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5 - 10 min
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Canfield Solitaire

19.03.2007

With the story about Monte Carlo solitaire we began to describe interesting solitaires, making them familiar to you. Today's article is about Canfield.

The story behind the game

It is said that Richard A. Canfield, noted gambler, owned a casino in Saratoga Springs, New York during the 1890s. Gamblers at his casino would play the game by "buying" a deck of cards for $50. The gambler would then play the game and earn $5 for every card he managed to place into the foundations. Although players make a loss (about an average of five to six cards), the game proved to be popular, and Canfield became rich. The disadvantage of this new game was to hire a croupier for every gambler playing the game.

Though the above story appears very widely, some critics to the story say that it cannot be correct because Canfield would have been bankrupt if this story were true, if simple mathematics is applied. Nonetheless, the story stuck to explain the game's origins, although it has not yet been researched thoroughly.

Canfield himself called the game Klondike, but the name Canfield stuck and became synonymous with solitaire itself. Sometimes, Canfield and Klondike are even interchangeable to refer to each other's games.

Method of play

To play the game, one must first deal thirteen cards faced down and then turned up. These cards would be the reserve, the top card of which is available for play. Then a card is placed on first of the four foundations to the left of the reserve. This card is the first card of its foundation and all other cards of the same rank must also start the other three foundations.

Below the foundations are four piles, each starting with a card. This will be the tableau and the top card of each pile is available for play. Cards on the tableau are built down by alternating colors, while the foundations are built up by suit, wrapping from King to Ace if necessary. Any gaps on the tableau are filled from the reserve. Cards on the reserve can also be distributed to the foundations or to the tableau. Cards on the tableau are also can be moved as one unit, provided that the entire column has to be moved.

When no more plays are possible on the tableau and no more cards can be placed to the foundations, especially from the reserve, one can deal cards from the stock (the undealt cards) three at a time into the waste pile and use these cards to build to the foundations or to the tableau. One can make unlimited redeals as long as there are moves.

The game is won when all cards are placed in the foundations. But as Canfield knew very well, winning this game is unlikely, as one can manage to place an average of five to six cards.

Variations

Below are some variations to the game:

  • In Canfield II, one can deal the stock one card at a time. Two redeals are allowed in this game.
  • In Rainbow Canfield (or just Rainbow), one can deal the stock one card at a time. Two redeals are allowed in this game.
  • In Storehouse Canfield (or just Storehouse), one should remove the deuces (twos) and place them on the foundations. The reserve and the cards on the tableau are then dealt. The stock is dealt one card at a time and it can be redealed only twice. Furthermore, the method of building in that game is by suit.
  • In Superior Canfield, the entire reserve is visible and gaps can be filled by any card, not just those from the reserve.
  • In Chameleon, the reserve only has 12 cards, and there are only three tableau columns. Building in the tableau is down regardless of suit and the stock is dealt one at a time with no redeals.

Source: Wikipedia

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