OBJECTIVE OF SUSPENSE: Build each available suit into a pile in the foundation or tableau area



RANK OF CARDS: Ace is high, low, or the corner

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire



Suspense, given its name because the foundation piles are a hidden surprise, is a solitaire game that poses a serious challenge.  Players start off by building to the waste pile, and only the uncovered layout cards are eligible for play.  As cards are uncovered, more options as well as the foundation piles will become available.  A player has between a 15% and 20% chance of winning this game.


Shuffle the 52 card deck thoroughly and deal four piles each containing six cards arranged in a specific way to form the layout.  Begin a pile by dealing one card face down which is called the center.  Then deal one card face up on the left and right side of the center card.  Those two cards are called the wings.  Place two more cards face up in such a way that the first three are covered.  One card should overlap the left wing and center, and one card overlaps the right wing and center.  Finally deal one more card that overlaps the previous two.  The end result should look like an upside down pyramid.

After dealing four of these upside down pyramids, the rest of the cards make the draw pile. 


Begin the game by flipping the top card from the draw pile over to begin the waste pile.  The only legal plays at the beginning of the game involve uncovered cards being moved to the waste pile.  The waste pile can be built in both ascending and descending order, and the order can be switched as often as needed.  Suit does not matter.  When no more available cards can be moved to the waste pile, flip the next draw pile card over.

As the wings are uncovered, they are moved to create the tableau columns.  There can be no more than eight tableau columns in play.  Tableau columns are built in descending order according to suit.  Whole tableau columns may be combined when they have been built to meet each other.  For example, if one tableau column starts at the 5♣ and another starts at the J♣, once the J column reaches the 6, or the 5 column descends to the Q, the columns can be combined.  Cards from the draw and waste pile are eligible to be built onto the tableau columns.

When a tableau column and foundation pile have been built to a meeting point, the tableau column may be moved to the foundation by building the foundation in reverse order.  For example, if the foundation pile has been built up to the 4, and the tableau column has been built down to the 5, that tableau column can be moved to the foundation by adding the cards one at a time in ascending order.

The game will begin without any foundations.  The four upside down center cards will be the foundations.  As these cards are uncovered, move them to a column on the left side of the playing space.  If one of the suits are not represented in the foundation piles, combine the two same suited foundations once they have been built in such a way that they can be joined (the same as with the tableau columns).  Any uncovered card from the layout, or the top cards from the draw or waste pile are eligible to be played on the foundations.  Once a card has been played onto a foundation, it cannot be removed.

Any suit not represented by a foundation card must be built up entirely in the tableau.  A wing card can only be moved to the waste pile if another wing card of the same suit is on the layout.  If one of the suits is missing from the foundation or wing cards, that suit is completely discarded from the game as those cards are revealed or uncovered.

Once the draw pile has been depleted, flip the waste pile over and begin again.  This is allowed two times.


To win, build all of the cards into piles in ascending order according to suit.  These may be foundation or tableau piles depending on the initial deal.

Mark Ball
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