Demon Solitaire Strategies

By George Lawrence
Demon Solitaire Strategies
a deck image by timur1970 from

Demon Solitaire is better known in America as Canfield Solitaire (named after Richard Canfield, the game's inventor). Demon Solitaire is played with one standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Start by dealing yourself 13 cards and turn the last card face up. The game proceeds in a similar fashion as other solitaire games: You must place the cards in sequence and attempt to use every card in the deck. Learn the rules of the game and develop strategies from those rules.

Rules of Demon Solitaire

Before diving into strategy, you must master how the game operates. After you deal yourself 13 cards, take the next card from the deck and place it in front of you. Note the suit and the type of the card (whether it is a spade, diamond, heart, or club and whether it is either 2 through 10 or a face card). This card is the foundation card. You can play cards of the same suit on this card sequentially (up the deck) but to use other cards you must place the card of a different suit, but of the same type, next to your foundation card. Below this row, add four more cards, face up; this is called the tableau. Next, deal out three cards. You must use the top card to make a play; if no play is available, deal out three more cards and reshuffle the deck if necessary. Make plays by placing cards from your initial pile or the top card from the draw pile in the proper sequence on the foundation cards or on the tableau cards.

Basic Strategy: Eliminating Tableau Cards

One of the basic strategies in Demon Solitaire is to move piles of cards from the tableau onto the foundation cards. Whenever you move an entire pile from the tableau (even if it is just one card), a space opens up in the tableau. Once a space is available in the tableau, you may fill the space from the stockpile. Opening up spaces in your tableau is an efficient way to improve your odds of winning a Demon Solitaire match because you may place any available card from the stockpile into the tableau; you do not need to wait for a card to match the sequence prior to playing it. This will open up more cards in your stockpile and give you more chances to use every card and ultimately win.

Other Tips

Do your best to use all of the possible moves before dealing from the stockpile. This means you must look at the playable cards at hand: look at your initial pile, cards in the tableau, and the first card from the stockpile and try to make every play possible from these cards before dealing more cards. Move cards to the foundation and open spots in the tableau, if possible. The more you do prior to dealing more cards improves your odds of winning. Next, build foundations evenly; having one foundation get too far ahead of the others will hurt you in the long run because your options will be limited.

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