Learn to Play

Napoleon at St. Helena

After his final exile to the island of St. Helena, Napoleon often played Solitaire. This is probably the version he played. Also known as Forty Thieves, it was once one of the most popular two-deck Solitaire games.
Game Type

Object of the Game

The goal is to get all eight foundations built up from ace through king. Two standard 52-card packs are used and they are shuffled together.

The Deal

Ten piles of four cards each, dealt by rows, all face up. The cards should overlap so that the player can see them all. Remaining cards are placed in a pile to form the Stock. Cards are turned up one at a time from the top of the stock and may be placed on the piles or foundations. Cards from the stock that cannot be used are placed face up in a pile below throws to form the waste pile. The top card of the waste pile is always available for building onto the piles or foundations. The player may overlap the waste pile cards so that all of them can be seen.

All aces are placed in a Foundation row above the ten dealt piles as soon as the player can release them from the piles.

Only the top card of a pile may be moved. The removal of a card releases the one below it. A card may be placed only on another of the same suit and next-higher in rank.

Example: A 7 of clubs may be placed only on 8 of clubs.

A king may not be built on an ace, and aces must be placed as foundations as soon as possible.

Foundations are built up in suit and sequence from ace through king.

When any of the ten piles is entirely cleared away, any movable card may be placed in the space.