Rules for Tabby Cat

Family: Spider
Categories: Large, New
Variants: Manx
Also Known As:  

For once we can speak about a game with complete authority, because we modestly confess that we invented Tabby Cat and its close variant Manx. They are reminiscent of Miss Milligan, and have the qualities we value most in any solitaire: you can’t lose too quickly, and you can win frequently if you play well. The two games are identical except for the rule of the tail; Tabby Cat is easier to win than Manx.


Tabby Cat features four tableaus, four discard piles, and a special pile called the tail. Begin by shuffling the deck and laying out four cards, one in each tableau.


Tableaus build down without regard for suit or color, and building is circular so that King may be played on Ace. Full or partial builds are available, and an empty tableau may be filled with anything available.

If the tail is empty, any available partial or full build may be moved to it. The cards in the tail may not be returned to play until you can correctly build them back onto a tableau (and all at once—you must move all, or none).


Whenever you wish, deal four more cards from the hand, one onto each tableau pile. Usually you will deal when you have run out of other moves.


An available build of thirteen cards beginning with the King and descending in order to the Ace may be moved to an empty discard pile. The goal is to fill all four discard piles, leaving the deck, tableaus, and tail empty.


Empty piles are precious. The more empty piles you can create and keep, the better. One or two long, tangled piles are okay if they help you empty out other piles.

Never move cards to the tail unless you already know how you’re going to move them back into the tableau. The tail is too important a resource to waste, and a foolish move may leave cards marooned there, blocking its further use.

Make long builds out of short ones. Remember you can only discard a King-to-Ace build, so a few long builds are better than many short ones.

Copyright 2002-2004 by Semicolon Software. All international rights reserved.