
  • Lucas - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the aces are removed to start the foundations, and the tableau consists of 13 columns of three cards each.
  • Maria - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the tableau consists of nine columns of four cards each, and during play the cards are built down by alternating colors.
  • Number Ten - Same as Forty Thieves, except that within each tableau pile, the bottom two cards are dealt face-down, and the top two are dealt face-up. Tableaus are built down in alternating colors. Sequences may be moved in part or in whole.
  • Rank and File - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the bottom three cards of each of the ten columns are dealt face down, leaving only the top card of each pile exposed. Tableaus are built down in alternating colors. Sequences may be moved in part or in whole.
  • Streets - Same as Forty Thieves, except that the building on the tableau is down by alternating colors.

Other Sources of Forty Thieves Solitaire Rules

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Games Featuring Forty Thieves Solitaire

BVS Solitaire Collection
Pretty Good Solitaire
Solavant

Additional Information