Clock Solitaire, also known as Sundial or Circle is a fun and challenging Patience card game with an exciting twist. The name stems from the fact that all 52 cards need to be arranged into the formation of a clock face.
It requires no strategy or skill, as the chances of winning are exactly 1 in 13; pure luck makes this game entertaining for kids and adults alike.
How To Play Clock Solitaire
Clock Solitaire is a one-player card game that requires a standard 52-card deck. The goal of the game is to complete all other four-of-a-kind sets before the fourth king is revealed.
How to Deal and Set Up
Ready to get started? Shuffle the deck and then deal out all of the 52 cards face down into thirteen piles, each with four cards in it.
Arrange twelve piles of cards in a circle to resemble the dial of a clock. Put the thirteenth stack in the middle as the centerpiece.
Notice in the illustration below that each pile corresponds with a number on a clock, and the Queen is at the top.
The cards are labeled according to their respective numbers (7 at 7 o’clock for example).
For the face cards and the Ace:
- Ace (A): 1 o’clock
- Jack (J): 11 o’clock
- Queen (Q): 12 o’clock
- King (K): the thirteenth pile in the middle.
Flip the top card on the thirteenth stack to reveal its face. Keep it in that position, but now slide the card beneath the pile of cards with an identical number.
- A seven should be placed on the 7 stack.
- A ten should rest in the 10 pile.
- The Jack, Queen, and King cards belong with 11, 12, and 13 respectively. The Ace card resides under number one.
Next, take the top card from that stack and turn it face up. Place this card back on the pile, still visible. Then, keep repeating this process until the game is over. Doing this will ensure that you can easily see what cards are at the top of each pile.
If the last card in a pile is from that same pile, continue playing by flipping up the next card. Follow a clockwise direction here.
The Clock Solitaire rules state that if you can manage to make all 13 piles four-of-a-kind, then you win! But if the fourth King is exposed before all other sets are finished, it’s game over.
So, victory or defeat depends on your ability to turn all the piles into quadruplets of the same value. If that doesn’t happen first and foremost, you lose. It’s as simple as that.
Below you can find some of the most popular variations:
- German Clock: A variant with a waste pile. In German, it is known as ‘Die Uhr’. This style of game-play requires strategy and finesse, so that missed plays to the foundations can be avoided.
- Watch: Almost identical to Clock Solitaire but easier to win. The only alteration? When the fourth King appears for the first time, you can replace it with any still-concealed card in the layout. If this same King shows up again before all cards have been revealed, then the game is over and you don’t get the victory.
- Travellers: This game is very similar to the Clock Card Game albeit with a different layout. Twelve piles made up of four face-down cards are set in one long row. Below this row lies the last remaining four cards, referred to as the talon. This pile is meant to signify the rank of King.
- Grandfather’s Clock: A game with a similar layout to the regular version. Playing it correctly gives you approximately 75% chance of success, as there are more opportunities for strategy during the game.
Is it possible to beat Clock Solitaire?
Yes. Clock Solitaire can be conquered! All it takes is a bit of luck and strategic planning. To secure the win, the player needs to arrange all 13 sets with four-of-a-kind sets, and finally reveal the King as the grand finale. In the face of a tricky game, victory is possible.
What are the chances of winning?
Clock Solitaire is a game of luck, where no amount of experience or skill can tip the scales in your favor. The likelihood of winning is a slim 7.6%. It’s a game with no room for strategy, where the odds are exactly 1 in 13.
How many cards are used in Clock Solitaire?
All you need is a standard 52-card deck, and you’re set to go, Arrange the cards in a circle, so that the 13 piles of four cards each form the face of a clock.
Is Clock Solitaire easy to learn?
Yes, Clock Solitaire is an easy game to learn. It requires no skill, just luck. The directions are straightforward and can be learned in no time. It’s an excellent way to keep kids entertained.