Rules for Mount Sunflower

Family: Spider
Categories: Rewarding, New
Variants: Mount Sunflower Easy, Spiderette
Also Known As:  

Programmer Randy Rasa invented this game (along with the interesting and unusual Thirteens, which is also in Solitaire Till Dawn). He tells us that it is named after the highest point in Kansas (”hardly even a hill”) because “the initial layout looks something like a mountain, but it’s a rather short and dumpy little thing.” Mount Sunflower is similar to Spider but needs less luck to win. It’s one of those satisfying games that rewards good play with frequent wins. If your non-Mac friends are jealous of Solitaire Till Dawn, tell them to look for Randy’s excellent shareware solitaire programs for DOS and Windows computers. His Web site, Solitaire Central, is at


Mount Sunflower uses a row of seven tableau piles, with four foundations above them. Shuffle the deck and lay out 28 cards, four in each tableau. The first and last tableau should have three face-down cards and one face-up; the second and sixth tableaus should have two each; the third and fifth tableaus should have one face-down and three face-up; and the fourth (center) tableau should have all cards face-up. The result is a neat rectangle of cards, showing a low pyramid of face-up cards and the rest face-down. Keep the remaining 24 cards in your hand.


Tableaus build down, without regard for color or suit. The topmost card of each tableau is available; in addition, full or partial builds in suit are also available. (Although you do not have to build in suit, there is an advantage in doing so because such builds can be moved while mixed-suit builds cannot.) Foundations build up in suit from the Ace.

Empty spaces may be filled with any available card or build. Note however that Kings can only be played into empty spaces because there’s no higher rank to build them on.


You may deal any time you wish, provided that no tableaus are empty. (In the Classic version of Solitaire Till Dawn, Mount Sunflower allowed dealing at any time. If you prefer those rules, play Mount Sunflower Easy instead of Mount Sunflower.) To deal, turn up seven cards from the hand and put one onto each tableau regardless of rank or suit. The final deal will have only three cards, which go on the first three tableau piles. Usually you’ll deal when you’ve run out of other moves.


The goal is to move all cards to the foundations.


Build in suit whenever possible. Uncover the face down cards. Empty piles are precious. The more empty piles you can create and keep, the better. Build on higher-ranked cards before lower ones. One or two long, tangled piles are okay if they help you empty out other piles.

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