Though commonly called a game, Solitaire is definitely a sequential move puzzle. It’s played by one person. And there are different problems and challenges to solve.
To do the puzzle you must put all the balls on the board then start by removing the first one. Then proceed to remove the other balls one after the other by jumping horizontally or vertically over another ball. Diagonal moves are not allowed.
The most common goal is to end with one ball be left in the centre hole. Just having one ball left is a challenge but it’s extra difficult to have one left in the middle.
But you can invent other challenges too so that you leave a series of balls in a particular geometric pattern. You can even devise more puzzles by removing the ball at the top left first and end with the last ball in the bottom right. Invent your own and you’ll be puzzling for a very long time!
This version of the puzzle has 33 positions of the board in a cross pattern. It’s generally called the English version although it’s most probably of German origin because in 1710 it was published by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz who showed the game not only removing the centre piece first but making he invented other variations with different geometric patterns as well.
What became known as the European version has 4 additional balls on the board. That version of Solitaire may be much older than generally thought. Based on a 1687 drawing of Anne de Rohan-Chabot, the Princess of Soubise, which shows her seated and playing Solitaire most sources have it’s origins in France as early as the late 1600’s. But it could be that Europeans had adapted a game called Al-qirq (the mill, in Arabic) around the 12th century into a single player game like Solitaire. So who knows exactly how old it could be? But we know it’s definitely popular in lots of different countries right up to today. The game of Peg Solitaire is named Solitaire in French, Solitario alla francese in Italian, Resta um in Portuguese, Solitär or Solohalma in German, Solitaris in Lithuanian, Samotnik in Polish.
This puzzle has a round base with wooden balls.
Size: Diameter 178mm
The puzzle comes complete with a suggested solution 21 move solution but you can make your own as well.