Original Solitaires by David Parlett

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BLACK HOLE

Mind how you go...

Cards 52   Type Open fan   Success rate 86% (with perfect play)

You don't need to be reminded of the peculiar properties of those degenerate stars called black holes, as nowadays they have become virtually part of the entertainment industry. This game, derived from a traditional one variously called "Golf" and "One Foundation", purports to illustrate the process whereby all matter unlucky enough to fall within their gravitational reach is irretrievably sucked in. Shlomi Fish suggests that 86% of all possible deals are solvable, and that "in at least half the [unsolvable] deals you'll reach a dead end fairly quickly", typically by about the ninth card played.

Layout

Put the Ace of spades in the middle of the board as the base or "black hole". Deal all the other cards face up in seventeen fans of three, orbiting the black hole - like this:

BlackHole diagram

Object

To build the whole pack into a single pile of 52 cards based on the black hole.

Play

The top (exposed) card of each fan is available for building on the centre pile. Build in ascending or descending sequence regardless of suit, going up or down ad lib and changing direction as often as necessary. For example, part of a sequence could run: -Q-K-A-2-3-2-A-K- etc. However, it's generally not advisable to go up and down too often, and many games be brought out without changing direction at all.

Copyright © 2017 by David Parlett

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