Rules for King Albert

Family: Klondike
Categories: Rewarding
Also Known As: Idiot's Delight

Also known as “Idiot’s Delight,” but we think that name is a bit unfair. A little brain work goes a long way in this pleasant and mildly challenging member of the Klondike family. It’s not for idiots, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist either. A good player should be able to win at least one game in four, and some authorities claim you can win as many as one in two.


Shuffle the deck and lay out nine tableau piles, fanned down. The first tableau has one card, the second two, the third three and so on, up to the ninth tableau which has nine cards. When this is done you will have seven cards left over; these form the reserve. All 52 cards should be placed face up. The four foundations start the game empty.


Tableaus build down in alternate colors. Foundations build up in suit from the Ace. The seven cards in the reserve, and the top card of each tableau, are available for play on tableaus or foundations. Any available card can be placed in an empty tableau pile. Empty reserves cannot be filled, and must remain empty.


The goal is to move all the cards onto the foundations.


As in all games where any card can be played to an empty tableau, making empty tableaus is crucial. Use them as temporary holding places when you’re digging for deeply buried cards, and empty them out again as soon as you can by building back onto other tableaus.

Don’t move cards out of the reserve unless you really need them. Unlike Free Cell and other such games, in King Albert you can’t move cards back into an empty reserve pile, so once they’re empty they’re useless.

Build the foundations evenly, unless you (really, truly) need to dig under some cards and the foundation is the only place they can go.

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