Rules for Big Bertha Card Game

By Betsy Gallup

Big Bertha is one of many versions of the old favorite Solitaire. The goal is to move all the cards from the tableau to create full suits. This particular version of Solitaire challenges the player with the use of two decks of standard playing cards. The key to winning is moving the cards to free up the smaller cards first, and the meticulous movement of cards as they come available to build your suits in numeric order from ace to king.

Layout

Shuffle decks together. Lay out 15 cards in two rows in front of you. The cards should be faceup. Deal out five cards, faceup on each of the 15 cards. Fan them down so you can see the denomination of each. Plan to lay out your suits in eight stacks to the left. Place the remaining 14 cards faceup to your right. These are your reserve cards. You should never have more than 14 cards in reserve.

When you are done with the layout, you should have no cards left in the deck, and all cards should be faceup and spaced so that you can identify each one.

Game Play

The tableau is your main place to play. You can use any cards or runs of cards in order from the tableau and the reserve. To create a run, build down on the tableau, alternating black cards with red. As you build, set all kings to one side as they reach the top of the row.

Build your suits to the left. You will have eight stacks, two for each suit. To build your suits, you use the cards at the top of the rows and from your reserve cards. While the cards in the tableau intermingle the suits, the suits stacks should be kept pure--one suit only per stack. Build the suits from ace to queen.

As you use your 14 reserve cards, you can replace them with cards from the tableau in order to free up cards needed for run, cards needed to continue a suit, or Kings.

Game Over

The game is over when all the cards are either in your suits stacks or in kings, or when you can no longer find cards to move to open up new plays.