When you start Thieves, you are dealt
seven columns of five cards each, face up. The next card is dealt face up in
the center of the bottom of the screen (the stack) and the remainder of the
deck is fanned on the bottom left of the screen.
The object is to "take" all 35 cards off the table. The card on your
stack can take any card on the bottom row of the table which is one
card greater or less than the card on the stack. For example:
To take a card with the card on the stack, simply point to the card you
want to take with the mouse and click the left mouse button. The card you
took will be placed on the stack, which you can then use to take another
card on the table. Points are awarded to you whenever you take a card off
the table, unless it is a joker.
- 7's can take 6's or 8's.
- Jacks can take 10's or Queens.
- Jokers can take or be taken by anything.
- Kings cannot take Aces or vice-versa.
If you can't take any cards with the card on the stack, click on the
stack and a new card will be dealt. When you run out of cards without
clearing the table, the game is over.
If you clear the table, a joker is removed from the deck, the deck is
shuffled and dealt, and you are allowed to add to your current score.
The Undo button on the menu bar is only valid while playing Thieves, and
then only valid when taking back a move, not putting back a card you have
drawn from the deck. You can undo any card you've taken from the board since
the last time you drew a new card. Each time you do, however, the points you
scored for taking the card are taken away plus a penalty point. You may not
undo a card you have drawn from the deck. If you could, it would be a great
temptation to use it at the end of a round to change the way you took cards
from the board, knowing what card was coming up.
The point value of each card is as follows:
The joker isn't worth any points. An extra fifteen points is awarded each
time a player takes all the cards from the board.
The top ten scores are recorded, even if you are playing in two-player
mode. They can be viewed by selecting the "Thieves Best" menu item and can
be reset by pressing the "Reset Scores" button after selecting the "Thieves
Options" menu item.
The strategy of Thieves changes with the cards, the player's mood and the
alignment of the stars. Over-all strategy is probably best learned by
playing the game for several hours at a time while you really should be
doing something else, but here are some ideas:
Generally, the smallest and largest cards are the hardest to take, since
aces can only be taken by twos and kings can only be taken by queens. It is
usually best to take those whenever possible.
It is usually better to take cards from the columns with the most cards
in them. I.e., it is better to take a card from a pile of five cards than
from a pile of two cards, in order to uncover four cards rather than one.
It's sometimes better to not take cards which will help take other
cards later. For example, you might want to leave a queen behind to use to
take a king later.
Use the joker on the table as soon as it is uncovered. It is almost
always better to uncover cards using the joker than to save it.
Of course, there are exceptions to all of the above recommendations, so
if at first you don't succeed, keep playing.