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Solitary Journey (52 Cards Solo)



This played-in-the-hand solitaire game, played with ordinary playing cards, simulates a journey through fields and forests, oceans and mountains. On the way you may meet helpful guides and mischievous fellow-travelers. With some luck you may find enough treasure and magical tools to enable you to find the home of your dreams and live happily ever after.

This game is played entirely in the hand, so there is no need for a table. You can play it anywhere. If you are interrupted, you can put it in your pocket and take it up later.

Set Up

Remove the four Jacks from a deck of playing cards and shuffle the rest of the deck, including the two Jokers. Arrange the Jacks face up in the order Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades, with Spades in the back and Hearts in the front. Place the rest of the deck face down on top of the Jacks. The Jacks will act as counters to keep track of how many times you’ve gone through the deck; when they show up, put the first one behind the other three and continue playing. When you reach the Jack of Spades you have gone through the deck four times and have finished the game. The Jacks also hold your items for you.

Interpretation of the cards

The four suits represent four kinds of landscapes. Hearts are oceans, lakes, and rivers. Diamonds are plains, fields, moors, and prairies. Clubs are forests. Spades are mountains.

The values of the cards represent various treasures, tools, items, landscapes, and people. The “view” is the name for the four cards that are fanned face upward in your hand. They are not only the cards you can view, but they also represent the things you can see as you look around you.

Some of the cards represent first a location, and then, under the right circumstances, an item that you find at that location.


Travel though various landscapes, collecting treasure and magical tools. Eventually use the tools to find the home of your dreams and live happily ever after. If you find your home, you have won the game. But once the Jack of Spades appears, you have finished your journey, whether or not you have met your goal.


View: the top four cards fanned out face up on top of the deck. In some situations there may be more cards in your view.

Discard: place a card face down at the back of the deck.

Store: place a card face up behind the face-up Jack of the same suit


Hold the deck face down in your hand, with the Jacks face up in the back. Turn over the top four cards and fan them so you can see them all. These cards form your current view. If in the course of play your view becomes less than four cards, replace them with cards from the front of the deck.

You may discard any card from the view at any time. At any time you may look to see what cards you have stored behind the Jacks. They will be easy to find because they will be face up together, while the rest of the deck will be face down.

A complete description of the rules will be found in the files section.

—description from the designer


Solitary Journey instructional video


A selection of files from BoardGameGeek. Links will open in a new window or tab.

Solitary Journey rules

Most current version in a pdf format.

>> Click to download PDF <<

Solitary Journey – Cards/Rules/Reference (3 files) – Instructional Version – ★CLL

With KarenDR’s blessing, I decided to come up with this version that has rules reminders written throughout. Such a fun game to play and I can’t wait to see the watercolor variant coming soon.

Version 2021-08-17

>> Click to download PDF <<

Solitary Journey sample scenes

A couple of scenes in a play through of Solitary Journey. If you want to follow along, please read the rules first.

>> Click to download PDF <<