Report bug

How to Play Emperor Solitaire

Emperor is a solitaire card game first introduced in 1890 played with two decks.


The goal is to move all 104 cards from the stock pile and tableau into 8 foundation piles by suit in ascending order.

The Setup and Play Area

Tableau piles: This is the area with 10 columns, each with 4 cards, with the last card facing up. In total, there are 40 cards.

Stock pile: The remaining cards, or a total of 64 cards, are face-down in the stock pile.

Waste pile: Cards are drawn from the stock pile one at a time and go into the waste pile. You can only go through the stock pile once.

Foundation piles: These are the eight piles at the top of the game where cards are placed by suit in ascending order from Ace to King. There are 2 foundation piles for each suit.

Emperor Solitaire setup

Available moves

  • Only Aces can start in the foundation, and subsequent cards must be in ascending order by suit. For example, only a 2 of Spades can be played on an Ace of Spades
  • Only the last card in the tableau column is playable, and it can either be placed on top of a bottom tableau card that is a different color and one rank higher. A 4 of Diamonds, for example, can be moved on top of a 5 of Spades.
  • Unlike Klondike, you cannot move a group of sequenced cards in the tableau.
  • The most recently drawn card from the stock pile can be moved to the foundation or the tableau.
  • Face-down cards are turned over when the card on top of it is moved.
  • If a tableau column is empty, any playable card can be placed there.
  • You win when all cards are placed in the 8 foundations.


  • Create empty columns to move cards and unblock others.
  • If you have an empty column, try to place cards of higher ranks, like Kings, to help you create longer sequences in that column. Also, late in the game, consider moving cards from the stock pile into empty columns to get them in the tableau.
  • Immediately move Aces to the foundation.
  • The first visible sequence may not always be the best one. Plan out your moves to remove as many cards as possible from the tableau.
  • Because foundations are built from Ace to King, try to make low cards available so you can move them out of the tableau into the foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are similar games?

Try Josephine Solitaire, Forty Thieves, and Thieves of Egypt.

What is the probability of winning Forty Thieves?

The game is challenging with a low win rate. We looked at 426 random games played. Of those, 23 were won, or 5.40%.

What are other popular Solitaire games?

Be sure to check out these Solitaire games:


Sign in to Solitaired.com with Facebook

Sign in to appear on the leaderboard and save your stats!