Batsford Solitaire

Batsford solitaire is an interesting take on the classic form of the card game, and one that you won’t be able to stop playing once you’ve tried it the first time. It’s very similar to typical forms of solitaire while being different in enough ways that the way you play overall is very different. There’s a lot to learn about this lesser-known variation of solitaire, so let’s cover everything you need to know to get started playing Batsford solitaire.

How to Play Batsford Solitaire 

Firstly, playing Batsford solitaire online is really easy. There are dozens of options online where you can play the game for free. Simply type Batsford solitaire into a search engine and you’ll be greeted with many options for different places to play the game. 

In terms of the way in which the game is played, the initial set up for Batsford solitaire is very similar to Klondike solitaire. The main difference is that you have two decks of cards, so you have 10 tableaus of 55 cards to start off with. The remaining cards are dealt into the stock pile. You have eight foundation piles into which you build sequences of cards by suit starting at aces. When all cards are in the foundations, you’ve won the game. 

With the basics out of the way, let’s break down the rules step by step. 

Rules of Batsford Solitaire 

The rules of Batsford are overall quite simple: 

  1. Sequences must be built in descending order by alternating color. Like in Klondike solitaire, Batsford solitaire’s sequences work by placing a card on the card one above it in value and the opposite color. For example, an eight of hearts could be placed either on a nine of clubs or spades. You can also move multiple cards at once if the sequences match up.
  2. Typically, you can only cycle through the stock pile once or twice. Online forms of Batsford solitaire may have some slight variations on this rule, but typically you cannot endlessly cycle through the stock pile as you can in Klondike—you can only do so once or twice before those cards are no longer available. 
  3. You have a reserve space that can hold a single king. This reserve space is useful for creating space and holding onto a king until you have space for it. 
  4. You can move cards from the foundation back into the tableau. This isn’t always allowed in many forms of solitaire, but Batsford solitaire allows cards placed in the foundations to be moved back into the tableau. 
  5. Empty tableau piles can only be filled with a king. In Batsford solitaire, not just any card can be placed into an empty tableau pile—it must be a king or a sequence of cards with a king at the top. 

That covers the rules and moves you can make in detail—now let’s turn our attention to winning strategies. 

How to win Batsford Solitaire 

You win the game of Batsford solitaire when you have moved all cards into the foundation piles by suit. Here’s how to best achieve this: 

  1. Think carefully and play slowly. Batsford solitaire is different in that you will only be able to cycle through the stock pile once or twice. Making sure you can get access to as many cards as possible from the stock pile means playing strategically. Batsford solitaire is not just a game of luck—indeed you only have around an 8% chance of winning a given hand. 
  2. Deal once from the stock pile at the start. By dealing from the stock pile as your first move, you give yourself the widest possible range of moves to make. Thus, you are more likely to find the optimal move—but don’t deal more than once. 
  3. Focus on long tableau piles. You want to ignore the stockpile for as long as possible after that first move. Your main focus at first should be revealing the face down cards in the tableaus. Playing with two decks, you have a lot of cards to reveal in Batsford solitaire. 
  4. Don’t empty a tableau slot without a king ready. As empty slots can only be filled with a king, you want to be sure you’ve got a king ready to go when you move all the cards out of a tableau. The king reserve is great for this reason. 
  5. Build sequences evenly. By building even sequences, you give yourself the best chance of revealing as many cards as possible—uneven sequences will most likely get you stuck eventually. 

Batsford solitaire is a great twist on the classic format of solitaire, then, and it’s a really interesting one to try if you haven’t before. Even many veteran solitaire players are not familiar with this form of the game, so try it out and share Batsford solitaire with your friends!