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5 - 10 min
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Calculation Solitaire

10.04.2007

Here is a close look to a solitaire from Others category, which means it is a unique one, — Calculation. It offers more scope for skill than many similar games; a skilled player can win Calculation at least nine times out of ten.

Layout

At the start of play, one ace, deuce, three, and four of any suit are removed from a standard deck of cards and laid out as the foundations. The ace foundation is to be built up in sequence until the king is reached, disregarding suit. The other foundations are similarly built up, but by twos, threes, and fours, respectively, until they each reach a king, as in the following table:

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K
2 4 6 8 10 Q A 3 5 7 9 J K
3 6 9 Q 2 5 8 J A 4 7 10 K
4 8 Q 3 7 J 2 6 10 A 5 9 K

The tableau, initially empty, consists of four piles of cards, usually arranged immediately below the four foundations.

Play in Calculation is simple. A single card is turned up from the stock and played either to the top of any of the four tableau piles, or, if desired and possible, onto one of the foundations. The top card of any tableau pile may also be played onto one of the foundation piles if it is the next number in the appropriate sequence for that foundation. The game is won when all cards have been played onto the foundations, and lost when no further play is possible.

Game Strategy

As a rule one tableau pile has to be earmarked for kings. To lay a king on any lower card is hazardous, since it can be removed only by building up one foundation complete. But when three kings, possible two, have been laid in the reserve, it may be advisable to use all four piles for lower cards because the remaining kings may not come too soon.

The natural policy is to try to build descending sequences on the tableau piles, corresponding to the foundation sequences. Of course, the cards are rarely so kind as to allow these builds to be extended very far, but a judicious scattering of sequences of two to four cards works wonders.

As a rule, avoid laying a card on a pile that contains another of the same rank, but this rule may well be ignored to maintain a correct sequence.

The finest art revolves around keeping track of how soon or late certain cards may be needed; how deep and with what cards they may be safely covered; whether a card should be played on a foundation or held back to develop another foundation.

Sources:
Wikipedia
21st Software

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