Rules for Thirteens

Family: Thirteens
Categories: Unusual, New
Also Known As: Tetris Solitaire

This interesting and unusual game was invented by programmer Randy Rasa, who kindly gave us permission to include Thirteens in Solitaire Till Dawn. If your non-Mac friends are jealous of Solitaire Till Dawn, tell them to look for Randy’s excellent shareware solitaire programs for Windows computers. His Web site, Solitaire Central, is at And if you like Thirteens, you should also try Mount Sunflower!


Shuffle the deck and lay out fifteen cards, face up, in a matrix of five rows and three columns; this is the tableau. Place the remaining cards face down to form the stock.


Adjacent pairs of cards in the tableau may be discarded if they sum to thirteen. For example, an adjacent 8 and 5 could be discarded, or an adjacent Jack and 2. Kings may be discarded singly. “Adjacent” means above or below, or to the left or right, or diagonally. For example, the cards in the middle of the tableau are each adjacent to eight other cards, while the cards at the corners are each adjacent to only three others.

When a card is discarded, all cards above it in its column will “fall” down to fill the empty space. This in turn leaves an empty space at the top of the column, which is immediately filled from the stock. When the stock is empty, the spaces at the top of the column remain unfilled.

Towards the end of the game, one or two columns may become empty. You are then permitted to bring a card down from the top of another column to fill the single space at the bottom of each empty column. (This is an important rule. Without it, Thirteens becomes a much harder game to win.)


Discard all cards.


Immediately discard Kings that appear at the top of a column.

Match pairs in the middle column when you have a choice. Cards that fall down the middle column are adjacent to both side columns and have better chances of making future matches, so you want to slide lots of cards down that middle column.

When you can’t match in the middle, match side cards to middle cards. Only match sides to sides when there are no other good matches for those cards.

Make matches high in the columns first. If you play low matches first, the higher matches may drift apart and you’ll lose the opportunity.

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