Canister is an open game, which means that all the cards are dealt out face up. At the start of the game, then entire single deck is dealt out to 8 piles, in the same way as in FreeCell, seven cards to four piles, six cards to another four piles.
The object is to move all the cards to four foundation piles, up in suit, as usual. In the tableau, building is down regardless of suit. Groups of cards in sequence down regardless of suit may be moved as a unit. Spaces can be filled with any card.
The average player who has submitted Canister scores to our web site scores 50%, but I think a good player should be able to do considerably better than that. The rules are sufficiently lenient that, barring getting stuck in the very first few moves with an impossible position, you should be able to win most of the time.
For more challenge, there are some new, harder variations of Canister. British Canister is more difficult. It is just like Canister except that the tableau building is down by alternate color rather than regardless of suit, only one card at a time can be moved, and only Kings can be placed in empty spaces. This makes the game considerably harder.
You will run into quite a few impossible positions early on in British Canister. Another variation, American Canister, eases the game a bit by allowing groups of cards down by alternate color to be moved and allows any card in an empty space. You still get some impossible positions at the start, but this makes the game much easier. In fact, American Canister is essentially FreeCell with no cells and unlimited group moving.
Canister is one of the 850 games in Pretty Good Solitaire.
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