Ivory Tower
Designed by P.D. Magnus
Players 1
Length ?
Extra Material None

a Decktet solitaire game

Object of the game: To complete the tower: a stack of cards all having a specific suit symbol, in order from Ace to Crown.

Game play

You begin by turning over the top three cards of the deck, so that you can only see the third card. This packet is placed to begin the draw pile. In the beginning, the top pile of the draw pile is the only card you have available to play.

You may play cards to build resource piles and a tower.

Each resource pile starts with a Crown and contains cards in decreasing rank order. Adjacent cards in a resource pile must not share suit symbols. The lowest ranked card in each resource pile is available to play.

The tower starts with an Ace and contains cards in increasing rank order. The cards in the tower must all share a suit symbol. You win if you can play a Crown to complete the tower.

If at anytime you are unable to play, you may turn over three more cards from the deck. When you reach the end of the deck, turn over the draw pile and resume. You may recycle the deck in this way as many times as you like.

The tower

There is only one tower, but at the beginning of the game it is undecided what suit the tower will be. Once you play an Ace to start the tower, however, all the cards must have the suit of that Ace.

You are not required to start the tower if an Ace becomes available. For example, you may decide to pass on Ace if you have already buried some of the cards of its suit in a resource pile.

Resource piles

If you have a Crown available and fewer than three resource piles, you may start a new resource pile. Once a resource pile is started, you may add a card to it with two restrictions: (a) The new card must be one rank less than the lowest card in the pile. (b) The new card must not shares any suit symbols with the lowest card in the pile.

The lowest ranked card in a resource pile is available to play. You may move it to the tower or a different resource pile, provided it meets the rank and suit requirements.

For example: You begin a resource pile with the Crown of Waves. Later, you put the Pact (9 of Suns and Moons) on the pile. You may then place an 8 on the pile, but not an 8 of either Suns nor Moons.

Since you may have up to three resource piles, some of the Crowns become unplayable after the tower and resource piles have all been started.

The end

You win if you complete the tower. If you do not win, your score is the rank of the highest card in the tower.

Unlike some solitaires, Ivory Tower is not the sort of game that you can win every time if you are careful and attentive. Winning is pretty damn rare.


  • A thread at BGG where Justus Pang and Daniël Muilwijk substantially reimagine the game.


Design: P.D. Magnus

Playtesting: Cristyn Magnus


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