Category Archives: Solitaire

Churchill Solitaire

Ex-Defense Secretary, White House Chief of Staff and pharmaceutical boss Donald Rumsfeld has entered the world of mobile app game development. He has been working with a team of developers in the design of a card game called Churchill Solitaire. It turns out it is a rather challenging version played by one of the 20th century’s greatest statesman, Winston Churchill. You will find it available on the app store for free, although do watch out for those in-app purchases.


Churchill Solitaire is based on wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s variation of the the game. It uses two decks of cards and ten columns instead of the more traditional one deck and seven columns. The game claims to reflect Churchill’s personality and leadership qualities: making sacrifices to achieve a greater goal, thinking several steps ahead, relying on cunning, guile and intense concentration and taking advantage of luck and opportunity in the quest for overall victory.

For those ho have forgotten their history, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was born in 1874 into the family of the Dukes of Marlborough in the English county of Wiltshire. His father was a politician and his mother was an American socialite. He served as an officer in the army in the Boer War and went on to become a war correspondent writing about his experiences. He was First Lord of the Admiralty before the First World War and saw active service on the Western Front when he became commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

During the 1930’s he was on the political sidelines but returned to parliament when the Second World War broke out. When Neville Chamberlain resigned in May 1940, he became Prime Minister. His inspirational radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance during the those dark times. He remained in charge until victory was secured in 1945.

During the Nixon administration in 1973, when Rumsfeld was US ambassador to NATO, he met a Belgian diplomat called André de Staercke who had been friends with Churchill during World War II. De Staercke had been taught the rules of his solitaire by the British prime minister. De Staercke then went on to teach Rumsfeld.
After de Staercke and Churchill died, Rumsfeld wanted to make sure that the game would survive to see another generation.

The game’s challenge comes from a devil’s six set of cards that need to be liberated without moving them onto the main game table. It takes place on a 1940’s style desk and after completing levels the player is given a higher rank that represents Churchill’s path from the military academy at Sandhurst all the way up to Downing Street.

This is a card game that can frustrate the most skillful player because a one wrong move can make or break thegame. Just lLike classic solitaire, a number of hands are simply unwinnable. But the most steadfast of players will soldier on and find their way to victory.

Fairway Solitaire

What does the card game solitaire have in common with the popular outdoor pastime of golf? At first glance, not a thing. Nevertheless, games developer Big Fish Games has gone ahead and combined the two of them. The result has been a card game app that is amongst the most popular ones in the iOS and Android app stores.

Fairway Solitaire screenshot

Fairway Solitaire was first introduced back in 2007 as a PC/Mac game that you play like golf. The aim of the game is to clear each of the golf holes using golf clubs and cards by playing solitaire. You play the game essentially the same as a regular game of solitaire, but there is a twist.

You have a golf bag that includes Irons and Midas Clubs. These can be played as cards when you get stuck. While special clubs can help you complete the course, there are also hazards that will make it difficult for you to get par. There are Sand Trap and Water Hazard cards that must be unlocked as you progress through the courses, and a funny little Gopher that will try to ruin your game. He finds it hilarious when you don’t do well with the cards.

Fairway Solitaire was in fact designed around the ’80s comedy Caddy Shack, featuring Bill Murray relentlessly trying to catch that pesky gopher. Well, the gopher is back and if he pops up on screen you need to tap him to make him go away. If you don’t, a mini game will start. Winning a mini game gets you Gopher Bucks but losing a mini game means you may lose cards.

One of the best parts of the game are the announcers who make comments on what’s happening and it does feel as if they are actually present during them game.

You can give Fairway Solitaire a try over at Big Fish Games.