Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Take a regular 52 card deck and deal seven cards face down on a table. Deal three more overlapping cards on each column; one at a time. For the last deal on each column, the cards will be placed face up. This is called the tableau.
To start, you should now have seven columns of five overlapping cards each. Whether you deal all five cards at once in each column, or go straight across the board is up to you.
The remaining cards get placed below the tableau you just laid out. They get turned up one by one, but only when you need to use them. This is called the reserve deck. They do not count as unplayed cards if the tableau is used up and cleared.
The object of the game is to clear the board of cards by matching them with a card that is a point higher or lower than the upturned card you are using at the time. Try to get as many in a sequence as possible. Sometimes you may be able to match just two or three cards.
When you lay out the tableau of card columns, if you can start matching up cards before using the reserve deck (remaining cards); then by all means, do so. The object is to clear cards from the tableau. Those are the cards to be used when you cannot match up cards on the tableau.
The cards are ranked as follows: A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K.
In some variations Kings and Aces cannot be overlapped to become a pair of cards to take off the board. How you play the game is up to you.
For example, if you had a bottom upturned row of: 3 4 5 A K 2 6; you could play it as follows:
Start by taking the King off the board, place the Ace on top, followed by the 2, 3, 4, 5 and the 6. That just cleared one row of cards off the board.
Remember, for every card you clear off the board, you will turn up the card underneath it. That could give you the choice of more then one card to play and it could change the game.
Using the above upturned row scenario again, let's say you played the King, then Ace, 2, and 3. Stop there for a moment before playing the 4, 5, and 6. After you turned up the cards underneath the K, A, 2, and 3, let's say there was another Ace and a 2.
What would you do? Would you change the play and continue with the 4, 5, and 6 to completely take off a row, or try the 2 and Ace on top of the 3, making it a whole new game?
Keep taking cards off the board that are one point higher or lower than the most recent upturned card. The goal is to put as many cards in a sequence as possible to clear the tableau.
When you reach a stumbling block and cannot match cards on the tableau, start turning over the reserve card deck one by one.
You could play Golf with other people; each using their own deck. Play a few rounds and treat them as a "hole". Keep track of how many cards are left after each of your "holes". The person with the least amount of cards left after each "hole" wins.
Golf could also be played as a matching game. Instead of making sequences with cards that have one point difference, you can pair up the cards. Example: Two Queens, two 10's, two 5's, etc.
Make a rule that Aces and Kings be totally separated and cannot be played on top of each other.
There could be a rule that states ALL cards, even the reserve deck needs to be placed in a sequence and cleared off the board to win the game.
You could also play a more strategic game and deal all cards face up in the beginning. This way, you could try to plan moves in advance.