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Saint Helena

Saint Helena, or Napoleon’s Favorite, is a two-pack patience in which the packs are not shuffled together but used one after the other.  Although the game gives a player some scope for ingenuity and the exercise of his memory, it is such a simple game that one rather doubts that it received its name because it was Napoleon’s chief amusement during his last years.

            An Ace and a King of each suit are arranged in two rows, the Kings above the Aces.  Twelve cards are then dealt, clockwise, beginning above the left-hand King, as shown in the diagram.

            The Kings are built on in descending suit-sequence to the Aces, and the Aces in ascending suit-sequences to the Kings; with the restriction that cards dealt to spaces 1,2,3,4 may be built only on the Kings, cards dealt to spaces 7,8,9,10 only to the Aces, and cards dealt to spaces 5,6,11,12 to either.
            When all moves have been made the spaces are filled from the pack, and when no further moves are to be made, another twelve cards dealt to cover the cards in position.
            When the pack has been exhausted, the restriction of play is lifted, and cards may be built on any foundation from any one of the twelve surrounding waste heaps.  Also, the top card of each waste heap may now be packed on either in ascending or descending suit-sequence.
            Three deals in all are allowed.   The waste heaps are picked up in reverse order 12 ….1, and turned face downwards, so that the bottom card of the twelfth waste heap becomes the top card of the re-made stock.  No shuffling is allowed.


The Shah, sometimes known as the Star, is a two-pack patience that derives both its names from its layout.  The King of Hearts is placed in the centre of the table, the other seven Kings are discarded (they take no part in the game) and the eight Aces are arranged about the King of Hearts, as illustrated on Plate 8.
            The object of the game is to build suit-sequences on the Aces to the Queens, so that if the game succeeds, the King of Hearts (the Shah) will be surrounded by the eight Queens (his harem).

            A card is dealt to the outside of each Ace.  If a 2 is dealt it is played to its foundation and another card is dealt to fill the vacancy.  In the same way, if a 2 has been played to a foundation and a 3 is dealt it is played to the foundation and another card dealt from the pack to fill the vacancy.
            The deal to the outside of the Aces, or points of the stars, is made three times.  After this the outside cards are packed in descending suit-sequences.
            In the layout on Plate 8, the 4♦ may be packed on the 5♦, the 8♥ on the 9♥ , the 4♣ on the 5♣ , the 8♠ on the 9♠, and so on.
            The stock is turned one card at a time, and those cards that cannot be built on a foundation or packed on the layout are played to a waste heap.
            If all the cards of a ray are played, the space may be filled by one card from the outer circle.


There are several variations of Spider.  The one described in this article is deservedly considered the best, and, indeed, among the best of all patience, because it frequently calls for deep analysis.  According to Redbook Magazine it was the favorite patience of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

            Forty cards are dealt to the table in four overlapping rows of ten cards each: the first, second and third rows face downwards, the fourth row face upwards, as in the illustration.
            Foundation cards are not played to the centre.  The game is to build within the layout, descending suit-sequences on the eight Kings to the Aces.  A completed sequence is discarded, so that the game is won when the table is cleared of all cards.
            the cards at the bottom of the columns may be packed in descending sequences irre4spective of suit and colour, and when a card is moved from one column to another the face-downwards card immediately above it is turned face upwards and becomes available for play.
            In the diagram any of the three sixes may be packed on the 7♠ and the 9♦ may be packed on either of the tens.  Two cards will thus be exposed.

            When all the cards have been moved from a column, the space may be filled by any exposed card or sequence of cards.
            After all possible moves have been made, and spaces filled, ten cards are dealt from the stock, face upwards, one to the bottom of each column, overlapping the cards in position.
            Play is continued in this way until the stock is exhausted.  The last deal from the stock will, of course, be of only four cards.


Sultan, sometimes, but rarely, known as Emperor of Germany, is a two-pack patience that calls for some skill if it is to be successful.
            The eight Kings and one Ace of Hearts are removed from the pack and arranged on the table as shown in the illustration.  With the exception of the central King of Hearts they serve as foundation to be built up in suit-sequences to the Queen, the Aces ranking between the Kings and the 2s.        

On each side of the foundations, deal a column of four cards, as shown in the illustration.  It is known as the divan, and the cards dealt to it are available to be built on the foundations.  When one is played, the space is filled either from the stock or from the waste heap, but need not be filled immediately.
            The pack is turned one card at a time to a waste heap, and may be dealt three times.
            Management of the divan is of great importance.  The general rule is not to fill a space with a card that is unlikely to be wanted during the immediate deal.  If, for example, a foundation is built up to a 7, and both 8s are already buried, the 9s and higher  cards should be paled to the waste heap, because if used to fill a space in the divan they would be wasted.


Like shah  Windmill or Propeller gets its name from the layout.  Any King is placed face upwards on the table, and two cards are dealt above it, two below it, and two on each side of it, to from a cross (see illustration).  The first four Aces that are dealt, whether to the layout or as the stock is turned, are played to the angles of the cross.

            The object of the game is to build on the central King a descending, round-the-corner, sequence of fifty-two-cards, regardless of suit and colour, and ascending suit-sequences, regardless of suit and colour, on the four Aces to the Kings.
            In the layout shown, the A ♦ is played to an angle of the cross, the Q ♦ is built on the K ♠, and the J ♥ on the Q ♦.  At any times a card may be taken from an Ace-foundation and played to the King-foundation, but only one sequence on the King-foundation.
            The stock is no second deal, but when the stock is exhausted, the waste heap may be taken up and the first card dealt.  If it can be played to a foundation, the next card is dealt, and so on.  The game, however, comes to an end when a card can no longer be played to a foundation.






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