Single Rail Solitaire

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Rank and File


Single Rail is a single deck version of Forty Thieves.

Single Rail Rules


Move all 52 cards to the four Foundation piles, starting from the Aces and continuing up to the Kings in EACH suit.

The Deal

Using a single deck, each Column is dealt one card face up. The remaining cards form the Stock.


Each Foundation is built UP and in the SAME SUIT starting from an Ace.


Columns are built DOWN and in ANY SUIT. For example, any 7 or sequenced cards headed by a 7 may be moved onto any exposed 8.

Any number of cards may be moved to another Column if the build condition is met. Sequences may be split. The exposed card of each Column is always available to move to a Foundation pile or another Column.

Empty Columns may be filled with any card or sequence of cards.

Stock and Discard Pile

Cards from the Stock are flipped one at a time to the Discard Pile. The top card of the Discard Pile may be played to a Column or to a Foundation.

No Redeal is allowed.

Single Rail Strategy

It is often advantageous to keep one Column open so that cards may be played from the Stock that are one rank higher than one of the other cards that head up a Column.

It is important to get lower ranked cards into play when possible so that they do not become buried deeply in the Waste Pile.

Since Foundations are built in the same suit, it is a more advantageous to build Columns in the same suit when possible. But it is most important to get cards into play even if suits do not match. It will often be possible to manipulate the cards in Columns in order to move cards of the same suit together.