Syed ArhamSyed Arham06.04.2024

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire Online

    Josephine Solitaire main

    Solitaire is a great single-player game to keep you company when you’re overcome with boredom. In fact, that was the very reason why I picked it up in the first place.  I was just really bored one fine day, to the point that I opened up the Solitaire application on my PC, and low and behold, that’s when I got hooked on it!

    I eventually realized that I had been playing just one Solitaire variation, that is Klondike, and slowly started exploring more mainstream variants like FreeCell and Spider. Eventually, I dug my way through more obscure variants like Alaska and finally Josephine – so let me tell you all about Josephine Solitaire!

    Introduction to Josephine Solitaire

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire

    Josephine Solitaire, despite being played with two decks like Spider, is nowhere as hard as Spider – in fact, I’d probably rank it as one of the more easy two-deck Solitaire variants. So, if you’ve played quite a bit of Klondike and have gotten the hang of Solitaire in general, then feel free to take up my recommendation to try out Josephine Solitaire. However, if you’ve just started off playing Solitaire, then it’s best to warm up your hands to Klondike before moving on to any other variant for that matter.

    If you’ve played lots of Klondike and want to know how Josephine Solitaire is different from Klondike, refer to the table below.

    Josephine SolitaireKlondike
    The game is played with 104 cards, that is two decks.The game is played with 52 cards, that is one deck.
    There are eight Foundation piles to build in ascending orderThere are four Foundation piles to build in descending order
    The Tableau consists of 10 pilesThe Tableau consists of seven piles
    Each pile in the Tableau has four cardsIn the Tableau, the first pile has one card, the second pile has two cards, the third pile has three cards, the fourth pile has four cards, the fifth pile has five cards, the sixth pile has six cards and the seventh pile has seven cards.
    At the start of the game, all cards in the Tableau are face-upAt the start of the game, only the topmost card in each pile is face-up
    A card can be moved from one pile onto a card from another pile as long as it is of the same suit and one rank lower than said cardA card can be moved from one pile onto a card from another pile as long as it is of the opposite color and one rank lower than said card
    A sequence of cards can be moved to another pile as long as the first card is one rank lower and of the same suitA sequence of cards can be moved to another pile as long as the first card is one rank lower and of the opposite color

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire

    If you’ve been intrigued by the straightforward rules of Josephine Solitaire despite its fairly complex layout, keep reading to learn how to play it!


    The objective of Josephine Solitaire is to build eight foundation piles of each suit (Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds) in ascending order. In other words, each foundation pile will go from Ace, Two, Three, and Four to Jack, Queen, and King.

    Setup and Dealing

    If you plan on playing Josephine Solitaire with two physical decks of 104 cards, then follow these steps – make sure that both decks have identical backs. Just know that, otherwise, if you’re playing digitally on a website or application, the setup part will already be done for you:

    1. Merge two decks of 52 cards into 104 cards and shuffle it up. The better the shuffle, the more randomized and fresh the experience!
    2. To set up the Tableau, simply deal out ten piles of cards, each containing four cards completely face-up. This means that the Tableau contains 40 out of the 104 cards.
    3. Set aside the remaining cards into a deck, completely face-down. This will serve as the Stock, and what a big stock it is, containing a whopping 64 cards!
    4. You’re all done!

    Gameplay Rules

    Now that you know how to set up a game of Josephine Solitaire, hold your hands! You still can’t play your first game yet since you don’t know the rules, so keep reading!

    • A face-up card can be moved from one pile to another as long as it is of the same suit as the card being moved onto and one rank lower. 
    • A group of cards can be moved from one pile to another as long as the first card in the group is of the same suit as the card being moved onto and either one ranks lower. Of course, the rest of the cards in the group need to be in sequence, just like in Klondike.
    • If a face-down card happens to be at the top of a pile, it is flipped up. This typically happens when you move a card or group of cards across the Tableau or into the Foundation piles.
    • If there is an empty pile in the Tableau, only a King or a group of cards starting with a King can be moved on it.

    Tips and Strategies for Josephine Solitaire

    Josephine Solitaire definitely counts as one of the easier two-deck Solitaire variants, but it can take a while to get the hang of. So, if you’re a Klondike expert trying out Josephine Solitaire for the first time or an overly ambitious newbie jumping straight into obscure variants, then you should most certainly check out these strategies.

    Patience is Key

    While having a 64-card Stock sounds very reassuring in the face of a ten-pile Tableau, don’t underestimate the weight of 104 cards in total. Particularly, if this is your first time playing a two-deck variant, even if it’s not Spider, you’ll quickly realize just how tedious it becomes to sift through all the combinations, which have more than just doubled from Klondike. So, exercise patience and be very analytical of the board in front of you. If you’re stuck, take your time, do a pass over the Stock, and select what you think is the most optimal move.

    Undo When Necessary – It’s Okay

    Speaking of optimal moves, you won’t always be able to make the most optimal move; in fact, sometimes it’s even possible for you to make a very erroneous move and only realize it after the fact. During times like these, instead of clinging onto some superficial pride like “I can’t allow myself to undo the move and must suffer the consequences” (totally not projecting my past behavior), it’s perfectly okay to undo that move. You can let sub-optimal moves slide as they still make some progress, but in severe accidents, those are normal to undo.

    Stay Focused on the Foundation Piles

    Since all cards in Josephine Solitaire are face-up from the start of the game, the age-old Solitaire advice to uncover cards as quickly as possible doesn’t really apply. You know, at all times, what card will be accessible if you make a particular move, so instead of focusing on uncovering cards like you usually do in Klondike, focus on making available cards needed for the Foundation Piles.

    Pick out All Aces First and Foremost

    Since all Foundation piles start with an ace, there are no point-building sequences, for instance, starting from three when the Ace of the Foundation pile is nowhere to be found. So, at the start of the game, send any face-up Aces on top into their respective Foundation piles. Also, at the start of every game, do a quick pass over the entire Stock (which soaks up more than half of the original deck) and dish out any Ace that comes in sight.

    Vacating your First Pile is Essential

    In Solitaire variants where there is the Stock, it’s very important to vacate a pile so as to move all the Kings in the Stock there, one by one. This is because recall one of the rules of Josephine Solitaire that states that a vacant pile can only be taken up by a King or a group of cards started with a King. While it’s really easy to vacate a pile in Klondike as the target usually falls on the first pile containing one face-up card, the task is relatively difficult, and hence, more importantly, in Josephine Solitaire where every pile has four cards, nothing less.


    In conclusion, Josephine Solitaire is a relatively straightforward Solitaire variant but can become a handful if it’s your first time playing a two-deck variant. So, be sure to consult our tips and strategies as you navigate through the labyrinth of Josephine Solitaire. If you don’t want to play it physically, you can always play it digitally over at The Solitaire!

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