Canfield Solitaire (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

Would you like to learn a new single-player card game? Canfield Solitaire is an excellent choice. 

If you enjoy playing games like Solitaire, Canfield Solitaire is definitely worth checking out. 

The game has a lot in common with Free Cell, including the four free spaces where you can store your cards temporarily (check Free Cell rules if you don’t know what I mean).

But unlike Free Cell, Canfield Solitaire is notoriously hard to win and requires lots of patience and luck. 

This Canfield Solitaire rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Canfield Solitaire?
  • What you’ll need to play Canfield Solitaire
  • Canfield Solitaire rules
  • How to play Canfield Solitaire (video tutorial)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Canfield Solitaire (our guides)

Read on to find out how to play Canfield Solitaire turn by turn.

What is Canfield Solitaire?

Canfield Solitaire Card Game Info image

If you’re familiar with any solitaire-type games, learning to play Canfield Solitaire won’t take long. The goal is to move all the cards into the four foundations in the correct order.

Number of Players: 1 player

Ages: 7+

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Length of Play: 15 – 40 minutes

Category: Solitaire-type card game

Similar to: Free Cell, Diplomat, Yukon 

Main Objective: Move all the cards into the foundation piles in the correct order.

Why We Love It: Canfield Solitaire has straightforward rules, but winning this game is a challenge even for experienced players.

What You’ll Need to Play Canfield Solitaire

If you want to play Canfield Solitaire, you only need a classic 52-card deck.

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Maverick Standard Index Playing Cards, 1 CT (Colors May Vary)
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Canfield Solitaire Rules and Instructions

As in virtually any solitaire game, your task in Canfield Solitaire is to arrange the cards by ranking and suit following a few simple rules. 

Let’s start with the initial setup of the game.

Starting the Game

First, shuffle the deck and deal thirteen down-facing cards on a pile that will serve as your stock. Next, flip the top card of the pile face-up. 

Deal one up-facing card as the base of your first foundation.

Deal the following four cards from the pile face-up next to each other, creating a horizontal row right below the foundation. This is your layout.

The remaining cards will serve as your draw pile.

How to Play Canfield Solitaire

Though you start playing with a single foundation pile, you will eventually create four of them – one for each suit. 

The trick is that each foundation must begin with the same-ranking card.

Example: During the initial setup, you have created your first foundation with five of clubs. To form the other three foundations, you will need fives of hearts, diamonds, and spades.

In Canfield Solitaire, cards are organized in the following order: A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,19,J,Q,K. If you start your foundation with a queen, you proceed with a king, ace, two, and so on.

Moving Cards

So, how do you get the cards into the foundation piles? Follow these instructions:

  • All the top cards from the layout or stock can be moved directly to the foundations. 
  • If you want to use the draw deck, flip over a bundle of three cards:
    • You can move the top card into your layout or foundation piles. 
    • You can only move the second card from the bundle once you’ve used the top card and the third card only once you’ve moved the second card.
  • When you move a card from the layout to one of the foundations, you can fill the empty spot in the layout with a new card from the stock or draw pile.
  • You can stock cards in the layout consecutively from higher to lower while altering colors (e.g., black six, red five, black four, etc.)
  • You can move the cards within the layout (even entire sequences) if they stay in the correct order.

Continue playing until you move all the cards into the foundations – or get stuck with no more moves to make.

Canfield Solitaire Scoring 

In Canfield Solitaire, you don’t have to worry about collecting points. The only goal is to move all 52 cards into the four foundation piles.

If you succeed, you win the game. If you get stuck, you lose.

Tip: Some people prefer to play solitaire games against time: If you’re up to the challenge, measure how long it takes to win with a stopwatch and try to beat your records.

How to Play Canfield Solitaire – Video Tutorials 

Canfield Solitaire Frequently Asked Questions

Can two players play Canfield Solitaire?

No. Similar to most other solitaire-type games, Canfield Solitaire is intended for a single player.

What if your draw deck runs out of cards in Canfield Solitaire?

If you’ve already flipped all the cards from your draw pile, just turn the pile over and reuse it. Repeat this as many times as needed. Just don’t shuffle the cards before using them again.

Can you win Canfield Solitaire?

Of course! But the odds are, unfortunately, not on your side. Statistically, only about 3% of Canfield Solitaire games can be won. 

Other Similar Games to Canfield Solitaire (Our Guides) 

If you enjoy playing Canfield Solitaire, check out our guides to the following alternatives:

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