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How to Play Forty Thieves

Forty Thieves Solitaire is a popular and challenging solitaire card game. With less than a 10% chance of winning, even if you play well, we find this particular solitaire game very satisfying when we win! For those who are interested in a bit of trivia it's also sometimes known by the names Big Forty, Napoleon at Saint Helena and Le Cadran.

Setting Up Forty Thieves Solitaire

Forty Thieves is card game played with two decks of cards with all jokers removed. As you can see from the picture below 40 cards are dealt face-up in columns that consist of four cards. All the remaining cards are left in a waste pile that can be used later. As two decks are used you will often notice duplicate cards after setting-up.

Forty Thieves Solitaire Set Up

Rules of Forty Thieves Solitaire

To win a game, the goal is to move every card onto the eight foundation piles. Each foundation starts with an Ace of a particular suit and rises up to the King of that suit. So after an Ace of hearts is put into a foundation pile, it would have to be followed by the two of hearts and so.

The rules are very simple. You are only allowed to move cards one by one. When you move a card it must be in placed in descending order and in the same suit. For example you can move a 10 of clubs only onto a Jack of clubs. When a column is empty you can move any single card onto it to start it off. You can turn over a single card at a time and put them whenever you decide you want to or if course if there are no possible moves for you. You are only allowed to pass through the waste pile once and of course you can only use the top card of the waste pile.

How to Win Forty Thieves Solitaire

Right, so now you've got your head round those simple rules let's help you win!

We hope you have much more success playing Forty Thieves Solitaire after reading this guide.

Further reading

Are you curious about how to play other solitaire variants? Check out one of our guides:

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