Clock patience

Clock patience

Clock patience, also known as clock solitaire is a solitaire card game with the cards laid out to represent the face of a clock.

One deck of cards minus the joker is used. The deck is shuffled and twelve piles of four cards each are laid out, face down, in a circle. The remaining four cards are placed, also face down, in a pile in the centre of the circle.

The twelve positions around the circle represent the 12 hour clock and the pile in the middle represent the hands.

Play starts by turning over the top card of the central pile.

When a card is revealed, it is placed face up under the pile at the corresponding hour (i.e. Ace = 1 o'clock, 2 = 2 O'clock, etc. The Jack is 11 o'clock and the Queen is 12 o'clock) and the top card of the pile of that hour is turned over. If a King is revealed, it is placed face up under the central pile.

Play continues in this fashion and the game is won if all the cards are revealed. The game is lost if all four Kings are revealed and face down cards are still present.

This is a game of zero skill and is a purely mechanical process. The chances of winning are 1 in 13.


There is also a variation of Clock Patience, commonly known as Watch. It is played like Clock Patience except when the fourth king appears, the player can continue the play by replacing the king with a still faced-down card. Game ends when that fourth King reappears.


  • Clock solitaire was featured in chapter 45 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. In the storyline, if Yugi Mutou drew all four threes face up, his best friend, Anzu Mazaki (also known as Téa Gardner), would get blown up in the number three car of a Ferris wheel. Yugi manages to draw all four kings before the last three could be drawn.
  • Solsuite and BVS Solitaire collection include the game in their packages as Travellers, although the piles are not arranged as a clock face but just random piles. In this case, the Kings are the "Travellers."
  • Claudia is seen by Lestat playing Clock Solitaire in a chapter of The Vampire Lestat.

See also

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