Thursday, October 02, 2014

ABC Solitaire

In trying to find a very simple card game to keep an elderly friend's mind occupied, I remembered a game that a friend taught me decades ago that he called "Reno Solitaire." However, I can find nothing online about Reno Solitaire and none of the solitaire rules I did find seemed to match it. So, I sent him an email and while I was waiting for his reply I started playing and started remembering the rules. But when he replied, the rules he sent me didn't match what I was doing.

Hmm. I think what happened is that when he taught me decades ago, I forgot the rules, then later tried to remember and instead came up with my own method, then forgot that as well, so when I remembered the game the other day I think I was actually remembering my misunderstanding of it.

However, I LIKE my misunderstanding. It is easy and quick and requires no setup. I think I'll call it ABC Solitaire because it is as easy as ABC, and because my friend's name is Addison, my name is Brad, and I'm still a bit Confused.

Advantages of ABC Solitaire:

  • There is almost no preparation. You just start dealing from a shuffled deck of 52 cards.
  • The rules are very simple. (Great for children or elderly people.)
  • It takes very little space and can be played in cramped quarters.
  • Play is quick. One pass through the deck and you're done.
  • There is just enough skill involved to keep it interesting.

The object is go get the four Aces on the bottom and no other cards above them.

To start, the player lays down four cards in a row.

Wherever there are two or more cards of the same suit, the lower cards of the same suit are discarded.  (Cards rank from Two low to Ace high.) So, in this case ...


... the player can discard the Two of Spades since the Queen of Spades is a higher card of the same suit.

In the following rounds of play another four cards are laid down on top of the previous set and again any card or cards on top which are lower than any other top card of the same suit are discarded. So, in this case, the Six of Diamonds can be discarded because it is lower than the Ace of Diamonds.

Also, if a column of cards becomes empty, as happened when we removed the Six of Diamonds, then the player may move a top card from another column to the open position.

Notice that this move exposes the Three of Hearts on the left to the higher Four of Hearts on the right ...

... so the Three of Hearts can be discarded. And when the Three of Hearts is removed the Four of Hearts can be moved to the left column, like this ...

... and when it is moved, the Queen of spades is exposed, which means that ...

... the Eight of Spades can be removed because it is exposed to the higher Queen of Spades.

When all possible cards have been moved or removed, then the player lays down another row of four cards, and the game continues in this fashion until all cards in the deck have been played.

If, at the end, the four Aces are on the table with no cards on top, the player wins.

Now, I want to confess again that I'm still not sure how I came up with this game. I may be subconsciously remembering a game someone else invented, and if so, please point me to the information about the game in the comments below and I'll edit this post.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Praying Aloud and Praying Silently

Usually I pray silently, even in private. After all, I've always figured God knows what goes on in my head, and I still believe that.


Today, for some unaccountable reason, I had the house to myself and I prayed aloud, in a normal voice, not a whisper, and my prayer time seemed so much more alive. I felt more as if I was talking to God and less as if I was talking to myself. It was also broader and more specific. I prayed about things I'd normally forget and I prayed in greater depth.

And now I find myself wondering why.

Maybe it has to do with the way God built us. Perhaps when we speak with others the part of our brain that engages with our mouths comes into play, and that part of our brain is necessary for us to sense we are really communicating, and since it is made for communication, the communication is more natural and deeper. I don't know; that's pure speculation.

However, I do know that I had a mighty good time, and felt I'd connected to God in a fresh, invigorating way, and I'd like to recommend you give it a try.