Devil’s Grip

Step up your game with something more challenging than Solitaire.

How to play: Devil’s Grip

Object of the Game

The goal is to place the entire deck into the piles on the grid, winding up with jacks on top in the top row, queens on top in the middle row, and kings on top in the bottom row.

The Deck

Two standard 52-card packs are stripped of all the aces, leaving a deck of 96 cards.

The Deal

After the pack is shuffled, 24 cards are dealt face up in three rows of eight columns. At any time, cards may be moved within this three-by-eight grid by changing places with one another. The remainder of the pack is placed face down to form the stock.

The Play

Cards may be placed on top of one another if they are of the same suit and adhere to one of the following bottom-to-top orders:
2, 5, 8, J
3, 6, 9, Q
4, 7, 10, K

The order may seem random, but it makes sense visually on the grid: deuces in the top row, threes in the middle, fours on the bottom row, then in the top row, fives, middle row sixes, and so on.


When an empty space appears as a result of moving one card on top of another, the top card of the stock is drawn to replace it. This is the only way that the base cards (deuces, threes and fours) can make it onto the grid. If there are no empty spaces, cards are turned up in the traditional Solitaire manner - groups of three - and these cards are left face up in a pile to form the talon. Cards of the correct suit may be taken and placed on top of appropriate cards already on the grid. Thus, the eight of spades may be placed on the five of spades. It is not necessary for the five to already be on top of a two of spades.

Ending the Game

Play continues until no more cards can enter the grid. Usually, every pile will have a picture card on top. The cards left in the talon are counted to become the player's score - the lower the better. It is rare to play out the entire deck. A score of 10 or fewer cards left in the talon is "good"; a score of five cards or under is "excellent"; and 2 or fewer cards is "brilliant."

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