Klondike extremities

In this thread I'll collect Klondike games that stretch the norms in some direction.

Your mileage may vary because either there are subtleties to this game I haven't mastered yet, or I just miss legal moves. Probablly both. I know this because often when I give up on a game having put up 7 or 11 or 22 cards, in the top ten there are at least a few playere who have managed all 52. Sometimes all of them.

When on rare occasions I complete fewer than 52, give up, and see that nobody else has done any better β€” little victory dance.

πŸ‘‰ Here is a game which ground to a stalemate (seven cards upstairs, five remaining in the stack) in which not a single king had been placed on an empty rank. (All of the top ten achieved 52.)




  • πŸ‘‰ This Klondike game looked unremarkable, but by the first pass through he face-down stack only three cards remained from the original 24.


  • Hi! zudensternen : I'm not sure if I'm reading you right or not but I just played that game at 6:46 my time ' finished 37th. ( I took a break , lol ) and had all 4 kings on top , no cards below , is that what you mean or should I just go for another walk to clear my head ....

  • Hi @zudensternen, tried the Klondike 1292079202. Must have been lucky...first try, a little over 4min 16th place

  • @coleridge , @anglais β€” You are just proving that I am not very good at this game (which, yep). Before I post an "extremity" here I try the game several times, at least twice. I'm just not seeing some of the moves competent players see.

  • Hi @zudensternen, I must be doing something wrong or misunderstood you. Tried Klondike 464334064...first try in 2m32s placed 59th; the game seems to be working ok.

  • Hey @zudensternen, don't be so hard on yourself...instead of competence try lucky. Sometimes when I'm playing, choosing this card or that card... it just feels like the right move to make. Perhaps something like intuition rather than competence. I play with a mouse on an old iMac...not fast, but that's ok I have fun.

  • @anglais and @zudensternen Just tried Klondike 464334064. Probably the second time I've ever played Klondike, the 1st time was 5 minutes prior to that one. I did it on the 1st try! Maybe I should try it more often instead of beating my head against 40 Thieves and/or Alternation.

  • @anglais , my point in this thread is not so pinpoint hard-to-win Klondike games or "bears," but rather to point out games that bring out extremes along some dimension of the game. No kings, most hidden cards placed in first pass, least cards placed, etc. like that.

  • Hi @zudensternen it can depend on the technique the player adopts that makes the layout easier, harder or no difference.

    For example, I flick through the deck and pull out any aces before I start to play, sometimes I flip through again if I notice on the first pass that there are twos and threes lurking in the pack to match the aces. That means that I have a different layout to begin with than players who start by turning the cards in sequence. Cards may be revealed earlier and played in a different order to other ways of playing. So comparisons don’t always match.

    I’m sure there are other techniques that players use in their game plan.

  • @fingsaint Thank you for the insight! Frankly it never occurred to me to play any other way but sequentially through the hidden cards, making every available play along the way. <going back to the drawing board>

  • Hi @jezzbelle, glad to hear from you. Congratulations on your Klondike wins. I also find the game easier than 40 Thieves but have never tried Alternation...I think Il'l give it a try.

  • @jezzbelle, can't find a game named Alternation. Am I missing something?

  • riverrat55riverrat55 REGISTERED
    edited November 2023

    Thanks! @zudensternen great forum as was tacklng some tough games of my favorite game of Klondike
    @anglais , if you click on this link under FAQ , scroll down to question #13 on Secret Games on forum you will find Alternation

  • anglais@ You are.Follow riverrat55's instructions and I'll see you there.Great game

  • Hi @riverrat and @graeme, thanks guys. Tried a couple of games before signing in didn't do too well. This one will take a bit of practice...even so, it looks like an interesting game. Will have to work on it this week.

    @jezzbelle thanks for introducing me to something new

  • @anglais You are welcome.

  • @anglais ,you're welcome enjoy all the Alternation games , hope to see you as well on the leader board will have to check the game out ., Thanks @graeme , good to see you my friend. enjoy seeing your name at times on the Klondike leader board.

  • Here's an embarrassing Klondike extremity:

    πŸ‘‰ In this game I came in dead last, 59th of 59 when played. Remarkably, in the time since no one has done worse and I'm now 179th of 179. (If you click through to the game you won't see my score, of course, because I'm just as far out of the top ten as it is possible to get.)


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    1406 x 1098 - 308K
  • @zudensternen, you should be able to get this one...it's not complicated. I think you may be trying too hard, perhaps looking for a complicated solution where the solution is easy. Try again...first use the cards on the table that are face up to build up the sequence in the other columns. Secondly use the cards in the pack for solution only as a second choice for this game. Keep up this procedure until you win...if you don't at first win try again...don't give up. It is difficult to clearly explain these games...only with practice and perseverance can you build confidence as well as knowledge.

  • Hello zudenstemen.Anglais is right.I may add you can bring down cards from the columns to facilitate your moves.It's fairly straight-forward.However,nothing is easy if you are out of practice.Many of us play Klondike every day.I did try Freecell once...............anyone have an idiot's guide to Freecell?..........Xmas is coming,perhaps I could have it in my stocking.Play on and enjoy my friends.....there is always another game.

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited November 2023

    Thanks much @anglais and @graeme. I already knew the rough outlines of the advice you generously offered, and that's how I was playing. Finally beat that game (...604) after five more tries. It turns out there are three (perhaps more) choice points where one can move, e.g., a black 9, and there are two to choose from. Two black tens. Two kings. So those give at least 8 (2 cubed) possible paths through the game.

    My usual practice with those choice points is to try both and see which one results in more card moves before I have to turn another hidden card. But it seems that in this particular instance, the correct path through the game does not follow this rule of thumb.

  • Congrats @zudensternen, you are on the right path. I see more clearly our different approaches and philosophy to these games. I look at cards as a game of chance where intuition plays a great part in success...I'm not sure if I understand you properly, but I get the impression you are or were looking for mathematical formulae that would help or guide to success. Personally, if I look at mathematical variants of the simple games we play they are enormous and each type of game demands a different analysis. I'm not a mathematician so my pleasure is winning the best I can. I hope you succeed whichever path you take.

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited November 2023

    Agreed, there are many possible approaches to these games. Mine tends to be rooted in logic. Klondike differs from Freecell in that at any one time there are at most one or a few legal moves (besides turning over a hidden card). There isn't a lot of choice involved, except as noted above when two identical alternate moves present themselves. Contrast this with Freecell, where there may be half a dozen or more possible moves at any point.

    Seems to me it would be a lot less mental effort to play by intuition!

  • Which is probably why I play by intuition πŸ™‚. Your explanation about the game you won...the various possibilities...got me interested in how odds are calculated in, for example, a poker game. Oh my, need a lot of calculation and most important an excellent memory for that. I think Il'l pass.

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    πŸ‘‰ This is a delightful game. It starts by allowing 12 moves before you need to resort to flipping over hidden cards β€” each early move opens up one more, like magic. The rest of the game proceeds in similar fashion to an easy 52.


  • Yeah that is a good one, the kind that sort of play themselves, right?

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    πŸ‘‰ Tight cluster of scoring: At this writing the top 10 in this game all fall within a range of 10 moves, between 113 and 123 (but the times still spread out over 1:15).


  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    πŸ‘‰ Most men left on base: In this game, 16 cards remained in the face-down stack when progress ground to a halt. No one in the top 10 did better than my 3.


    Update: another game had 17 cards remaining when progress stopped. In this game the top 10 scored 4, 2, or 1 cards; I never could figure out how to get any at all.


  • 477737158 was a nice game @zudensternen. Also did 3...satisfied with my time of 1m9s. Great choice of games, thanks. Will try 1052797144 tomorrow...getting a little late.

  • @anglais Glad you are enjoying these finds.

  • πŸ‘‰ Here's a true extremity: To my shock, I came up #1 in this game, at 1:58. That's holding after 203 plays, and may continue to hold until one of you knocks me off the throne.


  • @zudensternen , your highness, congratulations while on the throne. I checked the scores and you are still the King. Surprised to hear you were shocked to be there...dare I say intuition was involved in your play πŸ™‚.

  • riverrat55riverrat55 REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    @zudensternen , @anglais , one of the most nerve racking games had played in while , started off at a good pace then game took a turn for worse and not finding any luck at end thou finished first it was very challenging game.Don't think this one can be beat , not me any how !

  • @anglais When I say "shocked" I mean that normally I consider it a good game if I show up in the top 20%–30%, and only < 60 seconds out of 10th place.

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    @riverrat55 Thanks, I look forward to being frustrated by that game (...505) at leisure.

    Update: Played! whew Managed a 4:24 (18 cards up) for a #10 finish.

    @graeme @binky3

  • binky3binky3 REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    You go @graeme!!!!! I tried it. Took me 4m6s & 144 moves but I came in 3rd. YEA!!!

  • @binky3 Well done.Never give up.40 thieves next?

  • πŸ‘‰ Just a satisfying game. Each time I needed a card, it came up – to the extent that only five remained in the stack after the first go-through. The long endgame was satisfying as well.


  • Hi @zudensternen, I like hearing about your satisfaction especially when the going gets tough. I know what you mean.

  • πŸ‘‰ When I ran out of steam on this game at 13 (the top two had managed 15), no kings at all had been encountered.


  • Same as you on first try, 13 position in the 100's. Second try gave me 15 in 7th position. Only difference was using all cards on the table to build columns gave 13...to get 15, there is only one card that should NOT be used for column building but instead wait for it to come out of the pack. The card must not be used even though it is so tempting.

  • zudensternenzudensternen REGISTERED
    edited December 2023

    πŸ‘‰ In this game I count 17 moves you can make before needing to turn over cards from the face-down stack. All the top 10 times are below a minute.


    P.S. @anglais, glad you enjoyed the challenge, and also the Freecell bear.

  • Hey @graeme, good show! #3 in the GotD today and still #9 when anonymous players are included!


  • Hello zudenstemen.Thank-you.The anonymice have some top-class players.Good competition.Take care.

  • riverrat55riverrat55 REGISTERED
    edited January 16

    Not sure how many have played Klondike (No Foundations) under FAQ(Secret Games) list, it is a very challenging version , especially you don't have the Aces in upper right they go on the columns , and have to alternate suits. If no one has played give it a chance, am enclosing a link below in case some more of my Greenfelt Friends around the world are looking for a challenge. My apologies if changing forum as it is a Extreme game, Enjoyable as well

  • @riverrat55 Don't worry about it, topics drift. Will try No Foundations one of these days.

  • My first outing. I see you played after me, @riverrat55 . One thing I hadn't expected: it's lonely in there, so few are playing the Secret Games.

  • @zudensternen ,very,very true , probably played maybe 100 games and saw your score on that particular game, rest have been lonely , hopefully we can get some guests from now on as hopefully more will check out this version of Klondike. I have in the past played the 2 Golf games on there and a few games of Alternation which was recommended to me. thou will be playing Foundations from now on as it is a challenging game , as have gotten down to 1 card face down on 3 occasions, Hopefully more will see the game and try it more , Thanks !

  • Game can be beaten

    1344 x 648 - 818K
  • This is a fun game of Klondike, if you enjoy the feeling of things just falling into place. (I know some of you prefer a stiff challenge.) Winning times range from 0:45 to 1:12.


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