I'm in the UK. My sister taught me this as "American Patience" in the 1960's (it is not a straight Solitaire).

Object: To clear the tableaux and move all the cards to the 4 foundation piles, Ace through King, as normal. 1 deck (no jokers), all laid out to tableau face up, in piles of 3, each fanned to show underlying cards.

Initial layout: 16 piles of 3, with last four laid as 2 piles of two.

Only top card of each pile is movable to other piles with two or one in pile. Once the last card in a pile is moved to the foundation, the pile position is lost for further use.

Key rule: Top cards are moved to other piles that match the same value (3 on 3, J on J etc, suit/colour irrelevant). Aces on top of any pile can move to foundation as normal, enabling standard moves to Foundation thereafter. During play, groups of three of same value in a pile tend to build up, stopping the fourth of that value from moving until the foundation builds to that value. Common strategy is to aim for two piles with two of same value to prevent this.

Very rarely get through to foundation completion first go, so get a total of three "tries" - ie when no moves left, the foundation stays, remaining tableau gathered and reshuffled, and laid out again in threes as before, until only 4,5 or 6 cards remain to set into tableau;

  • 6 remaining=> 3 piles of two
  • 5 remaining=> 2 piles of two, 1 of one
  • 4 remaining=> 2 piles of two

Love to know the most common name and get an electronic version on my android tablet.

2 Answers 2


It looks like Troika, but that game has no redeal.

  • 1
    The only differences between OP's rules and your link are the redeals and a slight tweak to the layout (a single pile of 1 after the 3s instead of 2 piles of 2); I'd guess it's a regional or house-rules variant without a separate name. Mar 23, 2017 at 23:14

The game you describe is similar to one taught to me by my grandfather. The layout is the same except we have a third bottom pile which is empty at the deal (two piles of two cards and one pile empty). The bottom three piles may be emptied and refilled with any card. The play also varies slightly. Our version plays cards in descending order, i.e., on top of a three there must be played a two of opposite color. There are no redeals. I have yet to find the name of this game. Sadly my grandfather is no longer with us. He took the name, if he knew it, with him. We call this game the chess of solitaire because of the strategy and varying lines of play which can occur.

  • 1
    This doesn't actually answer the question because it doesn't offer a name for the variant described.
    – ryanyuyu
    Nov 30, 2021 at 13:29

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