Rules for Westcliff Strict

Family: Klondike
Categories: Rewarding, Large
Variants: Easthaven,Westcliff
Also Known As:  

This variant of Westcliff was invented by our friend Joe Forbes. It is more difficult to win than regular Westcliff, but also more interesting to play. We believe that with careful play, at least two games out of three can be won, and perhaps more.


Shuffle the deck and lay it out in a row of 10 piles of three cards each, two cards face-down and one face-up in each pile. These are the tableaus. A discard pile starts the game empty. Keep the remaining cards in the deck.


The top card of the discard pile and full builds in the tableaus are available for play onto other tableaus. Tableaus build down, alternating red and black. Any available card or build may be played to an empty tableau.

The top card of the discard pile is available for play onto the tableaus.


You may deal at any time by taking one card from the hand and turning it face up onto the discard pile. There are no redeals: when the hand is empty, dealing is no longer allowed.


The game is won when you have moved all 52 cards into four tableau piles, each with 13 face-up cards in order from King down to Ace.


Favor play from the discard pile; try to keep it small. The two face-down cards in any tableau pile will be easier to reach than a card buried deeply in the discard pile.

Empty tableau piles are important because you can use them to help empty the discard pile. Especially look for ways to preserve empty piles, for example by moving a red 7 from the discard to an empty pile, then creating a new empty pile by moving a black 6 (or build with a black 6 on the bottom) onto the red 7.

If you have only a few cards left in the deck but many in the discard pile, examine the discard pile before moving cards from there to empty tableaus. If you gain no immediate advantage from such a move, and the move uses up an empty tableau, it may be a better bet to fill the empty tableau with cards from another tableau. This violates the first tip about favoring play from the discard pile, but late in the game that tip is less useful than common sense. If you can see that a move from the discard pile won’t be helpful, don’t make it.

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