Shamrocks is not just classic solitaire with a different set of themed cards. Shamrocks is a completely different card game that is pile based and very fun to play. If you're familiar with other classic pile based games like La Belle Lucie or Cruel Solitaire you'll really enjoy Shamrocks.
How To Play Shamrocks Solitaire
Shamrocks Solitaire requires some strategic planning. The player beginns by dealing the entire 52 card deck into 18 piles. 17 piles of 3 cards and one pile of one. If you are playing at home, it can be fun to fan the cards in each pile so they look like shamrocks. The starting card value in the foundation is chosen by the player, as the first card the player moves to any of the foundations.
Only the top card can be moved between the piles, and the piles can not have more than three cards in them at a time. The piles can be built up or down without regard to suit. If all the cards in a pile are removed, that pile is gone for good. In Shamrocks you can not place a card on an empty pile. The pile just disappears. This version of Shamrocks Solitaire lets you place cards on an empty pile, but the other versions on this site do not.
The strategy I use when playing Shamrocks is to try and figure out what cards can be removed without eliminating the piles. You want to keep as many piles as you can for as long as you can. This gives you more room to manuver with the cards. I first try to look for a card to start the foundations. If possible, look for a card that does not have any cards as bottom cards in the pile. This will allow you to keep all your piles longer. When possible, try to build the piles down rather than up. You may get stuck with a 5 of Hearts on top of a 4 of Hearts.
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