Keith Koskie
United States
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I absolutely adore the solitaire for this game, and have been playing it a bit obsessively lately. It's a brain burner of a puzzle, but I've found that once you find a particularly effective combo, the game becomes "solved" in a sense The process of discovering the secret is very satisfying, but after you know the trick, even the impossible-at-first Master Solitaire can seem too easy. I just love the system and mechanics, though -- so much so that I started looking for minor tweaks to bump up the difficulty. Here is what I've found after some experimentation.

The following solitaire rules are inspired by the Grand Master variant created by protoror. Use the rules for Master Solitaire with the following modified set up. I would strongly recommend playing Master Solitaire until you're winning reliably before attempting these.

And just because I know he frequents these forums, a great big Thank You! to Tom Cleaver for giving us such a wonderful game. I look forward to doing this for Last Rites when I eventually (inevitably!) add it to my collection.

Expert Solitaire

Set Up

Set Aside Cards: Gather three groups of cards which will be referenced later.
A - One copy of each of the five set card with cost 3 (unless otherwise specified)
B - the initial contents of the Boneyard (specified below)
C - the Center of the stock (specified below)

Set Up Stock: Separately shuffle the level II and level III cards (those that weren't set aside) normally. Form the stock with the level III cards on bottom, followed by the cards of C (in the order listed) and finally the level II cards.

Set Up Pyramid: Do this normally from the stock that was just set up.

Set Up Boneyard: Place the set-aside cards of B (in the order listed) next to the stock to form the boneyard. Do not place cards from the stock into the boneyard.

Set up Starter Cards: Just as with Master Solitaire, this variant uses the standard set of 10 starter cards. However, some of these may have been set aside to form B or C. Take all the starter cards that were not set aside in this way and shuffle them with A to form the solitaire starter deck.


Just as with Master Solitaire, the goal is to entomb all 10 starter cards, all 6 unique cards and exactly one copy of each set card. The free entombment per turn is disallowed (i.e., only card actions can be used to entomb). Missing or duplicate cards in your tomb at the end of the game (i.e., anything other than a perfect score) are considered a loss. Do not forget that after any turn in which the pyramid is not altered, a card from the pyramid must be sacrificed.

Cards to be Set Aside

Valley of the Kings

Grand Master Solitaire (by protoror)
A: Normal starter cards (no level II cards)
B: Any level II unique card
C: Chariot

Expert Solitaire
B: 2 Shabtis
C: Shabti, Chariot, Shabti


Note: For Afterlife, in addition to the standard disallowed card actions, the actions of Offering Chapel and Pesesh-kef are disallowed.

This Practice setup seems very difficult at first, but a somewhat quirky strategy is possible which solves the game (i.e., a 100% win rate is possible). I strongly recommend attempting to solve it for fun before moving on to Expert Solitaire.

Practice Solitaire (solvable)
B: 4 Shabtis
C: 2 Daggers

The Expert Solitaire setup gives hints to the winning strategy for the Practice Solitaire above, so it is protected as a spoiler.
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Expert Solitaire
A: As above, but no Serdab
B: (bottom) 2 Serdabs, 2 Shabtis (top)
C: (IIIs) Dagger, Shabti, Dagger, Shabti (IIs)

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Tom Cleaver
United States
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Thanks a lot for your new solitaire variant. It looks extremely challenging and shows a lot of thought (and affection).

I think you're probably aware of this, but you'll find a "solo player variant" on the AEG website ( that simulates playing a human opponent. If you haven't tried it, please do.

Keep on gaming,

Tom Cleaver
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