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Play Forty Thieves Solitaire Online for Free

Forty Thieves is a Solitaire game that uses two decks or 104 cards. It’s also referred to as Napoleon at St. Helena, named after how Napoleon would play the game on the island of Saint Helena when he was exiled there.

How to Play


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

The Setup and Play Area

There are three main areas in the game:

Tableau piles: This is the area where cards are placed face-up in 10 columns of 4 cards each, totaling 40 cards.

Stock pile: The remaining cards, or a total of 62 cards, are face-down in the stock pile.

Waste pile: Cards drawn from the stock pile that cannot be placed in the tableau go to the waste pile.

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.

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 moved to the foundation or on top of another card of the same suit one rank higher. A 3 of Diamonds, for example, can be moved on top of a 4 of Diamonds. 
  • Unlike Klondike, you cannot move a group of sequenced cards in the tableau.
  • Cards from the stock pile can be moved to the foundation or the tableau. Otherwise, they will go into the waste pile.
  • The top card of the waste pile is playable.
  • If a tableau column is empty, any legally playable card can be placed there.
  • You are allowed a single pass through the stock pile.
  • You win when all cards are placed in the 8 foundations.

What our instructional video to learn how to play.


To win, follow these tips:

  • Create empty columns to move cards and unblock others.
  • If you have an empty column, try to place cards of higher ranks 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?

Josephine Solitaire is similar, except you can move sequenced cards as a group, making the game easier.

What is the probability of winning Forty Thieves?

The game is challenging with a low win rate. We looked at 182,919 random games played. Of those, 6,754 were won, or 3.69%

What are other popular Solitaire games to try?

If you like Forty Thieves, you’ll also like:


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