DogMelon

Classic Solitaire: La Grande Imperiale

La Grande Imperiale is a very difficult game which requires patience and planning. It often pays to plan moves out 10 or 20 moves ahead, which makes this Solitaire a favourite with chess players.

Aim:

To build 4 same suit rows, going down in rank from King to 2.

How to Play:

The Aces are not used in this game.


The opening tableau ensures that all cards are visible at the start of play. The Aces are not used. The 48 cards are arranged into 4 rows. There will be 4 gaps.


Play proceeds by filling th gaps with cards from the tableau.


The rules for what card can be moved into a gap are:

  1. If the gap is at the start of the row, then ANY of the Kings can be played into it.
  2. Otherwise the card moved into the gap, must be the same suit, and one less than, the card to the left of the gap.


Strategy:

Try to plan moves ahead. You will get stuck when you have gaps to the right of a 2, so try and avoid this. When a gap opens in the first column, consider which King to use carefully. Some will not give you many moves, whilst other Kings will open up the tableau for you.


Example:

Suppose that the initial deal looks like this:


La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 1


At this stage, there are 4 possibles moves...

Move the Queen of Spades to the right of the King of Spades.

Move the 8 of Diamonds to the right of the 9 of Diamonds.

Move the 4 of Clubs to the right of the 5 of Clubs.

Move the Queen of Diamonds to the right of the King of Diamonds.


Suppose we move the Queen of Diamonds:

La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 2


This opens up a new gap, where the Queen of Diamonds was before. So now the 2 of Hearts can be moved into that gap:

La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 3


If we do this for a few more moves, we get to here:

La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 4


At this point we can move the Jack of Diamonds, which will free up the first column, which can be filled with ANY king:

La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 5


You may consider moving the King of Clubs into the Gap, because it will allow the 2 of Diamonds to be moved a few moves later.

La Grande Imperiale Solitaire 6


More solitaire card game rules...