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Game Rules Index

Forty Thieves Solitaire

2 decks. Difficult. No redeal.

Forty Thieves Solitaire
Forty Thieves Solitaire
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Forty Thieves Solitaire (a.k.a "40 Thieves") is a challenging game of skill. It uses 104 cards (2 decks). You have 10 tableau piles with 4 cards per pile and 8 foundations.

Aces are moved to the foundations as they become available.

The object of the game
To build the foundations up in suit to kings.

The rules
The top cards of tableau piles and waste pile are available to play. You may build tableau piles down in suit. Only one card at a time can be moved from pile to pile. When any tableaus are empty you can fill the space with any card.

When you have made all the moves initially available, begin turning over cards from stock to the waste pile. You can move cards from the waste to the tableaus and to the foundations according to the rules.

There is no redeal.

The rules state that you can move only one card at a time. But as a shortcut, BVS Solitaire will allow you to move a full or partial build if there are enough empty tableau piles, because you would have been able to get the same result by temporarily moving the extra cards into the empty tableaus.

40 Thieves Strategy Tips

  • The first thing to do is to empty at least one tableau pile as early as possible. Take a little extra time and think several moves ahead. Focus on finding the tableau pile that you have the best chances to make empty.
  • You should aim to uncover low cards trapped under high cards (especially kings) as soon as possible and move them to the Foundations.
  • You should especially try to get the kings out of tableaus to unblock the cards trapped under them. Either clear them to foundations or move them to the empty columns.
  • The rules state that you can move only one card at a time. But if there are enough empty spaces you can use them to move partial builds from one pile to another (like in Freecell).
  • Avoid moving cards from the waste if the same card is already blocking a tableau.

40 Thieves Solitaire is also known under different names such as Napoleon at St. Helena, Roosevelt at San Juan and Cadran.

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