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Napoleon at St. Helena

Game Type
Kids, Adults

After his final exile to the island of St. Helena, Napoleon often played Solitaire. This is probably the version he played. Also known as Forty Thieves, it was once one of the most popular two-deck Solitaire games. It is still frequently played.

The Pack. Two standard 52-card packs are used and they are shuffled together.

Tableau. Ten piles of four cards each, dealt by rows, all face up. The cards should overlap so that the player can see them all.

Foundations. All aces are placed above the tableau as soon as the player can release them from the tableau. (See diagram below)


Building. Only the top card of a pile may be moved. The removal of a card releases the one below it. A card may be placed only on another of the same suit and next-higher in rank.Example: A 7♠ may be placed only on 8♠. A king may not be built on an ace, and aces must be placed as foundations as soon as possible. Foundations are built up in suit and sequence from ace through king.

Object of the Game. The goal is to get all eight foundations built up from ace through king.

Spaces. When any of the ten tableau piles is entirely cleared away, any movable card may be placed in the space.

Stock. Cards are turned up one at a time from the top of the stock and may be placed on the tableau or foundations.
Talon. Cards from the stock that cannot be used are placed face up in a pile below the tableau to form the talon (waste pile). The top card of the talon is always available for building onto the tableau or foundations. The player may overlap the talon cards so that all of them can be seen.