Rules for Terrace

Family: Terrace
Categories: Thinker's, Rewarding, Two-Deck, Large
Also Known As: Queen of Italy

Terrace is a two-deck game with elaborate rules and good prospects for skillful players. We warn you, this is a very addictive game!


The layout actually comes in two parts. First, shuffle the decks together, then lay out 11 cards face up in an overlapping row, left to right. These 11 cards form the reserve.

Below the reserve are a row of eight foundations, and below them, a row of nine tableaus, all of which start the game empty. Finally there is a discard pile, and the stock which holds the rest of the deck, face-up and squared.

Continue the layout by playing three cards from the stock face up, one to each of three tableaus. Choose one of these three to move to the first foundation pile; after this, only cards of that same rank can be played to an empty foundation.

Finish the layout by playing seven more cards from the stock, face-up, one onto each of the remaining empty tableau piles.


All building is circular, with Ace between King and 2. Foundations build up in alternating colors, red and black, until each contains 13 cards. Tableaus build down in alternating colors.

The overriding rule is that when any tableau pile is empty, it must be filled immediately with a card from either the stock or the discard. (But even when a tableau pile is empty, Solitaire Till Dawn X will allow you to move cards from stock or discard to the foundations, and to non-empty tableau piles. This is a shortcut because you could do the same thing in two moves by first filling the empty tableau, then moving the same card elsewhere leaving the tableau empty again.)

When no tableaus are empty (or when the stock and discard are both empty) then the following moves are allowed: top cards of tableaus can be played onto other tableaus or to the foundations; the top card of the reserve can be played to the foundations; and the top card of the stock or the discard can be played to the tableaus or the foundations.


Play one card from the stock to the discard pile at any time, except when there is an empty tableau.


Move all cards to the foundations.


When selecting your first foundation card, look at the cards in the reserve. Choose a foundation card that will (as much as possible) let you play the first reserve cards early, and the last ones late.

Moving cards from the reserve should be your highest priority. Look ahead for opportunities to move the top few reserve cards; don’t make plays that would block moving those reserve cards.

Fill empty tableaus from the discard pile, unless filling from the stock allows you to immediately play a card from the discard as well. It’s important to keep the discard pile small.

Keep as many one-card tableaus as you reasonably can, because they can be moved to other tableaus to create an empty pile.

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