Rules for Indian

Family: Forty Thieves
Categories: Two-Deck, Large, Long
Variants: Forty Thieves,Thirty Thieves
Also Known As:  

This two-deck game is a easy variant of Forty Thieves. With good play you can win well over half of your games. Games of this type are interesting in the way the discard pile first grows, then (in a successful game, at least) shrinks again. The two keys to success are knowing how to transfer builds by clever use of empty tableaus, and knowing when not to make an obvious play because it might block a more important play later.


Shuffle two decks and lay out thirty cards in ten tableau piles, two cards face up and one face down in each pile, fanned down. Keep the remaining cards in your hand. There are also eight foundation piles and a discard pile, which start out empty.


Top cards of tableaus and the discard pile are available. The tableaus build down in different suit, which means you can play a card onto any suit except its own suit. Any available card may be played to an empty tableau. The foundations build up in suit from the Ace to the King. Whenever you wish, deal a new card from the hand onto the discard pile.


The goal is to move all the cards onto the foundations.


As in all games of this type, empty piles are of great importance. Use them to move builds or partial builds from one tableau to another. The more empty piles you have, the longer are the builds you can move.

Because an 8 can be played on most 9’s, it is easy to swap cards from one tableau to another once you have a few empty piles. Use this swapping to make room for cards from the discard pile: if your only exposed 9 is a Club but you want to play an 8 of Clubs, swap some other (non-Club) 8 onto the 9 of Clubs, exposing a different 9 where you can then put the 8 of Clubs.

You can also use this swapping technique to expose cards that can be moved to the foundations, which in turn helps you make more empty piles.

In general, try to play low-ranked cards at first, and let higher cards sit in the discard pile.

Late in the game, use empty piles to reduce the size of the discard pile.

As a shortcut Solitaire Till Dawn will let you move full or partial builds provided you have enough empty piles available to have accomplished the same move one card at a time.

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