Seahaven Towers

Seahaven Towers layoutSeahaven Towers is a solitaire game that was invented in 1988 by Art Cabral. Similar to FreeCell, the game offers wide latitude for strategy; a good player may be able to win up to 75% of the games played with careful decision-making.

Object of Seahaven Towers

The object of Seahaven Towers is to move all 52 cards to the four foundation piles.

Setup

Seahaven Towers requires one standard 52-card pack of playing cards. While solitaire games are nowhere near as demanding on a deck of cards as some other games (we’re looking at you, Slapjack), if you’ve got a deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, there’s no real reason not to use them.

Shuffle and deal ten columns of five cards each, face up, overlapping so that the indices of each card are visible, but it’s still clear which card is on top. This forms the tableau. Place the remaining two cards above the fifth and sixth columns, forming the second and third towers (the first and fourth towers are the imaginary spaces to the left and right of these two cards). The foundations are, at the start of the game, empty, but the spade foundation will go above the first column, the hearts above the second, the diamonds above the ninth, and the clubs above the tenth. Refer to the image accompanying this post for assistance in setting up the layout.

Game play

As in most solitaire games, the object of the game is to move all cards to the foundations, which are built up in sequence, starting from the ace and ending with the king.

The four tower slots serve as holding spaces for cards, much like the free cells in FreeCell. Any available card can be played to them at any time, and any card in a tower may be removed from a tower and played at any other legal spot at any time. Towers should be sparingly used, however, as they facilitate moving cards around and serve as a valuable storage space for cards which block other cards which are needed more immediately.

A card in the tableau is only available for play if it is free of overlapping cards. For example, in the image, the 6♥ in the first column is available for play, but the 4♠ below it is not. Tableau piles are built down in a descending sequence of the same suit. In the image, the 4♦ may be moved on top of the 5♦. Strings of cards may not be moved as a unit, although such a string can be moved by way of moving the cards up into the towers, then pulling them out again.

Any vacancies in the tableau caused by clearing an entire column of cards may only be filled by a king.

 

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