Montreal Solitaire

Montreal Solitaire
Inventor: Chris Cannings, 1990
Variant of Bulgarian Solitaire
Ranks: One
Sowing: Reverse
Region: UK

Montreal Solitaire was invented in 1990 by the British mathematicians Chris Cannings of the Department of Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield , and John Haigh, Mathematics Division, University of Sussex, Brighton. The game is closely related to Stones in Cups and Bulgarian Solitaire.


Montreal Solitaire is played by just one person.

In the game, a group of N stones is divided into several piles that are placed in a definite order.


Initial position discussed by Cannings and Haigh

Each move one stone is collected from every pile, starting from the left end of the board.

When the player comes across an empty space, he deposit all stones, collected but not yet deposited, in that place. The he continues in the same manner until a stone has been collected from every pile and the last stones were dropped in a new space.

The game ends when the initial position is repeated.

Move Example

The following example was given by C. Cannings, ignoring leading and trailing zeros.

Start Position: (3,2,2)

First six moves: ((2,1,1,3), (1,0,0,2,4), (1,0,1,3,2), (1,0,2,1,3), (1,1,0,2,3), and (2,1,2,2).


Cannings, C. & Haigh, J.
Montreal Solitaire. In: Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series A 1992; 60 (1): 50-66.
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