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Difficulty
High
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Time to win
10 min and more
5 - 10 min
3 - 5 min
less than 3 min
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Terrace Solitaire

18.06.2007

Terrace is a two-deck game with elaborate rules and good prospects for skillful players. We warn you, this is a very addictive game!

Layout

First, eleven cards are dealt in a row, overlapping each other. These cards form the reserve or "the terrace" (hence the name Terrace). After leaving a space below the terrace for the foundations, four cards are laid out in a row on the tableau. The player will then choose which of these four cards would start the first foundation. Once the choice has been made and the card chosen is placed on the foundation row, the gap it leaves behind is immediately filled with a new card from the stock. Five new cards are then added beside these four to form the tableau.

The foundations are built up in alternating colors, wrapping from King to Ace if necessary. The cards on the tableau are available to be built either on the foundations or on other cards in the tableau. The cards on the tableau are built down on each other also in alternating colors, and any gap can be filled by a card from the waste pile. Cards are moved one at a time, and when a column is formed from building cards, only the top card is available for play.

The top card (i.e. the exposed card) of the terrace is the only card available for play and can be used to build only on the foundations.

When there are no more possible moves on the tableau, the stock is dealt one card at a time and placed on the waste pile, the top card of which is available to be built on the foundations or the tableau. However, when the stock runs out, there is no redeal: the waste pile turns over and its cards may be played until an unplayable card is reached.

The game is won when all cards end up in the foundations. The game is lost when it is stuck after the entire stock has been dealt.

Game Strategy

When selecting your first foundation card, look at the cards in the reserve. Choose a foundation card that will (as much as possible) let you play the first reserve cards early, and the last ones late.

Moving cards from the reserve should be your highest priority. Look ahead for opportunities to move the top few reserve cards; don't make plays that would block moving those reserve cards.

It's important to keep the waste pile small.

Keep as many one-card tableaus as you reasonably can, because they can be moved to other tableaus to create an empty pile.

Variations

  • In Signora, you can start the first foundation with the exposed card from one of 9 tableau piles, the reserve or waste pile.
  • In Falling Star, the first foundation is already filled, so you have no maneuver here (all variations below have the same feature). Also there are only 8 tableau piles, which make it even harder.
  • Balcony is a one-deck variation of Falling Star. It has 7 tableau piles and 7 cards in the reserve.
  • Blondes and Brunettes is easier to win than Falling Star, as far as there are 9 tableau piles and only 10 cards in the reserve.
  • In General's Patience there are 13 cards in the reserves, but you can turn over the waste pile after the stock runs out (as in Terrace).

Sources:
Wikipedia
Semicolon

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