The Russian Bank

Russian bank is a double solitaire game played by two people using two packs of standard playing cards. Each player takes a pack and deals a stock pile of 12 cards face down on his right.

Four cards from each pack are then dealt face up in two rows extending from top to bottom between the two players, each player dealing his cards on his right in order to leave space between the two rows. These cards are called the tableau. Each player then places the remainder of the pack which is called his hand, face down on his left.

Either player may start the game (usually determined by cutting the cards) by moving all the aces in the tableau to the center space between the two rows. These aces are used to start the foundation piles, which are built upon in suit and ascending sequence throughout the game.

Whenever one of the eight aces or any other card that can be played on a foundation is uncovered, it must be played to the center. If a player neglects to play on a foundation when he can, his opponent may call, 'Stop!' and then it becomes his turn to play. As soon as the player touches another card, the stop may be invoked.

After he has made all possible moves to the foundation, a player may then make changes in the tableau by building upon any card in descending sequence, and in alternate colors; for example, a black eight on red nine. Only the top card of the tableau pile may be moved at one time.

Having completed the moves he wishes to make in the tableau, a player turns the top card of his stock pile. If he can, he must play this card on the foundation; otherwise he plays it on the tableau when possible or leaves it turned face up on the stock pile. The player continues turning cards from the stock until he cannot play further.

Then he goes to his hand, turns the top card of that pile, and plays until he has no further moves. The untouched card from the hand must be left face up alongside of the hand and becomes the first card of the discard pile. Once a card is put into the discard pile, it may not be played again, and the player must turn a new card from his hand when has another opportunity to play.

When such hand is now empty of cards, the discard pile is turned over, and the player begins anew. If a card played to the foundation or tableau makes possible a subsequent play from the stock pile, the player may resume play from the stock. A player's turn continues until he has no cards to play from either pile; then his opponent has a turn to play in the same manner.

In addition to playing to the foundation and tableau, either player may put cards on his opponent's discard or stock pile; but he may play only cards of the same suit, either ascending or descending. For example, if the top card of the stock or discard pile is the six of hearts, either the five or seven of hearts may be played on it; and those cards may come from the stock, the hand, or the tableau.

Site Index