The game is played with a standard pack of 52 cards. The cards come in 4 suits with two colors, spades (black), hearts (red), diamonds (red) and clubs (black). Within a suit, the ranks are, from low to high, ace, 2, 3,,10, jack, queen and king.
The player starts the game by shuffling and dealing the pack of cards over several piles on the tableau, or playing table. After the player has dealt, there are 7 piles on the tableau containing 28 cards. The first pile has 1 card, the second 2, the third 3, and so on up to the seventh pile. Initially, the top card of each pile is turned face up; all other cards are face down. The remaining cards that are not part of the tableau are placed in the deck-pile. Above the tableau there are five more piles that are initially empty, one discard-pile and four suit-piles, one for each suit of cards. The suit-piles (sometimes called foundations) are built up from aces to kings in one suit. They are constructed as the cards become available. The object of the game is to build all 52 cards into the suit piles through a number of allowed moves.
The various moves the player can make are the following:
1) take the faced-down top card from the deck and place it face up on top of the discard pile
2) take the top card of the discard pile and place it on top of a tableau pile or suit pile
3) take the faced-up top card or a sequence of faced-up cards (called a build) from a tableau pile and place it (still in sequence) on top of another tableau-pile
4) take a faced-up top card of a tableau-pile and move it to a suit pile
5) turn over a faced-down top card of a tableau pile
6) when the deck-pile is empty, take the complete content of the discard pile, turn it over, and use it as a new deck-pile. Which cards can be taken and placed during each move is subject to some rules. A move can not be made when these rules are not satisfied. When the object of the game is reached or when no more moves can be made, the game is over.
The rules for the placement of cards are the following. A card can be placed on a tableau-pile only on top of a faced-up card of next-higher rank and opposite color. A build can be placed only when its bottom card matches a faced-up top card in this way. Empty piles that arise during play can only accommodate kings. A card can be placed on a suit-pile only if it is of the same suit and next higher card or if the foundation is empty and the card is an ace.