Baker's Dozen is a solitaire card game using a deck of fifty-two
playing cards. The game is so called because of the 13 columns in the game,
the number in a baker's dozen.
First, the cards are dealt into columns of four on the tableau, resulting in
13 columns. Any King that is in the top or middle of each column must be
placed on the bottom before the game starts. Two Kings that are mixed into
one column are placed on the bottom without changing their order.
The object of the game is to build all the cards onto the four foundations.
The player must first free up the four aces and if one of them is found, it
is placed on the foundation. Building on the foundation is up by suit, each
from ace to king.
Only the top cards of each column are available, and, if they cannot be
placed on the foundations yet, can be built down regardless of suit.
Furthermore, once all cards are taken out of a column, the column can never
The game is won when all cards end up in the foundations.
It is important to keep close track of all cards that lie beneath a higher
card of the same suit in the same pile. In order to win, the lower card must
be pulled out somehow. Your objective in moving cards should be to get all
of these cards out from under. In the process, be careful of playing cards
to the foundations too soon. If you let one foundation pile get too far
ahead of the others, you may find yourself in a situation where you need
some of the cards that have been played to the foundations in the tableau to
build on to free another card. Also keep in mind that you cannot refill an
empty pile, so once a pile is gone, it's gone.
Some positions will be very difficult to win. An average player can win
about 75% of the time, and a good player can approach winning all the time,
but there will be some very difficult positions, and occasionally a position
that cannot be won at all.
Here are some variations of Baker's Dozen:
- In Good Measure, two aces are taken out and placed on the
foundations while the rest of the deck is shuffled and laid out in columns
of five cards, resulting in 10 columns. Like in Baker's Dozen, Kings that
are at the top or in the middle of their respective columns are placed at
the bottom and the game proceeds in the process stated above.
- In Spanish Patience, Kings are left alone after dealing and
empty columns can be filled by any card during game play.
- Castles in Spain is akin to Spanish Patience, but the cards
in the tableau are built down by alternate color.
- Portuguese Solitaire is halfway between Baker's Dozen and
Spanish Patience because empty columns can only be filled with Kings.