Game of the Week: Gaps


Gaps uses a large layout
Gaps uses a large layout, where every card is visible (Aces are removed)

Gaps is one of those classic games, that is very simple to learn and understand, and offers a large opportunity for skilful play.  It offers an interesting change from the usual formula of building up foundation piles, but instead all cards are always visible, and you try to rearrange them in order.

The layout is arranged in 4 rows, with 13 spaces in each row. The object of the game is to arrange all cards in order from left to right, counting up from 2 to King, with all cards in the same row in the same suit.  (Aces are not used in this game, they are simply discarded and never show up)


Move cards to gaps by matching the card to the left
Move cards  by matching the card to the left

There are simple rules for re-arranging cards.  You may only move a single card to gaps (never onto other cards).  Any gap can only be filled with a specific card matching suit to the card on the left of the gap, and one value higher.   So you can place the Jack of Diamonds in a gap to the right of the 10 of Diamonds, like this.



Here’s a game in progress, you can see how the cards are arranged from left to right.

game in progress
game in progress

For the spaces on the far left, you may place any 2, and no cards may be placed to the right of a King.  Once all the gaps end up next to Kings, the game is blocked, and there are 2 redeals available.  When redealing, all the cards currently in order are left in place, and the remainder are shuffled and laid back out, leaving gaps to the right of each correct line.

When moving cards, try to see which cards will be freed by any new move, and favour moves that free up other cards – you’ll find that runs develop within the layout.  I find the “Jumbo – Four Colors” deck to be very useful with this game:

four colour deck
Using Four Color deck with Gaps

See related games: Free Parking, Double Gaps

Available in all versions of Allgood Solitaire