Hi David Parlett,
I'd like to say I think Penguin is possibly the best patience game I've ever played (perhaps better even than the venerable Free Cell). The proportion of unwinnable deals is very small (apparently less than 1 in 1500), but still it often takes quite a lot of planning to achieve success. The only other patience game I've enjoyed as much is Mrs. Mop (although Mrs. Mop requires two decks can be very intense, sometimes requiring hours to plot the correct path to success on the harder deals.) Thanks for creating such a great game!Best regards, Alexandre Mah (Australia)
Penguin (so called because I invented it when writing the Penguin Book of Patience) is a one-pack solitaire with all 52 cards dealt face up before play begins. It is therefore a game of "perfect information" and one of maximum skill. If you'd like to play it on-line, you can get the software from Thomas Warfield's Goodsol ("Pretty Good Solitaire"). Warfield writes: "Penguin is a popular game in the Freecell group. It is related to Eight Off [and] is the 14th most played game in the most played games list. Like many games of the FreeCell type, it can be won nearly every time. However, impossible positions are much more common in Penguin than in Freecell." (True, but not inherently impossible, I think. Ultimate failure is nearly always due to player error, and it is fatally easy to go wrong early on.)
- Move the bottom card of a column to a foundation pile if it fits, or into an empty space in the flipper.
- Move any card from the flipper to a foundation pile if it fits.
- Move any available card - whether from the flipper or the bottom of a column - to the bottom card of another column to form or continue a downward suit-sequence. For example, you can start by playing J to Q.
- If the bottom card of a column is the lowest of an unbroken suit-sequence of two or more cards, you may move the whole sequence and pack it on the bottom card of a column, provided that the join continues the sequence. For example (though not in the above illustration), 5-4-3-2 can be packed on 6.
- When you empty a column, you may fill the space it leaves with a card one rank lower than the rank of the beak, together with any other cards attached to it in descending suit-sequence. For example, since the beak is a Ten, you can start a new column only with a Nine, or a suit-sequence headed by a Nine.
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