Report bug

How to Play Three Pirates Solitaire

Three Pirates Solitaire is an easier version of Forty Thieves, where you have 3 waste piles.


The goal is to move all 104 cards from the stock pile and tableau into 8 foundation piles by suit in ascending order.

The Setup and Play Area

Tableau piles: This is the area where cards are placed face-up in 10 columns of 4 cards each, totaling 40 cards.

Stock pile: The remaining cards, or a total of 61 cards, are face-down in the stock pile. You are allowed a single pass through the stock pile.

Waste pile: There are three waste piles. Cards are drawn three at a time into each waste pile.

Foundation piles: These are the eight piles at the top of the game where cards are placed by suit in ascending order from Ace to King.

Three Pirates Solitaire setup

Available moves

  • The top 3 cards of the waste pile can be played into the tableau or foundation.
  • Only Aces can start in the foundation, and subsequent cards must be in ascending order by suit. For example, only a 2 of Clubs can be played on an Ace of Clubs.
  • Only the last card in the tableau column is playable, and it can either be moved to the foundation or on top of another card of the same suit, one rank higher. A Jack of Diamonds, for example, can be moved on top of a Queen of Diamonds.
  • Unlike Klondike, you cannot move a group of sequenced cards in the tableau.
  • If a tableau column is empty, any legally playable card can be placed there.
  • You win when all cards are placed in the 8 foundations.


  • Check all the waste piles before you draw more cards from the stock pile. You have 3 opportunities to move cards into the game.
  • Create empty columns to move cards and unblock others.
  • If you have an empty column, try to place cards of higher ranks to help you create longer sequences in that column. Also, late in the game, consider moving cards from the stock pile into empty columns to get them into the tableau.
  • Immediately move Aces to the foundation.
  • The first visible sequence may not always be the best one. Plan out your moves to remove as many cards as possible from the tableau.
  • Because foundations are built from Ace to King, try to make low cards available so you can move them out of the tableau into the foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are similar games?

Josephine Solitaire, Maria SolitaireForty Thieves, and Thieves of Egypt all have similar rules.

What is the probability of winning Three Pirates?

We looked at 233 random games played. Of those, 56 were won, or 24.03%. This makes Three Pirates considerably easier than Forty Thieves, which has a win rate of 3.69%. This is because with 3 waste piles, you have more options to move cards into the game.

What are other popular Solitaire games to try?

Try these games:


Sign in to Solitaired.com with Facebook

Sign in to appear on the leaderboard and save your stats!