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|A Patience game|
Initial layout of Clock Solitaire; Numbers/letters represent the piles.
|See also Glossary of solitaire|
One deck of cards (minus jokers) 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 center of the circle.
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 no possible way to win the game if none of the bottommost cards in the twelve circle piles at the start of play is a king.
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.
The Clock is a variation from a German solitaire book that describes a completely different rule for this game that depends more on the skill not to miss cards to be played to the foundations. The original is called "Die Uhr" and is a stock and waste type of solitaire. The rule for The Clock is from a book by Rudolf Heinrich 18th edition that dates back to 1976.