All About the Rules and Features of Canfield Solitaire

Tired of the easy Solitaire games? Try Canfield Solitaire and face its unique gameplay. Just ready yourself beforehand because this variation is notorious to be one of the toughest card games to win.

Game in General

First of all, Canfield is not an ordinary Solitaire game. In fact, it's known to be quite tricky. Furthermore, computer simulations show that only 70% are winnable. And if the undo button is barred, then the winning percentage becomes even smaller! For casual players, the rate could be from 15% to 20% only while experts may have around 40% chance of winning. By raising the level of difficulty, we bet you get more excited to delve into this game! But before that, let's have a quick trip down memory lane and discover where this game all began.

History of Canfield Solitaire

Canfield Solitaire is one of the few games with definite history. It's because it was actually developed by a specific person named Richard A. Canfield, a famous gambler in Saratoga Springs, New York. He was the owner of the Canfield Casino, where this particular Solitaire variant was first introduced back in the 1890s. Initially, players had to pay $50 to be able to play and purchase a standard deck. They got $5 for each card successfully transferred to the foundation pile. Moreover, if all 52 cards were completed, then they earned $500! Still, most players did not solely aim to place all the cards to the foundations. Managing to transfer at least 10 cards was enough to get their monetary investment back.

From the physical casino game, Canfield has become a prominent virtual entertainment you can refer to whenever and wherever you want. But first, you need to learn the basic rules and some relevant tips of this game.

Primary Guidelines of the Game

Just like the old Canfield game, the main objective here is to move all 52 cards, or as many you can, into their corresponding foundations. When clearing the cards, you must take their suits and ranks into account, particularly the leading rank or the first card provided on one of the foundation piles. The order must be from King to Ace. This goal, however, is not as easy as you think. So, it's very important to have a good grasp of the setup and primary rules.

During the game, there will be five main areas at the table. These are the four tableau sections, the four foundations, one stock, one waste, and one reserve. Let's start by distinguishing each of these piles for your convenience.

The area in the lower right makes up the main tableau. This is where you can transfer card/s to another pile. The foundations, on the other hand, are the four slots above the tableau, and each of them corresponds to a specific suit. Then, there's the stock, where a pile of face-down cards is gathered. This is located on the opposite side of the foundations. And beside the stock is the waste pile. This is where the face-down cards are transferred upon clicking the stock. The last one is the reserve, which is positioned on the lower left area, alongside the four tableau sections.

With the given list of piles, it's now easy to picture out the primary setup of Canfield Solitaire. It commences with a single card being dealt into one of the four foundation piles. This specific card is considered the lead rank, where all subsequent moves are linked with. Then, there will be one face-up card on each of the four tableau piles. In addition, the reserve holds a pile of 13 cards, with 12 of them face-down and one face-up. The remaining cards are gathered into the stock, all in a face-down position. Both waste and three remaining foundation piles are left empty at the start of the game.

Acceptable Moves in Canfield Solitaire

1. Moving a card or several of them from one tableau pile to another

You can transfer a card as long as it's the opposite color and a rank lower than the bottom card of the other pile. The suits will not matter when moving cards in the tableau. For example, if a card is 8 red, then it can be transferred to another pile with a bottom card of 9 black. Moving the sequences of cards is also allowed as long as it follows the rules mentioned earlier. So, if you have a pile of 5 black (top), 4 red, 3 black, and 2 red, all these cards can be shifted to another pile with a bottom card of 6 red. Another thing to consider is that you can place a King card below an Ace card and so on. And if both tableau and reserve piles are empty, you are allowed to move any card to the empty slot.

2. Flipping cards from the stock to the waste pile

When there are no allowable moves with the cards in the tableau and reserve, you can flip 1 or 3 cards from the stock, depending on the settings you choose. The opened card will then be transferred to the waste pile. You can click the stock until the needed card gets available.

3. Transferring a card from the waste to the foundations or the tableau

A face-up card from the waste can be moved to the tableau if the bottom card of a tableau pile is a rank higher and has alternate color. You can also directly drag a card from the waste to its corresponding foundation as long as it's following the right order. For instance, a 6 red diamonds from the waste can be moved if its foundation has a current 5 red diamonds.

4. Relocating a card from the foundation back to the tableau

If you play Canfield online, notice that on some platforms, you are permitted to move the top card of a foundation pile back to the tableau pile. This will give you extra moves and will allow to build new winning strategies.

5. Moving a card from reserve to the tableau or the foundation

The face-up card on the reserve can be placed to the tableau pile following the rules noted in no.1. Moreover, a face-up card from the reserve can be directly transferred to its foundation pile as long it's the same suit and a rank higher.

6. Transferring a card from the tableau to the foundation

To do this, you can either drag the card to its foundation pile or simply double click and it will automatically be transferred. And if all the tableau cards are in sequence and all the reserved and stock cards are finished, then you win the game!


Now that you've read the entirety of the Canfield Solitaire gamely, are you ready to start the battle? Your first attempt may not be easy, but don't worry! The subsequent games are surely worth the fun. Plus, you can make use of the undo button as you like. But a tip though ? don't overuse this feature so you get a higher efficiency rate!