Forty Thieves solitaire is yet another exciting addition to our patience game collection. With a ridiculously easy setup, but a challenging approach to play, this addictively fun game of Forty Thieves solitaire will surely test even the most seasoned of solitaire aficionados.
A game of many names which draws from maritime tradition, Forty Thieves solitaire is alternatively known as Napoleon in St. Helena (though mostly on the other side of the Atlantic). The fated emperor supposedly passed the time playing the game after being swept into exile by the vengeful British.
Whether or not that is true, it certainly requires a strategic mindset. Let’s look at how to play Forty Thieves solitaire.
40 Thieves solitaire is played with two decks of cards, so have these on hand before you get started. Make sure you’ve got a reasonable playing area, like a table, to set your cards down on. Alternatively, you can load up a game of free 40 Thieves solitaire directly on our website. We’ve already set it up for you.
The ultimate goal of all solitaire games is to return a shuffled set of cards to a certain order. Let’s quickly go over some essential solitaire terms that will make explaining this particular variation easier.
It’s really as simple as that! No complicated combinations of covered and uncovered cards. Now that we’re ready, let’s look at our objectives.
Forty Thieves solitaire is won by arranging your cards into eight piles, or families, on the foundations – two piles for each suit in the 104-card deck. Cards must be of the same suit and arranged in ascending order from ace to king.
This is achieved by moving cards from the tableau, or directly from the stock, onto the foundations. Cards can only be moved based on certain criteria. If you’re unable to make any more legal moves, the game of Forty Thieves solitaire is over.
The majority of play involves you moving cards between the different vertical lines on the tableau, building up ‘runs’ of cards that follow a specific order.
You’ll see that these two rules limit the number of moves you can make from the outset. Much of the Forty Thieves solitaire’s strategy is to free up cards trapped in their respective piles, making moves so that they can be brought into play.
Once you’ve run out of moves on the tableau, you can create new opportunities by introducing cards from your stock.
Once your stock is completely empty, flip over your waste pile so that it faces away from you and draw the first card. This is your new stock.
Like all patience games, Forty Thieves solitaire has plenty of variations, some of which make use of only one deck. There’s also a version called Sixty Thieves, which, you guessed it, uses three decks and 12 columns of five cards.
Whether you call it Forty Thieves solitaire, Napoleon at St. Helena, or any of its myriad names, we’ve got it all set up for you on our website. Just pick your choice of solitaire to get started.