How to Play Kings in the Corner

Kings in the Corner is a fun multi player game that resembles solitaire in many ways. During the course of the game, players attempt to deplete their hands by playing their cards to a tableau in the center of the table. The name of this game is sometimes shortened to just Kings Corner or Kings Corners.

Kings in the Corner can be played by from two to six players. The game uses the standard 52 card pack with the cards ranking as follows, from highest to lowest: King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace.

The first order of business in this game is to determine which player will be the first dealer. The choice of this first dealer can be accomplished in one of several ways, with cutting for high card a commonly used method.

Possible Initial Layout for Kings in the Corner Once the dealer is selected, he deals the cards face down one at a time clockwise around the table until each player has seven. The player to the current dealers immediate left receives the first card in each deal. After each hand the deal rotates around the table in the same clockwise direction.

The dealer then creates a layout on the center of the table to begin the game, called the tableau. He places the draw pile face down in the center of the table. He then removes four cards from the stock pile and lays them face up around the stock pile to begin foundation piles. He places one at each side of the draw pile, at the four points of the compass, North, South, East and West. The diagram to the left shows an example of this initial layout. Obviously the identity of the specific cards dealt to the tableau would be different but the layout format should be the same.

After the layout is created, the player to the immediate left of the dealer plays first. To begin his turn a player first must draw a card from the center stock pile. After drawing he may make any of the following legal moves: Kings in the Corner game in progress The player may continue to make any legal plays to the tableau as long as he can. As soon as a player is unable (or chooses not) to make further plays, they call pass and the turn passes to the next clockwise player. A player who has no moves after drawing a card can pass without making any plays to the tableau. The diagram to the right shows how the tableau might look with a game in progress.

The first player to play their last card to the center of the table is the winner of the hand and the other players each score points based on the cards remaining in their hands as follows:

- Each King left in a players hand has a value of ten points.
- All other cards left in a players hand have a value of one point each.

After each hand, the deal passes to the player to the last dealers immediate left. When any player reaches some previously agreed upon limit, often 25, the game ends and the player with the lowest score is declared the winner. If two or more players tie for the low score they are considered co-winners of the game.


Mandatory Kings: In this version of Kings in the Corner, a player having a King in his hand must play the king to one of the available corners at his first turn of play. Similarly, a player drawing a King from the stock pile on his turn, must play the king on that turn. In this version, each hand is usually considered a complete game with the player to first get rid of the last of their cards being the winner.

Scoring Variation: This version is played identically to the standard game. The only difference being the scoring of the cards remaining in the opponents hands when a player plays their last card.
Aces count as 25 points, face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) count 10 each and the other cards count their marked value. In this version, the game usually continues until any player reaches a score of 250 at which time the player with the lowest score is considered the winner of the game.

Drawing Order: This game is also identical to the parent game, with the sole exception being the time when a player draws a card from the stock. Here, a player does not draw at the beginning of their turn and instead immediately begins playing to the table. Once they can no longer play cards they then draw a card from the stock ending their turn. However, if the player was able to play all the remaining cards in their hand during the turn, they do not need to draw and are thus declared the winner of the hand, with the hand immediately being scored.

Kings Corners Solitaire: This is a version of Kings in the Corner designed for one player. To begin the player should thoroughly shuffle the cards. He will then deal out a layout tableau very similar to that in the standard game described above. He deals five cards face up in a "plus" sign pattern (see diagram). He then lays the remainder of the deck a bit to the side as the draw pile.

The four "corners" of the tableau are the foundation files where the player will attempt to play off the entire deck of cards into the four foundation piles, from King, building down to Ace (the lowest card). If the player manages to get the entire deck into the four foundation piles, they have won the game. Play begins with the player taking the top card from the face down stock pile and lay it next to the stock pile, face up.

The following are all legal moves the player can make:
Kings Corner Solitaire layout
Kings Corner Solitaire
Kings Corner Solitaire possible game in progress
If the player manages to legally play all of the cards onto the four foundation piles, from King to Ace he has won the game. However, if the player has depleted the stock pile and has no additional legal plays, they have not won the game, and thus must redeal.

As a slight variation of this solitaire game, the sequencing of allowable card builds on the foundation and layout cards may be reversed. Cards played to the foundation pile are played in ascending order, starting at Ace and building up to King, and cards on the layout are built descending from King down to Ace.

As another variation, which makes this game much more difficult is that when building of sequences up or down the colors of the played cards must alternate. In other words a black card must be played on a red card and a red card played on a black card.

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