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How to Play Limited Solitaire

Limited Solitaire is similar to Forty Thieves, except the tableau is made up of 12 columns with 3 cards each, whereas in Forty Thieves the tableau has 10 columns with 4 cards each. It's called Limited because of the limited nature of the tableau.


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

The Setup and Play Area

Tableau: This is the area where cards are placed face-up in 12 columns of 3 face-up cards each, totaling 36 cards.

Stock pile: The remaining cards, or a total of 68 cards, are face-down in the stock pile. Cards are dealt one at a time, and you can only go through the stock pile once.

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 8 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 Hearts can be played on an Ace of Hearts.
  • 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. An 8 of Diamonds, for example, can be moved on top of a 9 of Diamonds.
  • Unlike Klondike, you cannot move a group of sequenced cards in the tableau.
  • Cards from the stock pile are dealt into the waste pile. The top cards of the waste pile can be moved to the foundation or the tableau.
  • If a tableau column is empty, any legally playable card can be placed there.
  • You win when all cards are placed in the 8 foundations. If you can't successfully do this, you lose.


  • 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 into 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.
  • Try to build the foundations evenly. If one foundation is built immediately in the game, you now have fewer cards of that color to help you sequence.
  • If you get stuck, use the undo button. You may not always make the right moves, and you may need to reverse some to win the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are similar games?

Josephine Solitaire, Squadron, Sixty ThievesForty Thieves, and Thieves of Egypt all have similar rules.

What is the probability of winning Limited Solitaire?

We looked at 520 random games played. Of those, 52 were won, or 10%. This makes the game easier than Forty Thieves, which has a win rate of 3.69%. This is because you have 12 columns, which gives you 2 more columns to free up to help you move cards.

What are other popular Solitaire games to try?


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