We are now at part 6 of the free Solitaire io (again intentional 😇) presentation of The Great European Game of "Patience"! I wonder if other solitaire makers also studied these old books to build a foundation of knowledge. Some of them must have, but it seems like so many modern solitaire makers only learned from those who came directly before them in the history of solitaire games. In the future, I want to dig deeper into the origins of the best solitaire games!



It is with some hesitation that we include the game of Grabbage in our collection of games of Solitaire.

A game that is all hurry and flurry; a game that requires the nails to be kept short, lest they should nip bits out of other people’s fingers; a game of which the essence is that it should go at racing speed, can surely have nothing in common with the calm and serene amusement whose different forms we have been describing in the foregoing pages. Yet the principle is exactly the same, though the manner of carrying it out is so totally different; and as we have given Hasty Solitaire — of which Grabbage is only a fuller development — it seems but right that the rules of the larger game should not be omitted.

The proper number of players is four, and each must have his own pack. He may make four heaps in front of him, and place his cads on these heaps as he pleases; but all aces are at once put into the middle of the table, and built upon, without regard to suits, as quickly as possible, the player who adds the king taking that packet off the board. When two cards of the same significance are put on a packet simultaneously, the lowest has it; good players, therefore, keep their hands low, and slide their cards along. It is not advisable to use good packs for Grabbage, as there are frequent collisions, and the cards get sadly crumpled up and damaged. The usual plan is to play so many rounds; the first out wins the round.

One pack only is required for this game. Shuffle it thoroughly, then cut, and from the middle take one card, which put aside without looking at it: this is the Missing Link. Lay out seven cards in a row, as shown in the illustration, and if there be an ace among them, take it out and put it above the foundation row, filling the vacancy from the pack; the other aces are treated in the same way as they turn up.

Now deal out the rest of the cards, packing on the seven foundations in any way you please, and building up the ace packets in their proper suits. It is unfortunate when it so happens that the seven foundations are all low cards, so as to compel you to pack higher ones upon them; but there is one loophole of escape from the difficulty.

If you can effect a vacancy in the foundation row by working cards off on to the ace packets, you may place any exposed card in the space; and the often allows an inconvenient king or queen to be removed from blocking cards below it. When all the pack is dealt out, you may then turn up the Missing Link, and if this affords the means of completing the ace packets, the game has succeeded; but it is the last hope, for there is no second turn.


This is not a very abstruse game, but will serve to while away an idle moment or two. Lay nine cards out in three rows, throw out the pairs, and fill the vacant spaced from the pack. When you come to a stop, you have the privilege of laying down one card, which often set the game going again, and this you may repeat whenever a stop occurs; but should this card not find a pair, the game has failed.


Scotch Solitaire is played with one pack, which is laid out in eighteen packets, sixteen of them consisting of three cards each, the other two of two cards. Take out aces as they appear, and place them below. These aces are built up to the kings in alternate colors.

Upon the packets on the board you may pack in downward sequence, without attention to either suit or color, and you may shift the exposed cards about from one packet to another. You will want every privilege you can get, for only one turn is allowed, and it is not at all an easy game to complete. In the illustration there are two aces to be taken.


Shuffle two packs together, and layout out three rows of cards, twelve in each. Those in the lower row are the only ones that can be dealt with; take out any aces that may be in this row, and place them above the board, building upon them in suits. You may pack exposed cards on the board, also in suits, and in downward sequence.

As soon as a card is moved from a lower row, the one above it becomes exposed, and may be packed; and there is no limit as to packing, as in the game referred to above. But though cards may be carried to a higher row, they may not be brought down to a lower one; indeed, very strict players even object to moving the cards laterally, but this makes the game almost too difficult. Of course, all the time that you are packing and building, you are dealing the cards out on the rubbish-heap, but do not overlook any chance, for there is only one turn.

Still, it is sometimes good play not to be too hasty in packing the lower cards, if there is any chance of their being moved up, for when a vacancy can be made in the top row, any single exposed card may be placed in it. Towards the end of the deal, you had better be chary even in filling vacancies, for as there is no second turn, you have but one privilege; namely, you may gather the cards up, and turn the first. If you can place it (which you can do, if there is a vacancy in the top row), well and good, the game is alive; if you cannot, lay it down and look at the second card. Unless that can be used for packing, building or filling up, your efforts are in vain — the game has failed.


One pack only is required for this game. The queen of hearts must be the commencing card, and the jack of hearts is put at the bottom of the pack; unless the Queen and her Lad meet, the game is a failure. As you lay out your cards (commencing, as has been said, with the queen), push out either one or two cards that are between two others of the same suit, or of the same signification — with this proviso, if two are pushed out, that they must be the same suit or be pairs. When, however, you find in the process of readjusting your line, that you have three or four pairs of cards contiguous to each other of the same suit or same quality, you may push them all out on playing a suitable card. For instance: if next to t he queen of hearts you have three of clubs, following this two spades, two diamonds, two kings (see illustration), and your next card is a club, you may push out all six; but this cannot be done if the suits are intermingled. This is a very difficult game to bring to a successful issue: the Queen very seldom meets her Lad.

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