Rules for Osmosis

Family: Osmosis
Categories: Unusual
Variants: Peek
Also Known As: Treasure Trove

Osmosis is an unusual game due to its foundation rule, where playable ranks “sift down” from higher foundations to lower ones. There isn’t too much room for strategy, but you’ll be kept busy keeping track of which cards can be played to which foundations. Expect to win around one game in ten or a bit more, if you’re good at paying attention.


Four reserve piles start the game with four cards each, three face down and one face up. Place the reserve piles in a vertical column. Place one card face up to the right of the topmost reserve pile to start the first foundation pile; three more foundations, placed in a column below the first, start the game empty. Keep the remainder of the deck in your hand, for dealing into a discard pile that starts out empty.


Top cards of the reserves and the discard pile are available for play onto the foundations. Foundations build by following suit, and by following the “osmosis rule.” The osmosis rule is that you cannot play a card to a foundation unless a card of the same rank has already been played to the foundation just above.

The top foundation is special because there is no other foundation above it: you may play any card to it (if the card is of the correct suit).

If a foundation is empty, you may start it with a card of any suit you choose provided the suit hasn’t been played to any other foundation yet. The card’s rank must still obey the osmosis rule.

As a convenience, Solitaire Till Dawn X will allow you to change the order of the cards in each foundation if you wish. It may help you, for example, to keep the foundations in King-to-Ace order to make it easier to see which ranks have already been played. But it’s entirely up to you; the order of the cards within the foundations has nothing to do with the rules or with winning the game.


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


There isn’t much strategy to Osmosis. Mostly it’s a matter of paying close attention. It’s surprising how easy it is to miss a possible play.

One trick that might be useful is to avoid playing three cards in a row from the discard pile. This helps ensure that you will see at least some different cards on your next trip through the deck.

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