Syed ArhamSyed Arham(Author)
    Ragnar van der MerweRagnar van der Merwe(Editor)

    Updated: 07.14.2024

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire Online

    Josephine Solitaire main

    Solitaire is a great single-player game. It can keep you company when you’re overcome with boredom. In fact, that’s why I picked it up in the first place. I was really bored one day, so I opened the Solitaire application on my PC. That’s when I got hooked!

    I eventually realized I had been playing just one Solitaire variation, Klondike. Slowly, I started exploring other variants like FreeCell and Spider. I then started to discover more obscure alternatives like Alaska and finally Josephine. So, let me tell you about Josephine Solitaire.

    Introduction to Josephine Solitaire

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire

    You play Josephine with two decks like Spider, but the former is nowhere near as difficult as the latter. In fact, I’d probably rank it as one of the easier two-deck Solitaire variants. If you’ve played quite a bit of Klondike and gotten the hang of Solitaire in general, then it’s time to try out Josephine. However, if you’ve just started playing Solitaire, then it’s best to warm up on Klondike before moving on to more complex variants.

    The table below lists how Josephine is different from Klondike:

    The game is played with 104 cards, so two decks.The game is played with 52 cards, so one deck.
    You must build eight foundation piles in ascending order.You must build four foundation piles in descending order.
    The tableau consists of 10 piles.The tableau consists of seven piles.
    Each pile in the tableau has four cards.In 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-up.At the start of the game, only the topmost card in each pile is face-up.
    You can move a card from one pile onto a card from another pile as long as it is the same suit and one rank lower.You can move a card from one pile onto a card from another pile as long as it is the opposite color and one rank lower.
    You can move a sequence of cards to another pile as long as the first card is the same suit and one rank lower.You must build eight foundation piles in ascending order.

    How to Play Josephine Solitaire

    If you’re intrigued by Josephine Solitaire’s straightforward rules (despite its fairly complex layout), then keep reading.


    The objective in Josephine Solitaire is to build eight foundation piles of each suit (Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds) in ascending order. Each foundation pile will go from Ace, Deuce, Three, and so on, up to King.

    Setup and Dealing

    If you plan to play Josephine Solitaire with two physical decks of 104 cards, then follow these steps. Also, make sure that both decks have identical backs. If you’re playing on a website or application, then the setup 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 the cards will be and the better the experience.
    2. To set up the tableau, deal out ten piles of cards, each containing four face-up cards. This means that the tableau contains 40 of the 104 cards.
    3. Set aside the remaining cards into a deck, face-down. This will serve as the stock (and what a big stock it is – 64 cards!).
    4. Now, you’re set to go!

    Gameplay Rules

    Now you know how to set up a game of Josephine Solitaire. But, you can’t play until you know the rules. So, keep reading.

    • You can move a face-up card from one pile to another as long as it is the same suit as the card you are placing it on and one rank lower. 
    • You can move a group of cards from one pile to another as long as the first card in the group is the same suit as the card you are placing it on and one rank lower. Of course, the rest of the cards in the group must be in sequence (just like in Klondike).
    • If a face-down card is at the top of a pile, then you can turn it over. 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, then you can only move a King or a group of cards starting with a King into it.

    Tips and Strategies for Josephine Solitaire

    Josephine is one of the easier two-deck Solitaire variants, but you can take a while to get used to it. So, whether you’re a Klondike expert trying out Josephine for the first time or an ambitious novice jumping straight into obscure variants, then you should check out these strategies.

    Patience is Key

    Having a 64-card stock sounds reassuring in the face of a ten-pile tableau. But, don’t underestimate the weight of a 104-card total. If this is your first time playing a two-deck variant, then you’ll quickly realize just how tedious it is to sift through all the combinations (which have more than doubled from Klondike). So, exercise patience and approach the board in front of you analytically. If you’re stuck, then take your time. Do a slow pass over the stock and then select what you think is the most optimal move.

    Undo When Necessary – It’s Okay

    Naturally, you won’t always be able to make the most optimal move. Sometimes, you will make the wrong move but only realize it after the fact. When this happens, don’t do what I used to do. Don’t stubbornly (or proudly) say something like “I can’t undo the move; I must suffer the consequences”. It’s perfectly okay to undo a move. You can let sub-optimal moves slide if you are still making some progress, but it is normal to undo serious blunders.

    Stay Focused on the Foundation Piles

    All cards in Josephine Solitaire are face-up from the start of the game. This means that the age-old advice to uncover cards as quickly as possible doesn’t really apply to this variant. You always know which card will be accessible if you make a certain move. So, instead of focusing on uncovering cards (like you do in Klondike), focus on making the cards needed for the foundation piles available.

    First and Foremost, Pick out All the Aces

    Since all foundation piles start with an ace, there are no point-building sequences (e.g. starting from three when the foundation pile’s Ace is nowhere to be found). So, at the start of the game, send any available face-up Aces into their respective foundation piles. Also, do a quick pass over the entire stock (which takes up more than half the original deck) and dish out any Aces you spot.

    Vacating your First Pile is Essential

    In Solitaire variants where there is a stock, it’s important to vacate a pile so that you can move the Kings in the stock there, one by one. This is because one of Josephine Solitaire’s rules states that only a King or a group of cards starting with a King can take up a vacant pile. In Klondike, it’s easy to vacate a pile because the target usually falls on the first pile containing one face-up card. In Josephine, the task is quite difficult. Every pile has four cards, nothing less.


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

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