Contributed by Michael Bourne (email@example.com)
From the top of a 52-card pack, lay out sixteen cards in a square formation, four by four, setting out the cards from left to right and from top to bottom. The remaining 36 cards form the stock.
This layout is made up of a total of eighteen straight lines (marked red in the diagram): four horizontal lines, four vertical lines and two diagonal lines, each of these ten lines containing four cards; four diagonal lines of three cards; and four diagonal lines of two cards.
To use up all the remaining 36 cards in the stock.
i. Only one card can be moved at any one time. This card may be either a singleton or a top card or subsequently revealed card in a stack.
ii. A card may be moved only on to a card which is opposite in colour and of one higher rank, (e.g. K on A, A on 2).
iii. A card may be moved only on to a card that is also positioned on one of the same vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines indicated above, but it may be moved in any direction along these lines. A card may not be moved into a space.
iv. During a sequence of play, a card may be moved more than once provided that it is via a card of opposite colour and of one rank higher, and on to a card of the same colour and rank. (See iii. in the example, below.) This kind of move is quite common. It enables a card to reach other lines and to bring into play other cards in the layout.
v. A sequence of play consists of moving around those cards that can be moved and creating spaces in the layout. In the process, stacks of cards are built up. When a player reaches the point of being unable to create any more spaces, the new spaces in the layout are filled in with unseen cards from the top of the stock. After the spaces have been filled in from left to right and top to bottom, the next sequence of play commences.
The game continues until no spaces can be created during a sequence of play, or all 36 cards from the stock have been successfully played.
(Remember that the more spaces you are able to create in a sequence of play, the more cards you will use up from the stock. The ability to create as many spaces as possible will increase with experience and the application of the techniques set out below.)
i. A move with no option. J on Q.
ii. A move with an option. There is a choice to be made with the 8 which may be placed on the either the 9 or 9. (Tactically, with the 6 being in a favourable position, the 9 would be preferable.)
iii. A move involving a transfer. The 3, having been moved on to the 4, may now be transferred on to the 4. This now enables first, the 2 to be moved on to the 3, and second, the A to be moved on to the 2, so that a four card stack A, 2, 3 and 4 is formed.
In this sequence of play, five spaces have been created.
Further examples of the method of play and the way in which cards may be moved around are contained in:-
By applying the following, various techniques and tactics, the chances of success are greatly increased.
|EXAMPLE||(x denotes cards of no consequence.)|
In addition to the above, there are a number of advanced techniques and finer points of play. Some of these are to do with controlling lines of play, calculations based on cards that have yet to emerge from the stock, (8, above, partly comes into this category), and targeting certain spaces for certain cards. The more the game is played, the more players will come to realise and appreciate the skill factors involved. Certainly, Catís Cradle can throw up many intricate and challenging sequences for players to solve.
Copyright © Michael Bourne, divertimenti (UK) 1986 & 1999.
Enjoy the game. Comments and enquiries welcome.
MICHAEL BOURNE, (current C.C. world champion), firstname.lastname@example.org