Solo two deck card games
May 25, 2004 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Solo two-deck card games: what are these games called?

a) Cards are distributed in four rows, eight across. (Remaining cards are the pull deck.) Any pairs are discarded. Object of the game is to get a row each of each suite from A-8.

b) Start with a row of seven cards. Second row is three cards, pull deck, then three more cards. Keep putting all the cards down on the original rows unless they go in the pull deck. The pull deck is bonuses made from Aces you find in the set-up or any cards with a number corresponding to their place in the row. (i.e. if there were a deuce in the second space, first row, or a four in the fourth place, first row.) Object of the game is to construct full suites from the pull deck and the cards in the rows.

My 85 year old grandmother plays both of these games (very skillfully) while drinking her cocktail every evening, but her age-induced aphasia has caused her to forget the names. It's making her nuts. Any thoughts? Or anyplace I can look?
posted by pomegranate to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Here's an A-Z list of card game rules, from
posted by ALongDecember at 7:48 PM on May 25, 2004

404 sets of solitaire rules. I didn't have any luck searching for your games though. Solitaire games are so similar and have SO MANY variations.

Someone needs to make a Wizard.
posted by smackfu at 9:10 PM on May 25, 2004

Best answer: There's a great solitaire program called Pretty Good Solitaire. It includes hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of solitaire variations, and has a wizard to make new ones. Some user games have made it into the list; I found a new obsession in a Klondike variation called Australian Patience. Games in PGS are broadly grouped into types such as "Klondike", "Canfield", "Terrace", and the wizard allows you to choose the type you would like to work from. The game can also tell you how much skill or luck are involved in a given variation.

Two-deck games don't have a special name that I'm aware of; many types of games can be played with two decks, so often they're just called "Double ____".

Your aunt's first game sounds like a simplified version of Gaps (which I knew from an outdated Hoyle as Montana) or Spaces and Aces. (Does she really use two decks? What does she do with the high cards?) It's a sequence game, and while it requires a lot of skill, it's also a great deal about luck -- the best way to play it is as a logic puzzle, working backward from a given solution point. Unfortunately not all deals are solvable, I've found.

The other game doesn't ring any bells, specifically the bonuses and number-matching-position rule. Superficially it's a Fan or Beleaguered Castle variant.

Some classic game rules might turn up the one your grandma learned in her youth. (At the least you'll quickly learn the correct jargon: your game has a thirteen-card tableau surrounding a stock pile and a reserve, but apparently no foundations.) An old card-games book might help, too. You could always ask on, or write Thomas Warfield (PGS author) -- he'll probably be able to help you one way or another. As will Solitaire Central's author. As noted, there are endless variations; solitaire doesn't require broad agreement on rules for a group to play, so rulesets tended to pass from one person to another with invention betwixt. Names are legion, with lots of overlap.

And this is one of the best general card game sites out there.
posted by dhartung at 12:15 AM on May 26, 2004

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