OBJECTIVE OF CITADEL: Create four foundations from Ace to King


NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: Ace (low) – King (high)

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire



Citadel is a variant of Beleaguered Castle that calls for players to build the foundations as they are dealing out the cards.  This makes for a fun and engaging Solitaire game in which completion of the game relies heavily on the initial set up.  Paying close attention to your cards as you deal out the tableau is the key to victory.


The core of this game and what makes it unique is the setup.  Begin by separating all four aces from the rest of the deck.  Create a column with those aces.   These aces form your four foundation piles.

The rest of your tableau is established by dealing cards one at a time to each row.  Much like in Beleaguered Castle, you are ultimately dealing six cards to each row on either side of the foundations.  The cards should be face up and staggered in such a way that all of the card faces can be seen.  In Beleaguered Castle, you would have eight rows of six altogether, but Citadel is a little different. 

While you are dealing out the tableau, if at any time you place a card on the row that could be played on the foundation, it is played on the foundation instead.  For example, once you lay the 2 of spades, it can be placed on the ce of spades rather than the row. 

The next card you play must go to the NEXT row unless it can be played on the foundation.  If luck is on your side, you will come across many of the 2’s early in the deal.  When a card is placed on the foundation, it must match the suit of the foundation.

At the end of the deal, you will be left with a tableau that is made up of different sized rows.  Some rows might have all six cards while others only have two or three.


Now that you have established your tableau, it is time to begin the game.  Your objective is to move all of the cards onto the foundations in ascending order starting with the ace and ending with the king.  All of the cards in the foundation must match in suit.  All of the spades are to be in a single foundation, all of the hearts in another and so on.  Do this by moving and organizing cards in the rows.  With luck, you will already have the foundations built up with more than the aces.

In this game, cards may be moved one at a time.  They may be moved from the ends of the rows only.  Rows must be built in descending order.  For example, an 8 can only be moved onto a 9.  Suit does not matter for the rows.

Once a row has been emptied, a card can be moved into the empty row in order to start a new one. 

A card that has been placed onto a foundation cannot be removed.


Win the game by successfully building all four foundations.

Mark Ball
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