Rules for Grandfather's Clock

Family: Grandfather's Clock
Categories: Simple, Pretty, Easy to Win
Also Known As:  

Grandfather’s Clock is easy to win and fun to look at. A won game shows the twelve foundations laid out like a clock face, and numbered 1 through 12 with the Ace at 1 o’clock and the Jack and Queen at 11 o’clock and Noon. The game requires a little thought, but nothing deep. Wins are frequent.


Separate the following cards from the deck, and lay them out in a clock-face circle, starting at 1 o’clock and progressing clockwise to Noon: 10H, JS, QD, KC, 2H, 3S, 4D, 5C, 6H, 7S, 8D, 9C. These twelve cards are the foundations. Shuffle the remaining cards and lay them out in 8 tableau piles of 5 cards each, face up and fanned down.

(The clock face is short and wide in Solitaire Till Dawn, to help fit on small screens. On a big table with real cards, you should lay out the clock face in a true circle, and orient the cards so that they all fan outwards from the center.)


Top cards of tableaus are available. Tableaus build down, regardless of suit or color. Empty tableaus may be filled with any available card. Foundations build up in suit. Building is circular: on tableaus, King may be played on Ace, while on foundations Ace may be played on King.


The goal is to build each foundation up to its appropriate number on the clock face. (This means that the foundations at 1, 2, 3, and 4 o’clock will finish with five cards each, while the rest will finish with four.)


Empty tableau piles are important because you can move any available card into an empty tableau. Make empty piles as soon as you can. Keep them empty by moving cards into them temporarily to free other cards, then emptying them again by moving their cards into organized builds in non-empty tableaus.

Although it may not always be wise, you should usually play cards to the foundations as soon as possible.

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