What solitaire game is this? What are the rules?
December 27, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I was once taught a form of solitaire that could be played without a playing surface. Anyone have an idea?

You held the entire deck in your hand, face down, and took one card at a time from the back of the deck (?). You put the first card face up on top of the deck, and then pick another. As you pick more and more cards, you organize the cards in some way (by suit, etc?) and can "win" or "lose", depending on how things go.

I can't for the life of me find the rules. Anyone?
posted by mbatch to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I know this well. But I don't know the name.

You flip one card at a time from the back to the front (face up) until your last card and your 3rd to the last card match either in suit or number. If the suits match you discard the last card and the 3rd last card. If their numbers match you discard all three cards. The goal is to end up with no cards.

Let me dig around a bit and see if I can find the actual rules.
posted by Jandasmo at 1:38 PM on December 27, 2008

Is this it? Decade.

I remember my grandmother teaching me this -- she called it one-hand solitaire.
posted by jfwlucy at 1:40 PM on December 27, 2008

Yes, I remember the same game, I think.

The way I remember it is that the object of the game is to get rid of all of your cards. As you put the new cards face up (in order of picking) on the top of the deck (fanning them out if need be) you then can discard certain cards based on what every 4th card is. I'm not explaining it well I know - sorry.

I can't remember the exact criteria for discarding cards, but something like: if the 1st & 4th cards are the same suit you can discard the two in between and if they're the same number you can discard all four of them. You continue until you run out of face down cards and if you're really lucky, you'll get rid of all the picked ones as well. Thing is, it's strictly luck of the draw - no strategy whatsoever.

Maybe this will jog someone's memory who remembers the exact rules.................?
posted by ourroute at 1:42 PM on December 27, 2008

If it's the same game I remember, the software Solitaire til Dawn has a version they call Accordion and reference as being also called Idle Year and Tower of Babel. Here is one version from Card Games for Dummies.
posted by not that girl at 1:58 PM on December 27, 2008

Here are brief rules for Accordion. They recommend laying the whole deck out (hardly a single-hand game) but the one-hand game I played as a teenager worked the same as Accordion, though without either a deck in my hand or the Solitaire Til Dawn software, which I no longer have, I'm having trouble thinking of exactly how the single-hand version works. The single-hand version has cards being discarded, as ourroute describes, yet when I discovered Accordion on Solitaire Til Dawn it seemed to me that it was exactly the same as the game I remember.

Hope this helps a little.
posted by not that girl at 2:12 PM on December 27, 2008

I learned Decade (above), but was told it was called "toilet solitaire", for obvious reasons. For the love of god, do NOT google for it.
posted by Aquaman at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2008

Best answer: Mum called it Idiot's Delight, although it doesn't play like any other game called Idiot's Delight. :) Here's how we played it:

Hold the entire shuffled deck in your non-dominant hand, backs toward you.
Turn over four cards.
If the suits of the first and fourth card match, move the center two cards to the back of the pack, facing you.
If the numbers of the first and fourth card match, move all four cards to the back of the pack.
Turn cards over, one at a time, comparing the first and fourth cards every time, until you get to the end of the deck (the next card is facing you).

(pretty much like the link jfwlucy gave for Decade, but with easier rules, which made it perfect for a couple of pre-teen girls on a long road-trip.)
posted by jlkr at 2:26 PM on December 27, 2008

Best answer: I'll chime in with the set of rules I was taught for one-handed solitaire. They're very similar to what's already been suggested. The goal is to have no cards left.

Deck in the non-dominant hand, face-down.
Move four cards from the bottom of the deck to the top so that they are face up and you can see what each card is.
Move one card at a time as above (from the bottom of the deck to the very top, face-up).
You're only considering the top four cards at any one time, so each time you move a card up, compare it to the fourth card back. There should be two cards between each new card and the one you are comparing it to.
If the first and fourth cards are the same number/face, remove all four top cards to a discard pile.
If the first and fourth cards are the same suit, remove the two cards between them to the discard pile.
If all four cards are the same suit, remove all four to the discard pile. [This is where my ruleset varies from those above.]

I average about ten face-up cards left when I play by these rules. I 'win' about once every thousand games (seems like).
posted by carsonb at 3:06 PM on December 27, 2008

I never had any idea what the game was called, but I learned the same rules that jlkr did.
I've played hundreds, if not thousands of "hands" and I've never once won.
though I can see where winning is *slightly* easier playing by carsonb's rules.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:14 PM on December 27, 2008

I learned it the way ourroute remembers: the last and fourth-last cards are the ones you look at (the two inbetween don't matter), if the suit matches you discard the middle cards, if the number matches, you discard all four. I learned it as "Idiot Bridge," and if you win (discard the entire deck), you have to stand up and say out loud, "I'm an idiot!" no matter where you are. This hardly matters, since it is nearly impossible to win. But it came with a story. Legend has it, a soldier was playing in a foxhole, won the game, stood up and said "I'm an idiot," and was shot to death in the head. It is a fun waste of time, and the story makes you kind of glad that it's so hard to win.
posted by rikschell at 5:40 PM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

This one is dirt simple. Shuffle a full deck, hold it card faces up, and count off the deck. "Ace, two three four..." all the way to King as you flip through the deck. If at any moment the card matches what you're calling out, you lose. Pure luck, but super simple.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2008

My grandmother taught me this too, with pretty much the rules that carsonb laid out, also called one-hand solitaire.
posted by stefnet at 9:00 PM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! It has been so long, I can't say which set of rules that have been mentioned here are the exact ones I was taught, but close enough!

Toilet solitaire indeed.
posted by mbatch at 11:40 PM on December 27, 2008

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