Rules for Windmill

Family: Windmill
Categories: Simple, Thinker's, Two-Deck, Pretty
Also Known As: Propeller

Windmill is fun to look at, it’s simple to learn and fun to play, and it’s not over too quickly. Wins are not common and require good play, but are satisfying when they happen.


Pull one Ace from a double deck of cards, and shuffle the remainder. Place the Ace face-up in the center, to start the first foundation. Form a cross around the center card by placing eight more face-up cards, two each above, below, and to either side; these eight cards are the “sails.” Four more foundations, placed in the corners between the sails, start out empty. Hold the rest of the cards in your hand, ready to deal into a discard pile.


The center foundation builds up without regard for suit, until it contains 52 cards; that’s four full Ace-to-King sequences, one after another. The corner foundations start with Kings and build down, also without regard for suit, but only to the first Ace (a total of 12 cards each).

Cards in the sails and the top card of the discard pile are available for play on any foundation. Empty spaces in the sails must be filled immediately from the discard pile, or if it is empty, from the deck.

The top card of a corner foundation may be transferred to the center foundation, but after doing this the next card played to the center must come from the sails or the discard pile.


You may deal at any time by taking one card from the deck and turning it face up onto the discard pile. There are no redeals: when the deck is empty, dealing is no longer allowed.


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


Play to the center foundation whenever you can. It takes 52 cards to fill it, so don’t waste time!

Keep some variety in the sails: try to have as many different ranks as possible there.

When you move a card out of the sails, a card from the discard pile will replace it. Pay attention to those replacements. It’s worthwhile to delay almost any such move until the replacement card will be to your advantage.

Remember that you can move a card from the corner foundations to the center foundation. Sometimes the corners are good places to store a card that you expect you’ll soon want for the center. But also remember that after doing that, the next card from the center cannot come from a corner!

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