The games in SolMan are divided into a set of Families.  Each family contains a number of games that share a characteristic that binds them. Unfortunately, sometimes a game could be categorized into more than one of these families.  When that happens, we just pick the best fit.


Canfields are traditional foundation games, which means that the purpose of the game is to get the cards ordered by sequence and suit into the foundations. In traditional Canfields, the base card of the foundation is the first card dealt. Our Canfields in SolMan add to your ability to use skill by leting you choose the base card. After you see the deal, and potentially make other plays, just move a card to the foundation and that card becomes the foundation card for all foundation piles.  When a foundation pile gets up to King, you just warp back around to Ace to continue.

The games of the Canfield Family share the characteristic of having an additional stock of cards that must be worked off.  Usually, but not always, only the top card of the stock pile is visible.

These games usually used red-on-black building in the tables. 

Cousins is a another new kind of Solitare family we created for SolMan for someone that wants a different sort of challenge once in a while.

In so many of the classical solitaire games the table play is either alternating colors or you must follow suit. Well what about games where the play is that you must match the color but not be the same suit? We call that Cousins.

The difference affects how many plays to the table that you might have if the original was alternating colors, but more importantly it affects how you must strategize to be able to play to the foundations.

The initial Cousins games are constructed from one of our regular games with the Cousin rule in place and then additional changes made to rebalance the game.

In some parts of the world, Klondikes are also called Canfields, but we do not.  The Klondikes (also spelled Klondykes) are also traditional foundation games, usually with a fixed Ace base card, and usually use red-on-black building in the tables, but do not use a stock pile.

Klondikes also typically use a "triangle deal", where an extra card is dealt face down in each successive table pile.  This deal feature adds to the strategy when moving cards, as some piles have more hidden cards than others.

Napoleons, traditional foundation games with a fixed Ace base, typically have more table piles but require play to always follow suit, thus reducing the play options available to the player. 

Additionally, you normally must move only one card at a time, as opposed to the Canfields and Klondikes where matching sequences must be moved in whole. The inability to move sequences in whole make the Napoleons great for a thoughtful planning and in-game pile management experience.

Spiders add a bit of spice to the game in chunks.  These are also foundation games, but you must build a complete sequence of a suit in the table before it may be played up.

The spice mentioned comes after you have manipulated the table piles to the best of your ability. Rather than turn a card from the hand over into the talon (or waste) pile, you place a card face-up on each of the table piles in one big swoop. The name comes from the idea that the tables drop down like spider legs when decending on a thread.

Arachnoids are a set of games I designed that combine the single card movement attributes of typical Napoleons with the randomness of Spiders, although the spider only drops each time after working through the hand.  The balance of these games is excellent for a very good player.

Squares and Quilts
These multi-deck games sport two sets of foundations.  You build up from Ace on one set, and down from King on the other.

In the Quilts, there is the added feature of only having access to cards that have a short edge available, meaning there is not another card next to it in that direction.  The Quilt name comes from the quilt like pattern of orienting alternate cards in different directions.

The Fans family features games where the table piles are usually shown horizontally, and in a fan like fashion. After making all of the moves that you care to make, a click of a button with gather all the cards from the tables (fans) and redistribute them. The method of distribution is different in different games.

Most often, they are gathered in order and laid back out with a set number of cards in each pile, allowing you to plan ways to get a hidden card out.

The Reserves family features games where there are reserve, or set-aside, places to give the player more room to work.

These games tend to play with Napoleon like rules, but the reserve makes a higher percentage of the deals winnable for an expert player. Typically you move a single card at a time, and strategy wins the day.

Pattern games do not use the normal sequential A,2,3..  sequencing in foundation play. In fact, many of these games have so foundation!

The Pattern games with foundation will increment by different amounts to form the sequence on the foundation. 

The others have no foundation at all.  The purpose of these games is to remove cards from the game board.  In some, cards are removed when you make a pair (or collection of four), and others when you have two cards in seuqnce (one above or below).  Usually you just drag one onto the other to remove.

Ups are a category of relatively open planning.  Typically, you can play any card on top of any table, without regard to suit or value.  But once played it can't be moved and must play to the foundation, forcing the player to choose what to burry.

These are games that, simply put, don't belong to any of the other families, or could belong to too many families to reasably be put in any single one.

Oddballs are some of our favorite games. Some of them sport artistic design patterns and themes as part of the game; well worth getting to know.