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Emperor Penguin is a variation of the popular game Penguin. It is a FreeCell type game.
Emperor Penguin is played with one deck. Seven cards are dealt out to seven tableau piles. The first card dealt to the first pile is the most important card, called the beak. The other three cards of the same rank as the beak are dealt to the foundation piles and are to be built up in suit (wrapping King to Ace as necessary), until each pile has 13 cards. The beak card begins the game buried underneath six other cards in the first tableau pile and must be freed so that the fourth foundation pile can be started.
All of the cards start out the game face up, making Emperor Penguin an open game. The tableau piles are built down in suit, more like Eight Off than FreeCell. In addition to the tableau piles, there are seven cells that can hold one card each, just like the cells in FreeCell. Like FreeCell but unlike Penguin, you can only move groups of cards in sequence down in suit if there are enough free cells that the cards could be moved individually. Therefore filling up all the cells is much more dangerous in Emperor Penguin than in regular Penguin.
Play consists of moving cards to the foundation and moving cards to the cells in order to build runs in the tableau. It is important to get to the beak card at the bottom of the first pile soon, but it is not necessarily the first thing you want to do.
Emperor Penguin is a harder game than regular Penguin but still should be winnable most of the time. The current highest winning percentage on the high scores site is 82%, so there is plenty of room for someone to make a higher score.
Penguin was invented by David Parlett and Emperor Penguin is an original variation of it.
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