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  1. #381  
    I love Grandma's game - it's pretty much the only game I play on the Mac.

    There are two other solitaire games I'd like to suggest. (and two more that I'll offer for variety.) I'm using the names and terminology from "The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games", by Albert Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith. Both have rather large tableaux, so I'm not certain they will work on the Pre but they ought to be great if/when the tablet comes out. (Actually, I think the second should fit okay, and the first should be fine if you hold the gadget horizontally. But both might be better on a larger screen.)

    1) Gaps.

    I spent hours playing this as a child, spread out all over the floor. I also played it on my Treo, where it was lovely that I could play it in such a contained way. (While the screen on the Pre is larger than the screen on the Treo for looking at, it's actually smaller for "touching", since a finger is so much larger than a stylus.) I'm describing the way I played, which is slightly different (but nearly equivalent) to the version in the book.

    I've also seen this called "magic carpet" in some computer solitaire game, but "carpet" is the name of a completely different game that I haven't played.

    Shuffle the deck. Deal out all of the cards, face up, in 4 rows of 13 cards. Remove the kings and set them aside. This creates 4 gaps. Into each gap you may move the next higher card of the suit to the left side of the gap. So if the you have 5C, gap, 2H, you may move the 6C into the gap. If the gap is to the extreme left, you may put any ace there. If the card to the left of a gap is a queen, that gap is "dead". If you fill the row from the ace to the queen, with a gap at the extreme right, put the king there - do it to all 4 rows and you win.

    When you get stuck, you may redeal. Sweep up all the cards that are not in sequences starting with the ace at the far left, mix in the available kings, shuffle, and re-fill the spaces. (note that the book gives you a slightly easier version where instead of shuffling in the kings you create your new gaps by leaving a space to the right of the cards in proper sequence.) Traditionally, 2 redeals are allowed, but as a child I routinely "cheated" by redealing until I could complete the game. (So my "score" was how few times I'd had to redeal)

    I've seen computer variants of this that used 2 decks (in 4 rows), or that had you work the whole tableau backwards (equivalent) or that allowed you the choice of the card higher than the one to the left, or lower than the one to the right (sounds like a nice option, but I never played it enough to have a personal opinion.) There was also a two-suited version and a one-suited version. The one-suited version was boring, and I wouldn't bother including it.

    2) Crazy Quilt

    Okay, I have to admit I've never played this one. I came upon it in the book while looking for the name of "gaps", which was just "that big solitaire" to me as a child. But it looks really cools, and it's a high-skill game (which I like) and the book lists it as taking about 15 minutes with a 2/3 chance of winning, which is a good range to be in. (This book was first published in 1949, and my copy was printed long before computer simulations of solitaire games. They authors say they've played a few hands of every game listed, but they admit that their odds of winning are just estimates, and may be far off. But I assume they won a few rounds, and occasionally lost.)

    Start with two decks. Remove one king and one ace of each suit and put them where-ever you have space after dealing the rest of the layout. This is the foundation. You will build up from the ace and down from the king. Then shuffle and deal 64 cards in 8 rows of 8, turning alternate cards sideways to create the "crazy quilt". (This one would look nice with your "sloppy" deal) The tableau looks sort of like it's woven, with the small ends of cards facing large ends of adjacent cards. I can draw a picture and e-mail it to you if that's not clear.

    The cards of the tableau become available for play on the foundations or on the wastepile from the outside in. Only cards with a narrow end "free" can be used. At the start of the game, 16 cards are available, the 4 on each side of the quilt with their narrow end pointing out. As you remove cards from the foundation you free either one or two new cards for play (whichever cards had narrow ends next to the wide end of the card you removed.)

    Play: turn up one card from the stockpile (the ones you haven't dealt out) at a time, putting unplayable cards on a single wastepile. The top of this pile is always available to play on the foundations. "Available tableau cards may be built on the wastepile, in suit either up or down. Sequence of rank is continuous, the ace being below the two and above the king."

    One redeal is allowed.

    3) I don't know if you are actively looking for suggestions of other solitaires or not. If you are, there's a really hard, complete-information game that starts in some sort of big pyramid that my mother used to play all the time when I was young. If you are interested in suggestions, I will look up the rules for it. If you played really carefully you had a decent chance of winning, and if you didn't, you had about zero chance.

    4) On the other extreme, if you are tired and just want to move cards around, I used to play clock when I was sick. It's a pretty game, and almost completely chance. It was nice enough to play with the tactile pleasure of moving the cards, but might not be worth translating to a computer. Still, I list it here because it did give me a lot of pleasure when I was sick with ear infections or whatever, and didn't want think hard. And it's different from most other solitaires. I kinda like variety.

    Shuffle one deck, and deal out all the cards into 13 piles. 12 of them go in a circle (narrow ends pointing in) at the positions of the numbers on a clock, and the 13th goes in the center. Start by turning over the top card of the 13th pile. Whatever number it is, put it at the bottom of that pile and turn over the top card from the pile it went under. (So, if you turn over one of the 5s, it goes under the "5" spot in the clock face. Jack is 11, Queen is 12, King is 13.) Continue. Traditionally the game is over when the 4th king is turned up (and there are no choices, and you almost always lose, although it's sort of satisfying to clear a few spots on the dial) but I liked to give myself two more chances. When the fourth king is turned up, put it in it's place in the center, and then you may pick any one pile and turn over the top card on that pile. Continue as before. If you get stuck again, you may turn over one more card. Three rounds are enough - if you don't win, just redeal and start over. And if you allow yourself to peek a little, there is a tiny degree of skill involved.

    One other comment - every other time I've played "two suited" games the two suits have been hearts and spades. A black and a red, a pointy and a round, and the two highest ranked. I find it slightly disconcerting to play with hearts and and clubs. (both round, and ignoring the important spade suit) Not a big deal, but I was curious how you picked those.
  2.    #382  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    I love Grandma's game - it's pretty much the only game I play on the Mac.
    I've added the feature request, so I won't forget about it. It looks like a fun one. My backlog for new games is getting rather large. I've just finished writing Westcliff, Pyramid and Double Pyramid. Yukon is the next most requested game, so I'll do that next.

    Don't worry though, I'll keep at it. I'd like to get every game I possibly can in.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    There are two other solitaire games I'd like to suggest. (and two more that I'll offer for variety.) I'm using the names and terminology from "The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games", by Albert Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith. Both have rather large tableaux, so I'm not certain they will work on the Pre but they ought to be great if/when the tablet comes out. (Actually, I think the second should fit okay, and the first should be fine if you hold the gadget horizontally. But both might be better on a larger screen.)

    1) Gaps.

    I spent hours playing this as a child, spread out all over the floor. I also played it on my Treo, where it was lovely that I could play it in such a contained way. (While the screen on the Pre is larger than the screen on the Treo for looking at, it's actually smaller for "touching", since a finger is so much larger than a stylus.) I'm describing the way I played, which is slightly different (but nearly equivalent) to the version in the book.

    I've also seen this called "magic carpet" in some computer solitaire game, but "carpet" is the name of a completely different game that I haven't played.

    Shuffle the deck. Deal out all of the cards, face up, in 4 rows of 13 cards. Remove the kings and set them aside. This creates 4 gaps. Into each gap you may move the next higher card of the suit to the left side of the gap. So if the you have 5C, gap, 2H, you may move the 6C into the gap. If the gap is to the extreme left, you may put any ace there. If the card to the left of a gap is a queen, that gap is "dead". If you fill the row from the ace to the queen, with a gap at the extreme right, put the king there - do it to all 4 rows and you win.

    When you get stuck, you may redeal. Sweep up all the cards that are not in sequences starting with the ace at the far left, mix in the available kings, shuffle, and re-fill the spaces. (note that the book gives you a slightly easier version where instead of shuffling in the kings you create your new gaps by leaving a space to the right of the cards in proper sequence.) Traditionally, 2 redeals are allowed, but as a child I routinely "cheated" by redealing until I could complete the game. (So my "score" was how few times I'd had to redeal)

    I've seen computer variants of this that used 2 decks (in 4 rows), or that had you work the whole tableau backwards (equivalent) or that allowed you the choice of the card higher than the one to the left, or lower than the one to the right (sounds like a nice option, but I never played it enough to have a personal opinion.) There was also a two-suited version and a one-suited version. The one-suited version was boring, and I wouldn't bother including it.

    2) Crazy Quilt

    Okay, I have to admit I've never played this one. I came upon it in the book while looking for the name of "gaps", which was just "that big solitaire" to me as a child. But it looks really cools, and it's a high-skill game (which I like) and the book lists it as taking about 15 minutes with a 2/3 chance of winning, which is a good range to be in. (This book was first published in 1949, and my copy was printed long before computer simulations of solitaire games. They authors say they've played a few hands of every game listed, but they admit that their odds of winning are just estimates, and may be far off. But I assume they won a few rounds, and occasionally lost.)

    Start with two decks. Remove one king and one ace of each suit and put them where-ever you have space after dealing the rest of the layout. This is the foundation. You will build up from the ace and down from the king. Then shuffle and deal 64 cards in 8 rows of 8, turning alternate cards sideways to create the "crazy quilt". (This one would look nice with your "sloppy" deal) The tableau looks sort of like it's woven, with the small ends of cards facing large ends of adjacent cards. I can draw a picture and e-mail it to you if that's not clear.

    The cards of the tableau become available for play on the foundations or on the wastepile from the outside in. Only cards with a narrow end "free" can be used. At the start of the game, 16 cards are available, the 4 on each side of the quilt with their narrow end pointing out. As you remove cards from the foundation you free either one or two new cards for play (whichever cards had narrow ends next to the wide end of the card you removed.)

    Play: turn up one card from the stockpile (the ones you haven't dealt out) at a time, putting unplayable cards on a single wastepile. The top of this pile is always available to play on the foundations. "Available tableau cards may be built on the wastepile, in suit either up or down. Sequence of rank is continuous, the ace being below the two and above the king."

    One redeal is allowed.

    3) I don't know if you are actively looking for suggestions of other solitaires or not. If you are, there's a really hard, complete-information game that starts in some sort of big pyramid that my mother used to play all the time when I was young. If you are interested in suggestions, I will look up the rules for it. If you played really carefully you had a decent chance of winning, and if you didn't, you had about zero chance.

    4) On the other extreme, if you are tired and just want to move cards around, I used to play clock when I was sick. It's a pretty game, and almost completely chance. It was nice enough to play with the tactile pleasure of moving the cards, but might not be worth translating to a computer. Still, I list it here because it did give me a lot of pleasure when I was sick with ear infections or whatever, and didn't want think hard. And it's different from most other solitaires. I kinda like variety.

    Shuffle one deck, and deal out all the cards into 13 piles. 12 of them go in a circle (narrow ends pointing in) at the positions of the numbers on a clock, and the 13th goes in the center. Start by turning over the top card of the 13th pile. Whatever number it is, put it at the bottom of that pile and turn over the top card from the pile it went under. (So, if you turn over one of the 5s, it goes under the "5" spot in the clock face. Jack is 11, Queen is 12, King is 13.) Continue. Traditionally the game is over when the 4th king is turned up (and there are no choices, and you almost always lose, although it's sort of satisfying to clear a few spots on the dial) but I liked to give myself two more chances. When the fourth king is turned up, put it in it's place in the center, and then you may pick any one pile and turn over the top card on that pile. Continue as before. If you get stuck again, you may turn over one more card. Three rounds are enough - if you don't win, just redeal and start over. And if you allow yourself to peek a little, there is a tiny degree of skill involved.
    I'll add a feature request for each of these.

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post

    One other comment - every other time I've played "two suited" games the two suits have been hearts and spades. A black and a red, a pointy and a round, and the two highest ranked. I find it slightly disconcerting to play with hearts and and clubs. (both round, and ignoring the important spade suit) Not a big deal, but I was curious how you picked those.
    I hadn't thought much about it. I got the idea for the 2 suit games from PySol (I love PySol btw), and I used the same suits that they used. I have no objection to changing them. Which suits would you have chosen and why?
  3.    #383  
    I just found another thread, unrelated to Solitaire Collection, where someone was asking for a game that supported Montana. Turns out, it is the same thing as Gaps.

    After reading your description of Gaps I was interested, but couldn't find any desktop solitaire games that supported it. Well it turns out that PySol (my favorite solitaire for the desktop) supports it under the name Montana. I've played a few rounds and really like it.

    I'll try to get it in pretty quickly. Since the layout is 13 cards wide I will probably require a horizontal layout for this one. I just don't see any way to make that work vertically.

    Oh, a minor little note. PySol removes the aces instead of the kings. I don't think it actually effects game play, but it is a minor difference.
  4.    #384  
    It looks like I spoke too soon. I might be able to make it work in vertical after all. It is going to be tight, but it should work.
  5. #385  
    The solitaire book I read had you remove the aces, that was the change I made to "how I played as a child". Except for whether it looks pretty when you fill in the missing card at the end, it doesn't make any difference in the play. It's still 12 consecutively numbered cards with one gap. Huh, I've seen games that supported "Montana", but it was just one of many games and I never bothered to learn it was the same game.

    One interface advantage - you never have to drag, you can just tap. There's never more than one legal place to move a card to. That should make it easier to squeeze in. But I'm sure it will be nicer to play in horizontal mode.
  6.    #386  
    Quote Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
    The solitaire book I read had you remove the aces, that was the change I made to "how I played as a child". Except for whether it looks pretty when you fill in the missing card at the end, it doesn't make any difference in the play. It's still 12 consecutively numbered cards with one gap. Huh, I've seen games that supported "Montana", but it was just one of many games and I never bothered to learn it was the same game.

    One interface advantage - you never have to drag, you can just tap. There's never more than one legal place to move a card to. That should make it easier to squeeze in. But I'm sure it will be nicer to play in horizontal mode.
    Yeah I think the layout will work a lot better than I had originally expected. When playing vertically the cards overlap in the rows just slightly, but I think it looks pretty good.

    I have most of the game logic done, and it seems to be working really well. It isn't ready to go into a beta yet though, because I need a button to "shuffle" the cards that aren't in sequence. My current plan is to put that in the button bar... but the button bar isn't ready.

    I guess I need to get busy on the button bar. I'm waiting on some icons from a buddy.
  7.    #387  
    My buddy left on vacation without finishing the icons... boo...

    Oh well. I'm going to update the beta soon anyway. The button bar will not have all the buttons I wanted, but will have most, and I'm not entirely happy with the buttons, but oh well.

    I am about 90% of the way through writing Gaps/Spaces/Montana and variants. I'll update the beta as soon as I am done.
  8.    #388  
    Solitaire Collection now has it's own forums here on precentral!

    http://forums.precentral.net/solitaire-collection/
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