OBJECTIVE OF BIG BEN:  Build up all twelve foundation pile correctly


NUMBER OF CARDS: 104 cards

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire



Big Ben is a double deck solitaire game closely related to Clock, Grandfather Clock, and German Clock.  Players begin the game with twelve foundation piles and twelve fans, and they must work diligently to manage their cards in order to build the foundations correctly.


 Big Ben uses two 52 card decks.  To set up the layout, remove the following cards from the deck: 2♣, 3♥, 4♠, 5♦, 6♣, 7♥, 8♠, 9♦, 10♣, J♥, Q♠, K♦.

Place the 2 at the nine o’clock position and complete the clock by continuing placement in order. These cards begin the foundation piles.   

Deal three card fans face up around the outside of the clock.  Each fan should be placed adjacent to one of the clock face cards.  The fans make up the tableau.


Foundations should be built up by suit to the number that represents that space on the clock face.  For example, the 2 of Clubs would be built up to the 9 of Clubs.  The 3 of Hearts would be built up to the 10 of Hearts and so on.

Top cards of the tableau fans are eligible for play on the foundations or on other fans.  Fans should be built down in suit.  Both fans and foundations can be built through the King.  Fans are to have at least three cards in them, but they can be refilled when the player wishes to do so.  When a player is ready to replenish a fan, all of the fans must be filled as well.  Begin with the fan at the 12 o’clock position and replenish in clockwise order.  Fans are filled with cards from the draw pile only.  

Turn cards up from the draw pile one at a time and play them to the foundations or the tableau.  If a card cannot be played, it should be placed on top of the waste pile.  The top waste pile card is eligible for building foundations or fans.  Remember, the top card from the waste pile cannot be used to refill a fan during the replenishing phase.

The game ends when the draw pile is depleted and the player is blocked.


When the foundations are built to form a clock face, the game is won.

Mark Ball
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