Head Solitaire
Designed by David L. Van Slyke
Players 1
Length Short
Extra Material None

a Decktet solitaire game that does not require a playing surface


Shuffle a basic (not extended) Decktet and hold it in one hand face-down as a draw pile.

Note: You will soon be holding four piles, one upon another, in one hand. On top is a face-up hand of six cards. Behind it is the draw pile. Behind that, face-up and rotated ninety degrees, is the archive of melds. Behind that is the discard pile.

Game play

A meld is a set of cards fulfilling one of the following conditions:

* contains exactly one instance of each of the six suits (a suit-meld)
* a set of three or more cards of the same rank (a kind-meld)
* a set of three or more cards of consecutive ranks that all share a single suit (a run-meld)

Note that Aces and Crowns are not considered consecutive: the counting does not "wrap around".

Part One
Turn over six cards and hold them face-up on top as your hand. If this group of six cards contains a meld, place the meld face-up and rotated ninety degrees directly behind the draw pile; then draw more cards to refill your hand to six cards. If the six cards contain no melds then re-order them as you desire and discard them face-up at the back of all the cards you are holding; then draw six more cards as your new hand.

After exhausting the initial draw pile, the discard pile becomes the new draw pile. It stays face-up. Move it from behind the archive of melds to in front of the archive of melds. If you have a partial hand of cards then your hand is refilled to six cards from the top of this new draw pile. If you had no cards in your hand at this time you have the option of immediately discarding the top card of the new draw pile before drawing a hand of six cards.

Part Two
Go through the second draw pile as before but do not worry about sorting the cards you discard.

The game is over after you go through the second discard pile. Count the number of cards not in melds (in your third discard pile). This is your score: the lower the better. Keep track of your lowest score for the week.

The Extended Deck

If the extended Decktet is used: The Excuse counts as any single suit or rank. Pawns and Courts have three suits but no rank.



A "head solitaire" is a kind of solitaire that requires no playing surface. Many were popular during the era of British sailing merchant ships.



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