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A solitaire game, contributed by Franklin Newman (tarotlynx@hotmail.com), who invented it in 1992.

Deck: A standard (52-card) deck, + 1 wild card.

Layout: Deal 8 cards, face down. Deal 16 more on top of the 8, 2 on each of the original 8. Finally, deal 8 cards face up on top of those 8 stacks. The top cards are considered the board and may be played upon.

Play: Play is restricted to suits. For example: The Queen of spades may be placed only on the King of spades. The Jack may go upon her, and so forth. The Queen of spades may not be played on any other King, nor may any other Jack be played upon her. The only exception here is the wild card.

The Chain: A sequence is the word for cards built up in proper rank and suit on the foundation. The chain is the term for the opposite: The ranks descending, which are in a stack of the same suit and that is on the board. When the sequence of spades reaches, for example, the 4 of spades, an entire chain such as Jack-5 of spades may be added to that foundation until the Wild is part of that chain. If she is there, then the chain may only be partially added.

Wild card: There can be only one, because I learned that 2 wild cards are unbalancing. But this game is impossible to win without her assistance. She can: Temporarily represent any card on the board, which means that she can be used to connect fragmented piles of the same suit in proper sequence into one long chain. This helps by allowing the turn of a new card, always a benefit. Therefore she also helps by allowing one to play onto the stock, with greater flexibility, but there is a risk to the stock that doesn't exist with the board. The wild is most powerful when she is a controlling force on the board, but this is only possible if she is one of the original 8 face-up cards and was never removed. (Note: I didn't say never used, I said never removed.)

How to use the wild: She temporarily fills gaps that will freeze your game to death if left unattended. When the real card shows up (if it does at all,) she is expelled from that position and the real card takes her place. Once free, she may go anywhere except an empty space. To be precise, she may go to an empty space, but may not be used with any other cards unless she carries a Queen with her. (In that case, she is considered a King.) But she may leave an empty space, if she isn't burdened by other cards or was expelled by a King, whenever there is a need for her to do so.

What the wild cannot do: Remember: When the wild is selected as a card, she IS that card until the true one manifests. You cannot waste her stupidly on a card you'll never see, like a King or a Queen of diamonds, then realize much later that you needed her as the seven of clubs all along. Nor is she allowed to join the foundations. When the sequence of the chain and the sequence of the foundations reach the next step in the sequence, the chain is played onto the foundation. But if the wild is part of the chain, the chain stops with her and she cannot leave until expelled, nor can any cards above her in the chain be played onto the foundation until she is expelled.

Foundations: Any ace, when discovered, is to be removed from the deck and placed as a foundation. But the play is still restricted to suits. For example, only clubs, in proper sequence, may be built upon the ace of clubs. 2, then 3, then 4. If you're lucky enough to connect to a chain in the right numbers and suit, that's just delightful! The wild may never be played on the foundation, even if she is part of a chain.

Freezing: If the board cannot make any more plays, then take the stack of cards that were not part of the 32 on the board. These 21 stock cards are to be dealt 3 at a time, the top one always usable. You may go through the stock as many times as you want to, and you may always play a card from the stock if it can fit onto the board or a sequence. This is a very effective way to move the joker when she is part of a chain. But, you should not always make a play from the stock. If you have made too many plays from the stock at one time, you will not see any change in the stock and so vital cards will become buried and the game lost. So choose your plays here wisely.

Victory: The game is won if all 4 kings are on their proper foundation. Only the wild should be left on the board or the stock.

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Last updated: 27th October 2003