Dead Center



Separate the twelve face cards (zombies). Shuffle the rest of the deck, and deal nine cards (the cabin) face up in a 3 by 3 grid. Shuffle the face cards, and deal one each face down on the twelve spaces vertically or horizontally adjacent to the cabin’s outside cards.


The game is played over a series of turns. Each turn, you must perform each the following three actions in order:
  1. Reveal a zombie if able
  2. Draw a card and play on a valid pile
  3. Kill a zombie adjacent to the card you played, if able

Reveal a Zombie

If any zombies are still face down, choose and reveal one of them by turning the card face up. As there are twelve zombies, this only happens during the first twelve turns.

Play a card

Draw the top card of the deck, and play it face up into one of the central nine piles. The pile(s) you may play on depend on the color and value of that pile’s top card. You may play your card either on: Another way to think about the placement rules, in solitaire terms, is that you build up with alternating colors, while you build down with a single color.

Aces have value 1. Jokers may be played on any card, and have any card played on it. Cards you play on a pile become the new top card of that pile.

Kill a Zombie

After placing your card, you may then kill a single face up zombie adjacent to the pile you just played on, if your attack is strong enough. (The four corners of the 9x9 grid have two adjacent zombies each, the edges have one, and the center has none). The strength of your attack isn't based on the card you played, but rather its support cards: the two other cabin cards on the same line as the card you just played and the zombie you’re attacking.

For an attack to kill a zombie, the sum of these two support cards must be at least 10. In addition,

When used as an attack support card, Jokers have value zero but count as all suits. A Joker must be paired with a 10 to kill. The game becomes a puzzle of sequencing attacks and setting up cards for future attacks. You can't attack or kill facedown zombies, so the order you choose to reveal them is also part of your strategy. If you can’t kill any zombie with the card you played, nothing happens; proceed to the next turn.

Game End

If you have to draw a card but the deck is empty, or if you are unable to play a card, you lose. If you manage to kill all twelve zombies, you win the game. Your score is the number of cards left in the deck.


For a harder game, reduce the number of Jokers to 1 (my preferred way to play), then to zero.


Reddit user efofecks designed ten modern solo games which can all be played with just a standard card deck and shared them with the community in the attached PDF.

This page implements one of these games, Dead Center.

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