Canfield Solitaire

Canfield Solitaire is a card game of the Solitaire family that can be a lot of fun to play. If you are looking for something to make your free time more enjoyable, this is right for you.

Canfield Solitaire is a card game that is played with a single deck of fifty-two standard playing cards. In some countries, the game Canfield Solitaire is also famous as Demon Solitaire. Although the game of Canfield has Solitaire nature, it is quite inspiring, and the odds are considerably lower. But some people like a challenge and this game will deliver one. The Canfield Solitaire’s objective is to place all of the cards into the foundations.

The Origin of Canfield Solitaire

Solitaire Canfield is an outstanding game that traces back to 1891 when it was recorded by Mary Whitmore Jones in England as Demon Patience. According to her, this was “the best game for one pack that has yet been invented”. The reason for the very belittling title was that the game seemed to discourage the players quite easily. 

The game traveled very quickly to America and in 1894, the noted gambler Richard A. Canfield took over the Clubhouse in Saratoga Springs, New York. There are different sources of information as to exactly what game Canfield actually played. It was not until quite recently that it has been argued that the game that was actually played in the casino was Klondike and not the game that is now known in America as Canfield.

Rules of Canfield Solitaire

To know how to play a game of cards or any other game for that matter, you need to have a pretty good understanding of the rules. So, for you to play Canfield Solitaire here are the rules you need to remember:

  1. When you are building the foundations, you must do so in the same suit down in ascending order.
  2. The first card of the foundations is randomly determined; therefore, foundations can wrap from King to Ace for all cards from a suit to be played.
  3. Tableau columns must be built in alternating colors and descending order, descending from the four cards under the foundation piles.
  4. Cards can be moved from a tableau pile to another, as well as from a reserve pile to a tableau pile as long as it is in descending order of alternating colors.
  5. A single card can be moved or a set of cards.
  6. If and when a tableau pile becomes empty, it must be filled with a card from the reserve pile. When playing free online Canfield Solitaire games this will be done automatically.
  7. When all the available moves are made, you can begin to turn over cards from the stockpile. Three cards are turned over at the same time. Any cards from the stock pile can be placed on top of the tableau piles or foundation piles.
  8. The stock pile can be turned as many times as you want or need.
  9. You can place the top card of the reserve or the top card of the tableau piles on top of the foundation pile.
  10. The game of Canfield Solitaire has no time limit; therefore, it can be played for as long as it takes to complete it.
  11. In order for the game to be completed all of the fifty-two cards must be placed onto the foundation piles.


Similar to most of the Solitaire family card games, the goal of Canfield Solitaire is to arrange all fifty-two of the playing cards into the foundations. If it’s not possible try to move as many cards as you can. The cards must be put into the foundations in an order according to suit and rank. You must start from the leading rank that was dealt at the beginning of the game and can wrap from King to Ace if it is necessary.

Types of piles

Understanding the layout and what everything is and where everything goes is crucial to mastering the game. For the game of Canfield Solitaire, there are five different types of piles:

  1. The Stock pile consists of cards facing down in the upper left corner.
  2. The Waste pile consists of cards that are facing up and are next to the Stock pile in the upper left corner.
  3. The Foundations are the four piles in the upper right corner where you have to put all of the fifty-two playing cards.
  4. The Reserve is the pile located in the lower left corner underneath the Waste.
  5. The tableau is the four piles that make up the main part of the table.

The setup

The setup of this game is straightforward. A single card is placed to the foundation of the same suit and that card forms the lead rank. Subsequently, 13 cards are placed to the reserve pile, and the top card is faced up. A single card is dealt into each of the tableau piles while the rest of the cards are moved into the stockpile facing down. The waste pile as well as the remaining three foundations start off empty.

Strategy for Canfield Solitaire

Below are some great tips that can help form a strategy for this game. They will work just the same whether you are playing on a tableau or free online Canfield.

  1. As this game is very challenging it is always good to take your time with your moves. and when playing Canfield Solitaire online it is even more challenging as the games are randomly generated.
  2. Planning your moves might be necessary if you are needing a card from the Stock pile that is not available yet as only one of the three facing-up cards is available at a time.
  3. A lot of the time you will get runs in all four of the piles which makes it hard to merge any two piles which makes it more difficult to remove cards from the reserve.
  4. Most of the time there will be one card in the reserve pile that has the same base rank. In the case where this card is not at the top of the pile and if all four builds are not in progress, winning the game becomes even more difficult.
  5. When you get an empty column because the reserve is empty, is when an experienced player can utilize some careful planning and increase their chances of winning.
  6. A player may choose to run through the whole of the stockpile one time before making any moves and try to remember where every card is. This can be very useful information for somebody serious about winning the game.

Venturing Beyond Canfield Solitaire: Games with a Similar Essence

Canfield Solitaire has long captivated players with its unique blend of strategic depth and elements of luck. If you've found yourself engrossed in Canfield Solitaire's intricate gameplay, there are other solitaire variants that can offer you equally challenging and rewarding experiences. Here are some games that you may find just as captivating:

Klondike Solitaire: The Classic Counterpart

Klondike Solitaire is often the default game people refer to when talking about solitaire. Its setup involves a tableau, foundation, and a stockpile—elements you'll find familiar if you've spent time with Canfield Solitaire.

Spider Solitaire: The Strategic Dive

For those looking to level up their strategic thinking, Spider Solitaire is an excellent choice. The game, like Canfield, features multiple suits and a tableau that demands careful planning and execution.

Vegas Solitaire: The High-Stakes Challenge

If you're seeking to combine the strategy of Canfield Solitaire with a taste of casino excitement, Vegas Solitaire might be the perfect game for you. This variant adds an element of risk, as it typically involves betting with a point system or even real money. Despite its higher stakes, Vegas Solitaire shares the core objective of organizing cards in a specific sequence, making it an intriguing alternative for those looking to add some excitement to their gameplay.

Addiction Solitaire: A Different Twist

Addiction Solitaire offers a unique but equally challenging take on the solitaire genre. While the goal is different—aligning cards from two to king—you'll find that the game demands a similar blend of skill and luck that you've come to appreciate in Canfield Solitaire.

Play Canfield now

With everything we’ve covered, it’s quite easy to decide whether you want to give this game a try. Whether on a tableau or Canfield Solitaire free online, it will give tons of entertainment.


Get answers to all your questions!

How to win at Canfield Solitaire?

Following the above-mentioned strategic tips can be very helpful in winning the game.

Who came up with Canfield Solitaire?

It is assumed that the inventor of Canfield Solitaire was Richard A. Canfield. The idea of Canfield Solitaire came to his mind during the 1890s, but other sources say that this game was played in England first. 

What are the odds of winning Canfield Solitaire?

A computer solver gives a 71% chance of winning an online version of Canfield Solitaire.

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