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About Primrose



Screen shot of the game Interregnum (similar to Primrose) from Pretty Good Solitaire.

Primrose is a two deck solitaire game. It is a variation of the more popular game Interregnum, but Primrose may be the more interesting game.

How to Play

At the start of the game, 8 indicator cards are dealt out across the top of the screen. The indicator cards indicate the top card for each of the foundation piles. Each indicator card will be the last card played to the foundation pile directly below it. If the indicator card is a Ten, for example, then the foundation pile below it must start with a Jack. The pile will then be built up regardless of suit, wrapping from King to Ace until a Nine is played. Then the Ten indicator card will be automatically played to the foundation pile to complete the pile. The object is to complete all of the foundations to win the game.

The remaining cards are dealt face up to 8 tableau piles. The top card of each pile is available for play on the foundations. There is no building or moving of cards within the tableau. The only plays are to the foundation piles.

You begin by making all possible plays to the foundation piles. You will often have choices of cards to move up. You should always choose the card that will free up the most possible moves of cards below it (since you can see all the cards in the tableau piles, you can plan moves ahead). Also, in general you should remove cards from the pile that has the most cards in it. If you have a choice between two different foundation piles, choose the one that has been built up the least.

When you have made all possible plays, you can click on the empty stock to redeal. The redeal in Primrose is unique. The first redeal will pick up all the remaining cards from the first (leftmost) tableau pile only. The cards are then dealt out one at a time to each pile across to the right, and then back again to the leftmost pile until the cards run out. The effect of this is that all the cards from the first tableau pile are distributed out across all the piles. After the first redeal there will be very few cards in the first pile and a couple of more cards in each of the other piles, with all the cards from the first pile being at the top of the other piles.

After the redeal, make all possible plays to the foundation piles again. When all possible plays are again done, the redeal process is repeated, except this time it will be the second tableau pile that will be picked up and distributed across all the piles. There are 8 redeals in total (one for each of the tableau piles).

The net effect of the redeals are that the leftmost piles will tend to get much smaller than the rightmost piles. While you are making plays, remember that you want to move up cards from the larger piles, but also all the cards from the large piles that haven't been redealt yet will get redistributed, making all of those cards more easily available later. Once a pile has been through the redeal the cards buried in it will never be accessible again unless you can play off all the cards above them. Be careful that no blocks develop among these piles where lower cards get buried below higher cards. Delicate balances have to be made, leaving wide areas of skill in the game.

Primrose is one of the 850 games in Pretty Good Solitaire.

Variations of Primrose

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