Flexdeck Golf Solitaire
Adapted for Flexdeck by Martin Willett
Last revision: 11/22/19
This adaptation of the traditional golf solitaire game is given three additional variations to take advantage of all the features found in the Flexdeck. Golf solitaire has a greater degree of skill versus luck than many other forms of solitaire.
PLAYERS: 1 (Variation for 2*)
TIME: 9 hole round, approximately 25 minutes
One Flexdeck (52-card deck, jokers removed)
Pencil and paper for scoring
The 1st, 5th and 9th holes are played as TRADITIONAL golf solitaire. Rules for this may be found online, but here are the basics:
A tableau of seven columns, five face-up cards each, is dealt, for a total of thirty-five cards. The remaining cards form the draw pile.
Cards are turned face up, one at a time. Fully exposed cards (cards at the bottom of the columns) may be removed from the tableau and placed on the face-up drawn card if they form a numerical sequence with that card (suits are ignored). For example, if the exposed draw pile card is a ten, either a nine or a jack may be placed on it. Aces are low and may only be placed on a two; kings are high and may only be placed on a queen. Wrapping around from king to ace (or vice versa) is illegal.
In the sample image shown, the first card turned from the draw pile is a king, so the queen may be drawn down from the tableau and placed on top of the king. There are no jacks or kings then exposed to make a sequence with the queen, so the next draw pile card is turned.
One pass is made through the draw pile, card by card. When play on the final card is blocked, the number of cards remaining on the tableau is the score for the hole. If the tableau is cleared completely, the number of cards remaining in the draw pile are strokes under par and entered as negative numbers.
The three variations for the Flexdeck all use the same tableau, basic gameplay and scoring.
The 2nd and 6th holes are COLOR CLEAR holes. In this variation cards may be removed if they match the color of the exposed draw card.
In the sample image, there are no blue cards available to match the turned draw pile card, so another draw pile card is turned. If that card is red, for example, then the three red cards could come down. If gold, then all eight matching gold cards could be cleared.
The 3rd and 7th holes are WORD BUILDER holes. In this variation the letters in the card corners are used to form words beginning with the exposed card’s letter. If an additional word can be formed using the last letter of the previous word, it may be formed and removed before turning another draw card. This can continue until play is blocked. Words may also be legally formed with unexposed cards if those cards will become exposed and usable in the correct order; use the upside-down letters to plan ahead! (Standard word disqualifications apply: no proper nouns or abbreviations; words consist of 2 or more letters).
*Special “Q” rule: If a “U” is turned onto the draw pile and a “Q” card is available from the tableau, the QU digraph may be formed in the wrong order, but only if a valid QU word is immediately available by drawing the appropriate cards down.
In the sample image shown, the word “BETA” could be formed by drawing down the “E,” the “T,” and then the “A” that was behind the “T.” Then the word “AX,” etc.
The 4th and 8th holes are DOMINO MATCH holes. In this variation cards may be removed if either end of the domino is a match for either end of the exposed card. However, the use of any double domino, such as 6-6, blocks further progress and forces the turning of the next draw card. This rule includes turning a double domino from the draw pile; a new card must be turned.
In the sample image shown, the first draw card turned is the 5-8 domino. The 3-5 domino is the only match, so it is drawn down. Then any of the exposed dominos containing a 3 or 5 could be drawn down, keeping in mind that if or when the 3-3 double domino is used, play is frozen and the next draw pile card is turned.
A nine-hole score of 50 or less (an 18-hole round of 100) can be considered very good. Holes-in-one (1 tableau card left), zeros (tableau cleared with the last draw card), and birdies, eagles, and other negative scores (tableau cleared with remaining draw cards) are somewhat rare, but of course help the overall score immeasurably.
Variations that would affect the scoring and difficulty:
-Add 1,2 or 3 joker/wild cards, to be used to represent any denomination. This would take the scoring into miniature golf territory.
-On the traditional holes, allow wrapping between ace and king for an easier game; disallow queens from being placed on kings for a greater challenge.
-Within an overall round and after the tableau is dealt, the player may choose their “club” (one of the variations) based on an evaluation of the visible tableau card distribution. The 9 holes of play must still include 3 traditional holes, and 2 each of COLOR CLEAR, WORD BUILDER and DOMINO.
-*Two players play at a time with two decks and compare scores, round by round.