In this variant, 4 cards are dealt face up. 13 cards are dealt face down initially to the left of these, and then the top card is turned over (let's call this the reserve).

The rest of the pack is dealt 3 cards at a time. You may use the top card of the deal or the card from the reserve.

Aces (when they appear) go above the 4 cards, and the object is to build these up.

Meanwhile, columns may be built up in ascending red/black sequence. The game ends when the four aces have been built up to king (win) or no cards from the deal or reserve can be used (lose).

I can't remember what the rule is for an empty column but I'm hoping there is enough here to identify it.

  • That sounds pretty similar to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_(solitaire)
    – Stef
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 16:02
  • 2
    @Stef there are a lot of similar patience games, but the one described has four stacks (not ten), and a 'reserve' pile that is absent in Spider Solitaire. Also, cards are dealt onto a heap in threes, but in SS a deal is ten cards, one to each stack. It's not very much like the description at all. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 18:35
  • There is a 2-player similar version called Huff, with 8 stacks (shared) and 2 reserve piles (one each). Each player deals to their pile three-cards-at-once. It has rules about the sequence cards must be played if there is more than one option. If a player breaks that rule, the other calls "Huff!" and their turn ends prematurely. This is a good advantage, because the player starts their turn with playable cards. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 18:52
  • ... I think the "sequence of play" rule was extended in my family to be (something like) first the reserve, then the stacks, then the dealt pile, to demand more attention and make the game more difficult. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 18:54
  • 1
    good place to look is at bvs solitaire collection (555 types of solitaire) bvssolitaire.com/rules/solitaire-types.htm if you know the type (spider) it reduce your search to 26 games.
    – Cohensius
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


You might be thinking about Tabby Cat or Manx. From BGG:Single-Deck Solitaire

Overview: Tabby Cat was created by Rick Holzgrafe, and was inspired by the classic two deck game Miss Milligan, but uses just a single deck. You begin with a tableau of four single cards, and each time you deal from the stock, a new card is placed on each pile in the style of Spider. You can build down by value in the tableau (including Kings on Aces), moving sequences if desired. The goal is to discard cards by assembling a full sequence from Ace through King, ignoring suits just like in the tableau. To assist with this you can make use of the "tail", which is an additional reserve into which you can move a single card or sequence while manipulating the tableau.

Thoughts: Many of these mechanics work the same as in Miss Milligan, but Tabby Cat is a more manageable game because it uses just a single deck. The concept of a reserve pile (the "tail") is especially genius, because it gives real room for skilful play. Using it wisely should enable you to win the majority of games. It's essential not to leave cards blocking the tail, since almost always the optimal way to play is to keep it free for use. The variant Manx makes the game harder by only allowing single cards rather than sequences to be placed in the tail.

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  • The game described by the OP deals onto a separate pile, three-at-a-time, not four cards in spider style. Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 17:13

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