What is Streets and Alleys?
Streets and Alleys is a solitaire-style game, commonly used as a pastime or a “timewaster.” Like all solitaire games, it is essentially a card puzzle, used as a personal test of luck and skill. Streets and Alleys is strictly a single-player card game.
How to Play
The Streets and Alleys card game begins with the shuffling of a standard, 52-card Anglo-American deck. Four spots should be designated in the center without placing any cards in them; these will be the tableau piles.
Two rows should than be placed on the left and right sides of each of these tableau piles will be placed cards in a horizontal, face-up row. Each card’s value should be visible, however the cards should be “fanned” so that they are overlapping, with each card having another card on top of it, except for the top card of the pile.
The left-side rows should all have 7 cards in them, while the right-side rows should all have 6 cards.
Starting the Game
At this point, the game may begin. The Player’s goal is to achieve 4 tableaus of ascending order, starting with the Aces, organized by suit. A Player who wins will have 4 tableaus of cards, from Ace-K, with each pile being composed entirely of one suit.
Players may move cards into the tableau zones, but must begin with the Aces, and go in ascending order. Once a suited card has been placed in a tableau zone, no other suit may go there.
Players may also move cards from between rows, in order to expose cards that they need to complete the tableaus.
For example, if one row has a 6♠ beneath a J♥, and a Player’s spade tableau has a 7♠ on it, the Player may move his J♥ onto any row’s 10 top-card. This is because moving cards between rows only accounts for rank, and not for suit.
Players may move more than one card if the cards are already assembled into a tableau. For example, if a row contains the cards 2♥,3♥,4♥, in that order, with the 4♥ acting as the top-card of that row, then a Player may take all 3 cards and place them on top of the A♥ in their tableau pile.
Ending and Winning
Gameplay ends and the game is won when all tableau piles are filled, or when no more legal moves are possible.
Streets and Alleys Rules
- The central tableau piles must be in ascending order, according to suit. The rows must be moved in an ascending order, without according for suit.
- All tableaus must be begun with the Aces, as they are the lowest ranking cards in Streets and Alleys.
- Similar to the rules of other solitaire games, multiple cards may be moved at once if they already form a tableau.
The easiest way to score Streets and Alleys, like with most Solitaire games, is to assign penalty points for each remaining card in the rows. As the game is played as a self-challenge, it does not require a complicated system of scoring.
Simply put, for each card remaining in the rows at the end of a game, assign yourself 1 point. This means that a perfect, fully completed game will have a score of 0, making 0 the highest possible score.
Games that are ended because no further legal moves are playable with therefore have scores associated with them, so that a player can track their history of games and see by how much they lost.
The following are two possible rows that might be on either side of a Tableau pile:
7♦, 8♣, 8♠, J♠, 3♥2♥,A♥ Tableau 9♠, 5♥, 2♦, Q♠, K♥
Firstly, collect the Ace, 2, 3, and place them into the tableau pile, to begin the Hearts Tableau. With that space cleared, move the Queen and King onto the Jack, freeing up the 5♥ so that it can be immediately played once the 4♥ is placed on the tableau.
Strategy and Tips
- Move multiple cards if you can, but otherwise don’t try and form tableaus in the rows purposefully. Always play a card into a tableau pile when you can, because it essentially removes it from play and frees up space.
- Since the top card is the only card that can be taken, it is useful to shuffle around the cards In your rows by moving them into position on other rows. Be careful however, rows can only be moved into ascending order. This means that you cannot put a card back where you pulled it from, so moving cards into another row is more often than not a permanent decision.
- Think about your moves before you make them. Streets and Alleys is a timewaster game, and a personal challenge. Rushing through will kill less time, and make you more likely to commit a blunder that robs your chance of victory. Although some Solitaire games are just unwinnable due to the draw, some are also lost by Player error.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you move multiple cards in Streets and Alleys?
Yes, multiple cards may be moved at once if they are already formed into a tableau of ascending order. All cards must be the same suit if they are going to be moved into the tableau piles.
Where can you play Streets and Alleys online?
Worldofsolitaire.com provides dozens of Solitaire variations available for instant, and free play online. Streets and Alleys is one of the games that can be played there.