Rules for Old Patience

Family: Calculation
Categories: Thinker's, Small
Also Known As: Try Again, Sir Tommy

Old Patience is one of those games that consists of playing cards from a stock into a limited set of reserve piles, until they can be played from the reserves to the foundations. It is similar to Calculation, but easier to keep straight in your head. The strategy lies in storing cards in the right order on the right reserves, so that later on you can peel them off again without finding yourself blocked. Played well, you can win at least one game in five.


Shuffle the entire deck and place it face down to form the stock; turn the topmost card of the stock face-up. Four foundations and four reserve piles start the game empty.


Turn four cards face-up from the stock, one at a time, and put them onto reserve piles. Each card can go on any reserve pile, regardless of rank or suit.

Next move any cards that you can from the reserves to the foundations. The foundations build up from Ace to King without regard for suit. Then repeat: deal four more cards to the reserves, then play from reserves to foundations, and continue until the game is finished.


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


Play lower-ranked cards onto higher ones in the reserves, if you can. Especially beware of trapping a lower-ranked card under all four cards of some higher rank. To avoid that trap, it might be wise to avoid placing too many of any one rank into the same reserve pile.

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