Canfield is a popular solitaire game similar to Klondike, which is the familiar solitaire game most people know from Microsoft Windows. Canfield takes up much less space than Klondike, which is a good thing because software adaptations of Canfield are less common than those of Klondike.

Object of Canfield

The object of Canfield is to move all of the cards up to the foundations.


You will need one standard 52-card deck. Are you using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards? If no, why not?

Shuffle and deal as follows:

  1. Deal 13 cards face down. Square up the pile, and turn it face up, so you can only see the top card. This forms the reserve.
  2. Deal one card above and to the right of the reserve. This forms the first of the four foundations.
  3. Deal four cards in a line to the right of the reserve. This forms the tableau.
  4. The remainder of the deck is the stock.

Refer to the image at the top of this post for an example layout (click to enlarge).

Game play

In Canfield, the king, ace, and 2 are considered consecutive, i.e., the ace is below the 2 and above the king, and both ascending and descending sequences can wrap around from low to high.

The foundation piles are built up by suit, in ascending rank order. The card dealt to the first foundation sets the card that each foundation pile begins with. In this case, since a 3 was dealt, each foundation pile will begin with 3, and will be completed when the 2 of that suit is played upon it.

The tableau is built down by alternating colors (red cards are played on black cards and vice versa), in descending rank order. When a card is moved, all cards on top of it are moved as well. In other words, the tableau in Canfield works pretty much exactly like that of Klondike.

The top card of the reserve is available to be moved to any legal location at any time. Cards beneath the top card are not accessible and should not be known to the player. When an empty spot appears on the tableau, the top card of the reserve is moved to fill the vacancy. If the reserve is depleted, empty spots in the tableau can be filled by any card.

Cards may be drawn from the stock and placed in a discard pile, from which they may be moved to any location. For a more challenging game, draw three cards at once (with only the third card available for play, freeing up the second card when the third is played, etc.) After the stock is depleted, the discard pile is flipped over to replenish it.

Game play continues until no legal moves are possible or all four foundation piles have been completed.


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