Original Patience Games by David Parlett
penguin logo
Cards 104   Type Open packer   Success Low

That indefatigable Victorian Mugshot
Mary Whitmore Jones
(Not Mrs Buffalo Bill)
compiler of Patience compendia Mary Whitmore Jones (left), describes a game called "Little Billee" as being American, admitting of little skill, and failing to come out more often than not. But I don't entirely agree. If you deal the packets in fans so that all cards are visible, the game is an open one and so more skill-demanding. Miss Jones herself allows you to look through the packets to decide on the best course of play, so why not? And again, if you take proper advantage of the two redeals, you'll find Little Billee much more tractable. But I don't like those redeals. They interrupt the flow and flaunt an element of blind chance that spoils the open, rugged honestyof the basic plan. So here's my adaptation of it, renamed in memory of a Mr Cody of Wild West fame.


Deal all 104 cards out Layout
An initial deal. At top are eight sites on which to found
Aces and Kings, at bottom eight spaces to accommodate
cards in reserve. (Image courtesy of Goodsol)
in twenty-six fans of four each.


To found an Ace and a King of each suit as they become available, and to build them respectively upwards and downwards into eight 13-card suit sequences.


The exposed card of each fan is available for founding, if it is an Ace or a King, or for building on any of the eight foundations. Alternatively, you may move any such exposed card to a reserve, from which it can (eventually) only be taken for building, not returned to the fans. Up to eight cards may be held in reserve at any one time, and each of them is independently available for building whenever it fits a sequence. There is no redeal.

The original game (Little Billee)

Deal eight cards to a reserve and the rest in twenty-four fans of four cards each. The object is the same as above. A reserve card is only available for building on a sequence, and may be replaced with an exposed card from a fan. The exposed card of a fan may be taken for building or for filling a vacancy in the reserve. When stuck, gather up the fans in reverse order of dealing (leaving the reserve and partly built sequences untouched) and deal them out again in fours as far as they will go. Two such redeals are allowed.