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Card and Tile Games: Layout Group


In these games there is a layout: an arrangement of cards (or tile) or piles of cards on the table, and rules for adding cards to the layout or moving cards around within it. Generally the aim is to get rid of cards, and if you have no other play you may have to pick up a card from the stock. Previously I called this the "domino group" because many of the games use dominoes, and because one of the best known card games of this group (Fan Tan) is sometimes known as Card Dominoes. It is now called the layout group to avoid confusion between games of this group (which may or may not use dominoes) and games played with dominoes (by no means all of which belong to the layout group).

Layout games played with dominoes

In these games tiles are added to a layout according to various connecting rules. The most usual principle is that touching ends must match, and the objective is often to be the first to run out of tiles, but there are other possible connection rules and objectives, and various layout shapes may be created. See the page on Domino Connecting Games for further details.

Layout games played with cards

There are card connecting games, some of which have a character similar to domino connecting games, in which the aim is to get rid of your cards by playing them to a rectangular layout arranged by number and suit.

  • Parliament / Sevens / Fan Tan / Card Dominoes in which the layout consists of the four suits built in sequence from the 7's in the centre to the ace and king at the extremes. A version of this also occurs as an option in some compendium games such as Lórum and Barbu.
  • Shichi Narabe (7 in a row) a Japanese game similar to Fan Tan except that each player is allowed a limited number of passes. It is often played with various extra rules: tunnelling, killing or a wild joker.
  • Sab’at Al-Deemin (7 of diamonds) is a Saudi Arabian partnership game related to Fan Tan.

There are games in which players play alternately to a layout with the aim of forming scoring combinations. Poker Squares is perhaps the best known. There is also:

Patience or solitaire games for one player, in which cards are added to or manipulated within a layout, can also be considered as belonging to this group.

There are also many competitive patience games, which have similar layouts but with two or more players competing.

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