Canfield Solitaire Rules
The different piles
There are five different types of piles in Canfield Solitaire. They are:
- The Stock: The pile of facedown cards in the upper left corner.
- The Waste: The faceup pile next to the Stock in the upper left corner.
- The Foundations: The four piles in the upper right corner.
- The Reserve: The pile in the lower left corner underneath the waste.
- The Tableau: The four piles that make up the main table.
A single card is dealt to the foundation of the same suit: this card forms the lead rank.
13 cards are dealt to the reserve pile, with the top card facing up.
1 card is dealt into each tableau.
The remaining cards are placed into the stock face down.
The waste and the other three foundations start off empty.
The objective of Canfield Solitaire is to get all 52 cards into the foundations, or as many as possible if all 52 cannot be placed.
You must put the cards onto the foundation in order according to suit and rank, starting from the leading rank dealt at the beginning of the game, wrapping from King to Ace if neccessary.
Flip cards from the Stock onto the Waste. You can flip either 1 or 3 cards from the
Stock onto the Waste. The number can be configured in Options.
Move a card from the Waste onto the Foundations. If the top card of the Waste can
go onto one of the Foundations then you can drag it there.
Move a card from the Waste onto the Tableau. You can move the top card of the Waste onto
one of the Tableau piles.
Move a card from a Foundation back onto the Tableau. You can move the top card of a Foundation back onto the Tableau. This isn't allowed in all Solitaire versions, but we allow it here :)
Move a card from the Reserve onto the Tableau You can move the top card of the Reserve to an available Tableaupile.
Move a card from the Reserve onto the Foundation You can move the top card of the Reserve to a foundation pile.
Move one or all cards on a Tableau pile to another. You can move either the top card or every card from one
Tableau onto another Tableau pile, if the latter pile's top card is either one higher than the moved card, or the moved card is a King being played on an Ace; and in a
different color. For example, you could move a red 6 onto a black 7. Or, if you have red 6, black 5, red 4
face up on one tableau, you can move all of them at the same time onto a Tableau with a black 7. Or if one pile is red Queen on a black King you can play the pile on top of a red Ace.
In normal rules of Canfield you can only move entire piles at a time, but the game is hard enough as it is, so we allow the top card to be moved freely as well.
If both the Reserve pile and a Tableau pile are empty you can place any card you can normally move to the empty pile.
You can move a Tableau card onto the Foundations. You can do this manually if you need to
clear some space on the Tableau. You can either drag the cards onto the Foundation, or just double click it and then it will
go there by itself. When all cards on the Tableau are turned up, and all cards from the stock and reserve are finished
then the game will automatically move all the Tableau cards onto the Foundations, since at that point you are guaranteed
to win the game.
You can Undo as many times as you like. The game offers unlimited undos. Each Undo counts as a new move though,
so if you're trying to win the game in as few moves as possible you should be careful about how many undos you use.
Play the top Reserve card into an empty Tableau. If any of the Tableau piles are empty for any reason you must place the top card from the Reserve into the empty pile.
Keep in mind it is not possible to place cards back into the Reserve. The game will play the card for you and does not count it as a move.
Time and Moves
The game counts the moves you make, and measures the time it takes to finish the game and how many cards made it onto the foundation, so you can compete against your previous best games
if you want.
Fun trivia from Wikipedia!
Richard A. Canfield was a rather famed gambler and an owner of the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, New York during the 1890s. This variant of Solitaire was played at this
casino where players could pay $50 to purchase a deck. A player would then earn back $5 for each card they managed to get into the foundation before giving up, with getting all 52
cards, and thus winning, earning $500 instead. So the aim of Canfield wasn't as much get all 52 cards into the foundation, just enough to get your investment back and then some
(so breaking even would be placing 10 cards and anything else being a bonus for the gambler).
While Canfield was popular it has the downside of only a single player being able to play on each table, limiting the scalability.
Canfield Solitaire is notorius for being difficult to win. Barring undos it is speculated that expert players can clear maybe 40% of games, and casual but frequent players between 15% and 20%.
A computer simulation shows that ~70% of dealt Canfield games can be solved to begin with.
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About Canfield Solitaire
This is the 8th Solitaire game on cardgames.io, and the first game ever that is not created by the owner! It was developed by Magnus,
one of the two first employees of CardGames.io. It's a pretty hard game to win but we hope you enjoy it :)
If you have any questions, comments or requests for other solitaire games
you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
or tweet at me @cardgames_io.
Many thanks go to Nicu Buculei, who created
the excellent playing card images that are used in the game.
If you like this game check out the other card games on the site, and please share them on
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This is version 888 of Canfield Solitaire. Check for updates