How to Play Block Ten Solitaire

The Complete Rules for the Card Game Block Ten Solitaire

Block Ten Solitaire is a very quick game, generally played in about two minutes. It's almost entirely dependent on luck, and players should win about 10 percent of the time. Block Ten is closely related to the solitaire card game Tens.

The basic play is in removing pairs of cards that add up to 10 from a tableau of nine piles to the single foundation pile. It's a quick game you might use to while away a few minutes.

It's simple enough for kids to play who can match cards and add numbers up to 10. However, it also can get dull pretty quickly since there is no strategy. Everything is determined by the luck of the draw.

  • Players: This is a solitaire game, for a one player
  • Deck: Block Ten Solitaire uses a standard 52-card deck.
  • Goal: The goal of Block Ten Solitaire is to deal the entire deck onto the table without reaching an impasse.

Setup for Block Ten Solitaire

First shuffle the deck. Then deal nine cards, face up, in three rows of three cards each (creating a 3x3 grid of face-up cards). Set the remaining cards to the side, face down, to form the draw pile.

Gameplay for Block Ten Solitaire

You may discard any two cards in the 3x3 grid which add up to 10 (i.e., Ace and 9, 2 and 8, 3 and 7, 4 and 6, 5 and 5). You may also discard any two matching face cards (i.e.: Jack and Jack, Queen and Queen, King and King).

However, you have to leave any ten on the tableaux, where it will, of course, block any other cards. Thus, the name Block Ten.

When you discard, replace the missing cards with the top cards from the draw pile.

If you get all 52 cards into the 3x3 grid, you win.

Games Similar to Block Ten Solitaire

Tens is very similar to Block Ten, but has a different tableau and you can remove face cards in sets of four.

It is still completely based on luck rather than strategy but is slightly easier to win.

Simple Pairs is also similar and uses the same 3x3 tableau as Block Ten. But instead of removing pairs that add up to 10, you remove pairs of the same number. It is even easier to play and may be suitable for children who can't yet add up to 10.

Fifteens is similar with removing sets of cards (of any number) that add up to 15 and remove the tens and face cards in groups of four cards of the same rank. For example, you can remove a set of 3-4-8 or 7-8 or A-2-6-6 or A-2-2-4-6 or K-K-K-K. This requires slightly higher math skills.

You can find these games and variations in compilations of electronic solitaire games, sometimes under different names and with slightly different rules. You might feel a surge of triumph when you finally win one of these games once out of 10 to 20 times playing, but you've always just been playing the odds.