Nisaba's Tarot Solitaire


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nisaba  nisaba is offline
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Nisaba's Tarot Solitaire


This is not a game to be played online here - this is just a place to describe the rules of this game, which I find I mention every couple of months, but am always too pushed for time to describe accurately. It bears a resemblance to the game I was taught as a child, "Patience". Americans know that as - what? Klondyke?

You can actually use this game (by cheating, of course, to make it come out) as a fun way of re-ordering your deck! I've done that plenty of times. In this post, I won't teach you how to cheat - work THAT one out for yourselves, if you can face your Judgement Card coming up whilst you're cheating!

You'll need a reasonably roomy table, a good-sized dining table works very well. Firstly, you shuffle your full 78 card deck. Shuffle really well, keeping the deck as a whole face-down.

Then lay out one card on the top left-hand corner of the "field" you'll be playing in, face-up.

Next to it, place a row eight other cards, all face-down.

For the second row, below the first, start at the second card (the first that is face-down) and place one card over it, FACE-UP. For the rest of the row, cover each face-down card with another face-down card. Each card must cover a card in the previous row.

For the rest of the rows continue in the same way, laying out one card face-up on the first face-down card of the previous row, and covering the rest of the row with face-down cards. With each row you'll be laying one card less than the previous row, until you come to the last row, where you will cover the last face-down card with a face-up card.

Now here's where you start thinking. If any of the Aces are visible, place them above the top row. If either The World or The Fool are visible, place them above the top row, too, all of those cards up there face-up. On the piles you will develop up the top of the game, the Minor Arcana should run in numerical order from Aces to Kings, and the Major Arcana can run in either numerical direction: forwards from zero (the Fool) to Twenty-one (The World), or backwards, or in both directions.

At this stage, if you have moved any cards (and sometimes you won't have - none of these cards have to be visible when you first set up the game), turn over the top card of the pile they covered, so you can see its face. You should leave no backs visible.

Now look along your row again. Are there more than one Major Arcana card visible? If you find two or more with adjacent numbers, run them DOWN, is, place the LOWER number on top of the HIGHER number. It's permissible to position them so that you can just see the top of the card under them, so you can keep track.

With the Minor Arcana, you don't have two convenient red suits and two convenient black suits, so you can't run the colours alternately as you would with a playing-card deck, so I keep them strictly in their own suits. Got a seven of Cups on one pile and a Six of Cups on another? Pick up the six and place it over the seven so that you can just see the top of the seven. In your main grid, work through, and place any that you can over each other to produce columns that go higher-to-lower in numbers as they go higher-to-lower in physical positions on the table, getting closer to your body.

Run out of anything you can move? Take the rest of the deck. Without shuffling, count off the top three and turn them up on the table somewhere, so that you can only see the third card. Does it fit in anywhere? If so, put it there and look at the card you can now see. Does it fit in anywhere? When you have done all you can, even if that's nothing, count off the next three. Keep working, remembering to keep in mind the descending numbers in the different columns, and the Aces and World/Fools up the top - can you build onto them?

If you end up with a space where a pile of cards used to be, and you have a KING anywhere visible, or have a KING turn up as you're counting threes off teh deck in your hands, the KING and him alone can go into that space so you are still working with the same number of piles. No hter card can start - Aces can only start outside of the grid, up the top.

When you've worked through the whole deck, you will still have plenty of cards on the table, and still have plenty of cards in the deck. Turn the whole deck over, and run through it again.

That's basically it. As you finish each vertical column, marry it up to the pile at the top. For example, if you have an Ace, Two and Three of Wands up top, and you have a run of the Six, Five and Four Wands down below, put the Four up onto the Three, then the Five up onto the Four, then the Six up onto the Five, then turn over the top card that is face-down. As another example, if you have up top a pile of XXI, XX and XIX, and down below you have 0, then put up Zero to start a new upper pile. Turning over the face-down card, if it reveals XVIII that would go up onto XIX, and if it reveals I, that would go up onto 0. See? Easy. By the end of the game if it works out (or if you kept adding more columns to cheat) you should have a pile each of Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands in numerical order, and one or two piles of Majors in numerical/reverse-numerical order. If that happens, you win!

If you don't cheat and it doesn't work out you don't win, but no matter: you might like to see which card or cards are blocking cards you need: they might have a message for blockages in your life. Or what suits ran easily and what suits ran with more difficulty? That might also give you issues to ponder on.

If you have a new deck or if you are new to Tarot itself, I cannot stress the benefits that can be had from playing this game over and over. You will see all the faces of all the cards: you will get a feel for their moods, colours, symbolism, while not even having to think about it. They will become well-loved friends or eccentric neighbours - they'll sink into your subconscious, which is the best way to learn.

Have fun, and play Tarot Solitaire whenever you can. When I used to be an insomniac decades ago, I even played it all over my bed in the middle of the night.
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cheating


Oh, very well. You twisted my arm. I'll teach you how to cheat as well. It's the quickest method I know of reorganising and reordering a deck, much more fun than doing it slowly and painfully the conventional way.

1). When the game gets blocked, just lay out more and more columns in the row.

2) Count cards off the deck in your hand in ones instead of threes.

There. The game WILL come out of you follow those two cheating steps, and your deck will be in order.
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I love this game with playing cards, and I've tried it once with Tarot. Great fun, only I wish I had a really big dining table.
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It's good spread out across queen-size beds!
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Thanks Nisaba
I really enjoy solitaire (or "patience" as it was when I was a child) and i'm looking forward to giving this version of it a go.
I especially like the idea of looking at the "blockages" and the difference between the suits that ran easiliy and those that didn't.
We're meant to be putting up the Christmas decorations tomorrow (ear-ache from the children if we dont!!), so I can see this being done in super quick time to I can get my cards out and play
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Nisaba I love your idea. Looking forward to trying it. Since we don't have French suits in the Tarot, wouldn't it be possible to consider cups and pentacles red and swords and wands black? This way it would be more similar to the original.

Also, I don't really get how the trumps work: if you start with the Fool, for example, and go on with the Magus and the Priestess, and then you find the World you can't create another pile, right? I mean, once you chose a direction you have to stick with it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eremita90 View Post
Nisaba I love your idea. Looking forward to trying it. Since we don't have French suits in the Tarot, wouldn't it be possible to consider cups and pentacles red and swords and wands black? This way it would be more similar to the original.
I tried that. It wasn't nearly as satisfying as running them in their own suit.

Quote:
Also, I don't really get how the trumps work: if you start with the Fool, for example, and go on with the Magus and the Priestess, and then you find the World you can't create another pile, right? I mean, once you chose a direction you have to stick with it?
Yes, you can create another pile. Then when they meet, they become one. Just run them in strict numerical order up from the Fool and down from the World - you run into problems if you deviate from that.
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Eremita90  Eremita90 is offline
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Thanks I'll have a try this evening
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