- Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It
Choose a game board to make. Download and print the pattern.
Choose a design that prints in color, or select the black & white
pattern and use your creativity to add color and designs. There is
also a printable that shows one possible perfect win for English
board solitaire. The Marble Tiles pattern is used to make
the game board suitable for marble playing pieces following
instructions in the
Triangle Board Solitaire project.
Use the Perfect Solution as a reference. Start with the
piece on the space marked number 1. Jump over the piece pointed to
by the arrow to the space beyond. Remove the jumped piece from the
board. Continue making jumps in numerical order. The last piece will be in the square marked
with the star.
Tip: Make a longer-lasting game board with cardstock or computer paper glued
to cardboard. If you can feed cardstock through your printer, print directly on it.
Otherwise, print on computer paper.
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4).
When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
- Step 2: Color (optional)
Color the game board with any colors you like. You could color the squares like a checkerboard with
alternating colors. Pick two contrasting colors, or leave half of the squares white.
Tip: If you printed the colored version of the board, you can still add a personal touch
by decorating the border around it.
- Step 3: Cut
Trim the printed pattern to a square shape with equal borders on all sides of the game board.
Tip: You can also choose to trim in the shape of the board, or
skip trimming all together.
- Step 4: Glue to Cardboard (optional)
If you have printed on computer paper, you may want to glue the
game board to cardboard. Skip this step
if you printed on cardstock, or if you want to make a paper board.
Cut a piece of cardboard a little bigger than the game board. Glue the game board to the cardboard.
Cardboard from an empty cereal box works well. Trim away the extra cardboard around the edges of the game board.
Tip: Be sure that the glue is spread from edge to edge and into the corners.
- Step 5: Cover with Contact Paper (optional)
Protect your board from getting dirty with clear contact paper. Cut two pieces of clear contact paper
about ½" larger than the game board. Apply one piece of contact paper to the back of the board,
and the other piece to the front. Be sure to center everything and to smooth out any air bubbles.
Trim the contact paper, leaving a ¼" border.
Tip: Contact paper is self-adhesive shelf paper, usually available on rolls in hardware and discount
- Step 6: Play English Solitaire
You need 32 playing pieces to go with the English solitaire board. You can use pieces from other games,
pennies, marshmallows, or cereal (Cheerios, Kix, Trix). The object of the game is to remove as many pieces
as you can from the board. A big win is to remove all the pieces except one. A perfect game is to leave
the last piece in the center space that was initially empty.
Place one playing piece in every space except the center one.
- All moves are captures.
- A capture is made by jumping over a piece.
- A captured piece is removed from the board.
- All jumps are over an adjacent piece to an empty space beyond. In English Board Solitaire, the move cannot be on the diagonal.
- Start by jumping into an empty space and removing the jumped piece.
- Continue making jumps and removing pieces until all possible captures have been made.
How many pieces do you have left? Play again to see if you can do better. Take turns playing with a friend,
and see who can do best.
To see a set of moves that results in a perfect game, use the
printable as a reference.
To use the solution, start with the piece on the space marked
number 1. Jump over the piece pointed to by the arrow to the space beyond. Remove the jumped piece
from the board. Continue making jumps in numerical order. The last piece will be in the square marked
with the star.
That's it! You are ready to play
a game of board solitaire!