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How to Play: Thieves of Egypt

For centuries, single-player card games have been a popular way to pass time and to challenge oneself to beat score or time records. These games are referred to as Solitaire or Patience in many countries, and our Solitaire plaform is dedicated to offering as many free Solitaire games as possible.

Klondike Solitaire is the classic game, and it's the one most likely to come to mind when hearing the name Solitaire. This is the game that's been included on PCs since Windows 95, and we wouldn't be much of a Solitaire site if we didn't include it. While there's no denying this game's appeal, we strive to offer other great versions as well, such as Spider Solitaire and our recent addition FreeCell (also known as Baker's Game).

We also offer Thieves of Egypt Solitaire, which is a popular variation of Forty Thieves that uses a pyramid-shaped tableau. It's generally considered easier since the Thieves of Egypt Solitaire allows a redeal whereas Forty Thieves only gives you one chance through the deck. By practicing on our Thieves of Egypt Solitaire and following our guide, you'll become an expert in no time.

The Object of the Game

Like many games on our gaming site, your goal is to move all of the cards on the tableau to the foundation piles. Cards must be placed in the foundation piles in sequence according to suits (spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds). They must be played in order starting from Aces all the way up to Kings. In other words, you're expected to complete two full sets of each suit in the proper order.

The Pack

The Thieves of Egypt card game is played using two standard decks of cards (52 cards each with the Jokers removed). This makes it similar to the Spider Solitaire game, though the layout is different. While you may play the game with a custom or novelty deck with alternate colors, our guide uses terminology indicative of standard decks.

The Deal

As always, shuffle the deck before a new game. The total number of cards available for this game is 104, and at the start of the game, you'll deal 55 cards with the cards face up in a pyramid shape to form the tableau. To achieve this shape, the tableau piles will need to have a different number of cards. Deal 10 tableau piles with the numbers as follows: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2.

The remaining cards will form your stock pile. Above the tableau, you should have room for your eight foundation piles. Once you need to use the stock pile, you'll draw a single stock card and place it face up next to the stock to form the waste pile (discard pile)

The Play

The top card of each tableau pile and the top card of the discard pile are the only cards available for play. Starting with Aces, you may begin placing cards in the foundation piles according to their suits and in order of card value (twos placed on Aces, threes places on twos, etc.).

While foundations are built upwards using the same suits, columns in the tableau piles are built down using alternating color. Groups of cards may be moved in this way so long as they meet the build condition. A king is the only card that can fill an empty column on the tableau.

Once you've made all the available moves, you can draw a single card and place it in the discard pile. You'll continue to draw cards like this until there is one you can play either in the foundations or in the tableau. Unlike Forty Thieves Solitaire, once you've exhausted the pile, you can shuffle again and redraw a single time. If you're still unable to complete the foundations with any exposed card, the game results in a loss.

To improve your odds of winning, start a foundation pile for each suit as soon as you can. It's also important to get all Kings in play by filling each empty tableau pile as soon as possible. Sometimes the best way may be to save certain cards from the stock for the second time through the deck, so don't forget you can delay your plays.