Forty Thieves Solitaire is a solitaire card game played with two decks. 40 cards are initially dealt into 10 piles. The player may move only the top card in each pile. The player can build the piles down by suit, and may deal cards from the stock pile into the waste pile one at a time. The player can use the top card in the waste pile or the top card in the stock pile to build down the piles, or build up the foundations.
How to play Forty Thieves Solitaire
Game Basics - The Deal
Forty Thieves is a solitaire game played using two 52-card decks. Forty cards are dealt into 10 piles each. This is a very challenging solitaire game that requires strategic planning and some amount of luck in the way the cards fall.
There are 8 foundation piles in the game that are to be built in ascending order by suit from Ace to King. There is a stock pile of cards face down with two waste piles. When the stock pile is clicked, cards are placed in the waste piles and can be picked up for play in the 10 piles or in the foundation area. Once the stock pile is depleted, it is gone and no more cards can be drawn from it.
In the 10 piles, cards can be moved among the piles one card at a time. A card can only be placed on a card of the same suit and in descending order. A 4-Clubs can only be played on a 5-Clubs. There is no limit of how many cards can be in any one pile. An empty pile can be filled with any card. Only the top card in a pile can be moved. Moving sequences, pairs, or any combination is not allowed. This is one of the rules that make this game so challenging.
The goal is to fill the foundation piles, all 8 of them, by suit in ascending order beginning with the Low Ace, then Deuce, and so on until built up to King.
Strategies and Tips
This is a difficult solitaire game to win, and that should be noted up front. The game does not offer much flexibility in the movement of cards. There is also no reserve area to hold cards temporarily to make game play easier. Another challenge is the stock pile that deals into the waste pile cannot be re-used once it is gone.
Players should focus on getting cards from the tableau area onto the foundations. Playing cards from the waste pile is fine, but the stock piles on the tableau are the primary focus for seeking out buried cards needed to fill the foundation piles.
Even advanced skilled players only win at Forty Thieves about 20% of the time, average players about 10%. So for any solitaire fan ready for a challenge, Forty Thieves is a good place to start. Good Luck!