How To Play Tens

OBJECTIVE OF TENS: The objective of Tens is to remove pairs of cards that have a sum of Ten.


MATERIALS: One standard deck of cards, and a flat surface. 

TYPE OF GAME: Solitaire Game



Tens is a removal solitaire game. This means to win and play Tens you will need to remove pairs or sets of cards that have a sum of ten. These are then removed from the game and the game is won if you have removed all the cards.

Tens relies somewhat on luck. There are impossible games to finish or sometimes even unplayable starting hands, but that’s what makes this game fun.


The setup for Tens requires a large space. Like most solitaire games the whole deck of cards will be used, and the layout of the cards is very important to the gameplay.

The deck is shuffled and then you may start laying out the tableau. There will be thirteen piles in total. The setup starts with thirteen face-up cards on the table, these are the cards you can play from. The remaining deck is set aside for the stockpile. There will also be a foundation pile where all sets of cards will be placed when removed from the game. 

Tens Tableau

In Tens there is not any building of cards nor can you change out cards from the stockpile. Once cards are removed from the tableau then the stockpile is used to refill empty spaces. If there are no cards in the stock the spaces are then not refilled. 


Tens is played by removing sets of cards that have a total sum of ten. These cards are removed from the tableau and placed in the foundation pile. Then spaces are refilled by the stock. This is the basis of the whole game. These steps are repeated until you can no longer make any valid plays and have lost, or you have removed all the cards into the foundations, in which case you have won.

There is an additional rule for removing sets as well. In Tens, full sets of kings, jacks, tens, and queens may be removed from the game as a valid play. All valid plays are listed here: Ace-Nine, Two-Eight, Three-Seven, Four-Six, Five-Five, Ten-Ten-Ten-Ten, Jack-Jack-Jack-Jack, Queen-Queen-Queen-Queen, and King-King-King-King.

[can show these if you would like just to reiterate that they do not need to be of the same suit]


The game is won if you can remove all cards to the foundation pile. Any other outcome is a loss. Here are some statistics about the game. Only about 9 percent of deals can be won, and about 2 percent are not even playable. 

Nakoa Davis