How to Play Demon

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. This is a typical Klondike layout.

This is a solitaire card game played by many people at once, with everybody building on common piles. Action and noise can reach high levels, so you may need to keep a whistle handy! Demon is a cross of the two games -- Racing Demon, or Nerts, and Klondike. Here's how to play:

Number of players: Two to eight


Object: To play out more cards than any other player.

The cards: A regular 52-card deck is used for each player. Each pack of cards should have a different back design.

To play: Each player deals a layout for the solitaire Klondike (click here for Klondike rules). At a signal, turn over three cards from stock to start your waste heaps, and begin making plays.

There are several moves available to you. You should release your aces into the center of the table as soon as possible, where any player can build them up in sequence by suit, ending with the king. These piles are called foundation piles.

You can build downward sequences on the cards in your layout, in alternating suit color only. For example, the 10 can be moved upon the J, but not on the J. Play cards onto the center foundation piles as available. Note that everyone can play onto each foundation pile, but each player can build only onto his own layout.

When you move a card from its pile, turn up the card beneath. Occasionally a pile empties, opening up a vacancy. You can fill this only with a king or with a sequence headed by a king (just as in Klondike).

The topmost card of your waste heap is always available for play, as is any single card on a pile, and also the topmost (lowest) card of a sequence.

In the illustrated hand below, move the A to the center of the table to start a foundation pile. Move the 8 onto the 9 and both onto the 10. Now turn up the four exposed face-down cards.

When you've gone through the stock three cards at a time, turn your waste heap over to make a new stock. You can continue to do this as often as you like. At some point you may run out of plays, but as other players develop their layouts, your cards may become eligible to play in the center, and you may find several more plays.

The game ends when one player's cards have all been played into the middle foundation piles. That player shouts "Demon!" and all further play ceases. The cards on the foundation piles are then sorted out to return to each respective player. (The game is also considered complete when no player can find a play.)

Scoring: A player going out scores 52 points plus a ten-point bonus, and everyone else gets one point per card in the foundation piles. One player keeps a tally for everyone, and at the end of an agreed-upon number of deals the winner is the one with the highest total score.

Note: Not infrequently, two players will attempt to play the same card on the same foundation pile. Whoever's card is at the bottom is deemed to have arrived there first.

©Publications International, Ltd.