OBJECTIVE OF CANFIELD SOLITAIRE: To have all 52 cards separated into their foundation in ascending order of rank.  


MATERIALS: a standard 52 card deck, a flat surface

Type of Game: card game



Canfield Solitaire is a solo player card game, where you build off four foundations. Each foundation is its own suite (clubs, spade, hearts or diamonds) and you must place all the 13 cards of each suit in ascending order from the foundation card. Completing all four foundations results in a win.


The first thing needed for setup is for the deck to be shuffled. After this is done, we can start building our playfield. The top 13 cards are taken off the top and placed to the left to make a “reserve” pile.

The reserve pile is placed face up, but take care to make sure only the first card is shown. The rest of the pile is to remain unknown until they are revealed during the game.

The next card pulled from the remaining deck will determine your “foundations.” It will be set on the table face up. The other three cards of the same rank will be the other suites foundations and will be moved to the foundation row when they become available to you.

Underneath the foundation row set up a row of the next four drawn cards face-up. This will be your “tableau”, the place where the majority of the game is played. The remaining cards are set on the table, face down, to make the draw pile. Setup is complete.


Unlike regular Solitaire, Canfield has a strict rule guideline that makes the game much more challenging. In fact, only about three percent of games are winnable, the rest coming to stand-still. 

To play Canfield Solitaire you play cards onto the foundations in ascending order, for example, if your foundations are the 5s, you will build onto them like so: 6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A,2,3,4. These cards will all need to be of the same suit of course. 

To play cards onto the tableau they must alternate colors and be placed in descending order. For example, if you wish to play a card on a black 3, it must be a red 2. 

For gameplay, the top card of the reserve is always available to be played onto a foundation. The top card of the tableau is also always available to be played on a foundation. 

To use the draw pile, the top three cards are drawn and placed in the discard pile, the top card of the discard pile is always available to be played either on the foundation or tableau. To play cards deeper in the discard pile all cards above it must be played. If the draw deck ever runs out the discard pile is flipped facedown, not shuffled, and you may continue flipping cards from it. 

If you wish to move a tableau to another space or onto another card in the tableau you must move the whole pile. If space becomes available in the tableau it is immediately filled with the top card of the reserve, if the reserve is empty then the top card of the discard pile may be played into it, but you may decide if or when this is done.


The game may end one of two ways you may either win the game or the game results in a standstill.

To win Canfield Solitaire you must have all 52 cards separated by suite and placed in ascending order from the foundation card. For a standstill to happen there must be no more playable moves on the game field. 


Reserve: The reserve is a small pile of 13 cards placed faceup on the game field. The top card of which can be played onto the foundations and is used to fill empty-spaced on the tableau.

Foundation: The foundation refers to the four cards that start the piles for your end game. These will be all the same rank and are meant to be played upon in ascending order starting from the first foundation’s card value.

Tableau: the tableau is the place where most of the game will be played it refers to both the four spots from the cards to be placed and the piles of cards themselves. To play on the tableau you must play a card of opposite color and descending value of the card you wish to play on. To move the tableau piles the whole pile must be moved and no one part of it.

Nakoa Davis