Bear River

Written by Bruce and Joel Levin

3.9.1. Setup

Type of Deck Standard Deck
Foundation Four piles at top. One card is dealt face up in the first Foundation pile.
Tableau There are 18 Tableau piles arranged in three rows of six piles each. All cards are dealt face up and fanned, such that all cards are visible. The first five piles of each row start with three cards each. The sixth pile of each row starts with two cards each.

3.9.2. Goal

Move all cards to the Foundation piles.

3.9.3. Rules

One random card has already been dealt to a Foundation pile. The rank of that card becomes the Base Card. The other three cards with the same rank can be moved to an empty Foundation. Foundations are built up in ascending order, matching suit. Cards can "wrap-around" from Queen to King to Ace to Two. Cards on the Foundations may not be moved back onto Tableau piles.

None of the Tableau piles can have more than three cards. The top card of each Tableau pile can be moved to any other Tableau pile if it matches suit and has a face value of one higher or one lower than the top card of the pile it is being moved to. Cards can "wrap-around" between King and Ace.

There are two types of Tableau piles: "Standard" piles, and "Hole" piles. The first five piles of each row (the ones with three cards) are the Standard piles. An empty standard pile CANNOT have a new card placed on it. The last pile of each row (the ones with two cards) are the Hole piles. An empty Hole pile CAN have a new card placed on it.

3.9.4. Scoring

Each card moved to the Foundation scores one point.

Maximum possible score: 52

3.9.5. Strategy

Try to free up one or more Hole piles early.

There is never a disadvantage in moving cards to the Foundations. Move as many as possible, as soon as possible.

Cards that have a rank one lower than the Base Card can be very difficult to move. Be careful where you place them.

Bear River can be won about one third of the time.