A Solitaire Glossary
The terms defined in this glossary are:
alternate color, available,
blocked, build (up or
down), deal, discard,
fan, follow rank or suit,
layout, pile, rank,
stock, stuck, suit, tableau, talon,
Brought to you by Semicolon
Software, makers of Solitaire Till Dawn.
- Cards which can be legally moved from one pile
to another are said to be available. (Note that
a card can be available even if there's currently no other pile to move it to. Another way to say it is
that the available cards are the ones you could move, if you
had a place to move them to.)
- You are blocked or stuck
when you can't find any more moves to make.
- An ordered sequence of cards in a pile.
In some games, the tableaus are built
down by alternate colors. This is the
official way to say that a red 6 goes on a black 7, and a black
5 goes on a red 6. In many games the foundations
are built up by following suit,
which means that the 6 goes on the 5. Some
games build by following rank,
which means a 4 goes on a 4. Some games allow circular
building, in which an Ace can be built up on a King,
or a King built down on an Ace. Some games allow you to move
a partial build from one pile
to another; in other words, you can break a build in two and
take the topmost part of it away. Other
games require you to move full builds only;
you are not allowed to break up a build.
- Adding cards to the layout by taking
them from the hand. Dealing is different
in every solitaire. In some games there is no hand
and therefore no dealing at all. In others you may occasionally
gather cards from the layout back into
the hand, and deal them again.
- A pile that has been spread out, so that
all of its cards are visible. Only the topmost
card in the fan will be completely visible; the other cards will
be partially overlapped and hidden. Fans may be spread left,
right, up, or down; fanned down is the most common.
- A kind of pile. The goal of many solitaire
games is to eventually move all the cards onto the foundation
piles. Usually the foundations are empty
at the start of a game, but in some games they may begin with
a starter card.
- The cards that are not part of the layout.
Generally these are held in a pack in your hand, and periodically
you may deal cards onto the layout
from your hand. In Solitaire Till Dawn, the hand has a special
appearance, and you can click it to deal.
- The pattern of cards on the table. The initial layout is
the set of cards that you create at the very start of the game,
when you're ready to play but haven't made any moves yet.
- The reason you lost that game. See Skill.
- A pile of cards. Piles may be squared, so
that only the topmost card can be seen,
or they may be spread out in a fan. Piles
can be empty, if there are no cards in them. Most solitaire games
involve moving cards among various piles, with the goal of eventually
getting them all into a particular pile or group of piles. Sometimes
a pile is referred to by number, for example "In pile 3,
..." This usually refers to the tableau
piles, and they are numbered left to right, top to bottom, so
that "pile 3" would be the third from the left. See
also foundation, tableau,
- The number value of a card. In solitaire, the Ace
counts as one and is the lowest-ranked card, while the Jack,
Queen, and King count as eleven,
twelve, and thirteen.
- The reason you won that game. See Luck.
- A kind of pile. Usually a single pile of cards that can be drawn upon, one card
at a time, during the game.
- The suits are Hearts , Spades
Diamonds , and Clubs . Hearts
and Diamonds are colored red, of course, and
Spades and Clubs are colored black.
- A kind of pile. The tableau piles
are your "workspace." They're where you move cards
back and forth while you look for opportunities to transfer cards
to the foundations.
- Topmost Card:
- The topmost card of a pile is the one
that is not overlapped by any other card, even when the pile
is fanned down so that the topmost card is
closest to the bottom of the screen.
- A kind of pile. Often the cards from
the hand are dealt face-up onto a wastepile.
The top card of the wastepile can then be moved onto other piles according to the rules of the particular
game. In some games, wastepiles hold cards permanently removed
Copyright 1995, 1996 by Semicolon Software.
All rights reserved.
Last modified Wednesday, July 31, 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org