Mark G. Meyers, the creator of Boardwalk Solitaire, holds that these games present a genre that combines a large number of calculations with a large number of probabilities, to the point of regarding it as, "...a game where the players will not be able to (absolutely) know if their game-playing results are determined by luck or by skill" ,
In all variations, Boardwalk Solitaire means stacking the deck upon the thirteen columnar destinations of its walks by face value, where the player selects which face value to stack upon which column. In each variation, the player "declares" the face value to stack upon each the board's thirteen columnar landings, in accordance with certain rules by game variation, such as by the "rule of ascending order for a walk" where it applies.
- Board: The total playing area (all walks)
- Walk: A row or series of one or more columns with its own rules
- Upperwalk:Where source stacks are feed-stacks for flips, after the clearing of which their respective landings may be filed upon
- Lowerwalk:Where live plays to landings produce flips on their respective source stacks
- Hand:Where there is one or more 4-card hands, each is capable of interacting with the upper and lower walks, based upon the game variation
- Column: One 4-card source-stack dealt above one scoring destination, or landing
- Hand Column: One 4-card hand is also logically one column, acting as both a source and scoring destination for plays
- Flip: A card flipped up on a source stack used as source for play across the board
- Dead: (debris) A flip that will (have to) file, and not play on the lowerwalk or in a hand
- Landing: A destination for flips of one face value, where each instance stacked scores one point
- Declararion: The player's selection of face value to score upon a column (on its landing)
- Filing: (for upperwalk columns) Stacking cards on a column's landing after clearing its source stack
- Live Play: (for lowerwalk columns) Playing a card to a column's landing, producing a flip on its source stack
- Slide Play: Later in the game, where the player moves any one blocking flip to a slide opening, or an empty lowerwalk source row position
- Where there is a hand:
- Where the hand may play the lowerwalk:
- Basic/Blocked Hand Play: A hand play to a blocked lowerwalk column, returning the blocking card to the hand
- Power Play: A hand play to an unblocked lowerwalk column, returning any blocking filp on the lowerwalk to the hand
- Blind Play: A hand play to an unblocked lowerwalk column, returning the column's unseen flip to the hand
- Where the hand may play the upperwalk:
- Trump Play: Filing from the hand, returning any one flip from the upperwalk source row to the hand
- High Trump Play: Playing the source position of a totally empty upperwak column from the hand, returning as in trump
- Where the hand may play the lowerwalk:
Individual game variations include upper and lower walks, and sometimes a hand.
With Aces low, lowerwalk declarations must be in ascending order in all variations.
In all variations, there is a five-column upperwalk. The lowerwalk provides the remaining eight columns, less one for each hand (where called for).
- Hopscotch: No hand.
- Lucky Seven: Has a hand capable of playing the lower walk
- Sqatsi: Has a hand capable of playing both walks, and the upperwak must be declared in ascending order
- Cheshire: As in Sqatsi, but also with coaxing and favors.
- Lucky Seven for Two: Two hands. Two players play cooperatively for a win (but cannot reveal their hands)
The Java program for playing Boardwalk Solitaire on the computer uses a "marker-style" interface for play selection. This assists most specifically with the player's selection of a return card to the hand prior to witnessing the flip from the source to destination portion of the play. The player first marks a "source" card, then a "destination" for it, and in the case of a hand play, also a "return" card to the hand. After the play has been marked, the markers may be used to click a button to perform the play. The marker-style interface also facilitates "auto-marking", where in the case of only one legal destination for a player's source card selection, the program marks it automatically, as well as for where there is only one legal return card to the hand. Using the mouse and the "P" key (to make the play) makes for a minimal effort user interface.
Rules of the GameEdit
Instructions can be found at bwsgames.org.