La Belle Lucie Instructions

Version 2.0.0 (Dec 03 2002) Copyright © 2001-2002 Andrew Pipkin

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La Belle Lucie is a deceptively complex game with simple rules which requires considerable forethought and fortunate reshuffling to win. One "cheat" (also called a merci) is allowed per game.


There are two areas of the screen:

Moving Cards

To move a card between stacks, simply click on the source stack, highlighting it, and then click on the destination stack.


When no more moves are possible in the building stacks, clicking the redeal button will take all cards currently in the building stacks and reshuffle them. The shuffled cards will then be redistributed into stacks of three cards with any remaining cards going into the final stack. Two reshuffles are normally allowed, but this can be changed using the options dialog box. The number of remaining reshuffles is indicated in the row containing the buttons.


A normally invalid move (called a merci) is allowed after the final redeal. After the last reshuffle, a card from below the top of a stack can be drawn out a building stack and placed on any other stack (including its original stack). A card from below the top of a stack can also be moved to a suit stack if the suit stack accepts it. When a merci is possible, the area which normally indicates the deal number will indicate the number of remaining mercis. The number of mercis can be set to more than one with the options dialog box. No mercis are allowed if the number of redeals is set to unlimited.


After starting a game or reshuffling, there are three types of stacks upon which cards can be moved without blocking any additional cards:

After all possible cards have been placed on cards falling into the above three categories, subsequent moves will result in blocking more cards. Try to build the longest possible sequences as this will result in the smallest number of stacks being blocked. It might be necessary to build a sequence shorter than possible if the stack it is build on contains cards which will be needed soon.

Once it has been determined that the cards which the suit stacks will currently accept are blocked, click redeal (or begin a new game) because any following moves are pointless.


Click on the button labeled options to bring up a dialog box with the following settings:
Number of Redeals
This option determines the number of in-game reshuffles which are allowed.

Number of Mercis
This option controls how many normally invalid moves can be made during after the final reshuffle.

Allow moving kings to empty spaces
If this checkbox is set, kings can be moved to empty spaces

Click here for information about common options and buttons


Version 2.0.0 (2002/12/03)
Variable card sizes, backgrounds and card backs added.
Version 1.01 (2001/07/20)
Allowed merci any time during final deal and made option for number of mercis
Version 1.0 (2001/06/23)
First public release