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French Board Solitaire game board
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French Board Solitaire

What you will make:

Patience games come in both card and board versions. In this project, you will make a simple game board for the French version of board solitaire, sometimes called patience. You can make a quick and easy print, cut, and play game board or see the English Board Solitaire craft project for making more durable game boards with optional materials. The rules for playing French board solitaire are at the end of the project.

Related crafts: For other versions of board solitaire and to learn more about the history of board solitaire, see the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Here's what you need:
  • Cardstock or computer paper
  • Scissors
  • Pennies for use as game pieces
  • Ruler
  • Optional: Colored pencils or markers, glue, cereal box cardboard, and clear contact paper.

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make French Board Solitaire

Read all of the steps before starting.
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 French board solitaire.

Use the Perfect French 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.

Simple French Board
Printable pattern for French Board Solitaire
Square French Board
Printable French Board Solitaire game - decorated, square
Perfect French Solution
Printable solution for French Board Solitaire game

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: Make Game Board

Color the game board with any colors you like. On the black & white pattern, you could color the squares like a checkerboard with two contrasting colors or leave half the squares white. If you printed the colored version of the game board, you can add a personal touch by decorating the border around it.

If you like, trim the printed pattern to a square shape with equal borders on all sides of the game board. For details on how to make a more durable game board with cardboard or clear contact paper, see the step by step instructions in the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Step 3: Rules for Playing French Board Solitaire

You need 36 playing pieces for the French version of board solitaire. Use pieces from other games, pennies, marshmallows, or cereal (Cheerios, Kix, Trix). You can even make your own game pieces from homemade modeling dough.

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.

  1. Playing pieces setupPlace one playing piece in each space except the center of the second row.
  2. All moves are captures. How to move pieces in English Board Solitaire
    • 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 both English and French board solitaire, the move cannot be on the diagonal.
  3. Start by jumping into an empty space and removing the jumped piece.
  4. 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.

Perfect win in French board solitaire: In French board solitaire, it is said to be impossible to leave the last piece in the space that was initially empty, like in English Board Solitaire. So, a perfect game in French board solitaire is to leave the last piece in the square on the opposite side of the board from the space that was initially empty. That is, the middle space of the second row from the top. To see a set of moves that results in a perfect game, use the perfect solution printable 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.

That's it! You are ready to play a game of French board solitaire!
French Board Solitaire game board

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Simple French Board Solitaire game board

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Tip: Add you own designs and color scheme to a game board made with the Simple French Board pattern.

Perfect solution for French board solitaire

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Tip: Use the Perfect French Solution printable to see one version of a perfect game.

Homemade play dough can be used to make game pieces

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Tip: Make game pieces that coordinate with your game board by fashioning them from homemade modeling dough.

English Board Solitaire

Related craft: See how to make and play another version of board solitaire in the English Board Solitaire craft project.

Triangle Board Solitaire

Related craft: See how to make a board solitaire game board that uses marbles in the Triangle Board Solitaire craft project.

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