Dec 072017
La Belle Lucie Solitaire. A very pleasant and challenging game.
File LABELLE4.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Games and Entertainment
La Belle Lucie Solitaire. A very pleasant and challenging game.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
LABELLE.DOC 17095 5844 deflated
LABELLE.EXE 50102 33740 deflated

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Contents of the LABELLE.DOC file

A Solitaire Game

Release 4.0 September 1991

Gellman Software
431 Fifth Street, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003

Programming by George Leotti and Robert Gellman.
The program is in the public domain.

La Belle Lucie is a simple but interesting game of solitaire.
Although the game appears to be easy to win, it requires considerable
thought and planning (and some luck) in order to be successful. The game
is much more engaging than the more familiar Klondike solitaire. One
reference describes La Belle Lucie as a "fascinating game that pays
handsome dividends to intelligent planning." All of the program testers
became addicted to the game very quickly.

La Belle Lucie is especially well suited for playing on a computer.
The game requires repeated shuffling and positioning cards, and the
computer handles these mechanical tasks readily.

La Belle Lucie is also known as Clover Leaf, Midnight Oil, and Three
Shuffles and a Draw.


To start the program, just enter LABELLE at the DOS prompt. If
the file is on a floppy disk, enter A:LABELLE if appropriate. After the
opening screen, there will be a prompt. Select the H (help) option and
read the screen. Play the game for a few minutes, and any uncertainty
about the rules will disappear. It will take a little longer to become a
good player.

The program will run under DOS 2.0 or better. The program requires
less than 256K and is compatible with both color and monochrome monitors.
A graphics card is not needed. If you have a color monitor, but prefer
to play the game in black and white, enter LABELLE/B at the DOS prompt.
A reminder of this switch is provided if you play on a color monitor.
This new feature with Release 3.0 was added in response to a problem
reported by a user.

If you want to start playing, go ahead. Nothing in this short DOC
file is vital. Read it once, but the documentation is not worth printing.
The file was created with margins at 5 and 75. There are form feeds
approximately every 60 lines.


The layout consists of a tableau and a foundation. When the game
begins, all 52 cards are shuffled and dealt into 17 piles of three cards
each and one pile with 1 card. This is the tableau. Four foundation piles
appear above the tableau as the game progresses. The object of the game
is to move all the cards from the tableau piles to the foundation piles.

Only the top, or right-most, card in each tableau pile is available
for play. Any available card may be played either to a foundation pile,
or moved within the tableau.

Foundation piles start with Aces and build in ascending order (two,
three, four, etc.), according to suit.

Cards moved within the tableau may only be played to the top card of
another tableau pile in descending order, according to suit. Thus, the
seven of spades goes on the eight of spades, the six on the seven, and so
forth. Kings may only be played to their respective foundation piles.
Kings cannot be moved among the tableau piles.

When no more moves are possible or moves would be fruitless, you may
reshuffle the cards in the tableau. You are allowed two re-shuffles.

After the second re-shuffle, you are allowed a one-time option. On
the first move, you may draw any card from the tableau and move it to any
legal space in the foundation or the tableau. This is the only time you
can move a card that is not on the top of a pile in the tableau.


The card to be moved is designated by a two character notation.
The ace of clubs is AC. The two of spades is 2S. The ten of hearts
is TH. The jack of diamonds is JD. The queen of hearts is QH. The
king of clubs is KC. You must hit the ENTER key at the end of the input.
You may use the backspace key to erase.

When you select a card, the computer will first attempt to move it to
a foundation. If this is not possible, the computer will then search the
tableau for a legal move. If no move is possible, the computer will let
you know you have made a mistake.

For example, if you enter TC and the ten of clubs is available for
play, the computer will first check the clubs pile in the foundation. If
the nine of clubs is the top card, the ten will be moved on the nine. If
the nine of clubs is not on the foundation pile, the computer will search
the top card of the tableau piles. If the jack of clubs is on top of a
pile, the ten will be moved there.

If a card can be moved to a foundation pile, the computer will scan
the tableau looking for the next eligible card in that suit. Thus, if
the ten of clubs can be placed on the nine in the foundation, the computer
will look for the jack of clubs. If the jack is available (i.e. on the
top of a tableau pile), the jack will also be moved to the foundation.
The computer will keep searching for and moving cards in sequence until
the next card is no longer available.

The automatic move feature has been provided because there is no
reason to leave a card in the tableau if the card can be moved to the
foundation. The automatic move feature saves many keystrokes during the
course of play.


A new feature has been added with Release 3.0. If you designate a
card in the tableau to be moved, and the card cannot be moved anywhere,
the card will be highlighted on the screen by a small arrow appearing
above the card for a second or so.

This feature was included because the game calls for a considerable
amount of searching for cards. When there are a lot of cards on the
screen, it can be difficult to spot the card you want. The computer will
now find the card for you.

But you must be careful. If you enter a card that can be moved, the
computer will move it. If you are still thinking and haven't made up your
strategy yet, this can be a big mistake. Since it is relatively simply to
see the cards on the top of a pile, you should scan the piles before using
the highlight feature. This will be easier than it sounds once you have
played the game a few times. You may, of course, ignore the card finding
feature if you find it to be confusing or disruptive.


To shuffle the deck, enter S at the prompt. For help, enter H at the
prompt. To quit the game, enter Q. The Q command will bring up another
menu that allows you to exit to DOS, start a new hand, or return to the
existing game.

All entries can be in upper or lower case. Illegal keystrokes are not
recognized by the program. If you make an illegal entry, the program will
let you know with a light click and an error message. The message
disappears on its own after a second and a fraction.


Move all available cards to the foundations immediately. When moving
a card within the tableau, consider how the move might block other
important cards. The basic strategy is to THINK and PLAN AHEAD.

Remember that you can't move kings except to a foundation. Thus, a
card under a king is generally blocked, at least for a while. Identify
blocked cards and learn how to use them to some advantage.

The free move after the last re-shuffle must be selected with great
care. Any card blocked by a king of the same suit must be moved or the
game cannot be won. If two such cards are blocked, then failure is

The original documentation suggests that a good player will win about
ten percent of the time. I haven't kept track of my results, but you
should be able to do that well after you get the hang of the game.

The scoring for each hand is totally artificial. The highest score
possible is 100. It was added in order to provide an incentive to play
after the last shuffle reveals that winning is not possible. Some players
report that they like to maintain a particular average score.

When you win a game, the computer also offers an audible cheer. If
you are able to win without using one or both of the available shuffles, an
extra cheer or two is provided.


This program started its existence as an interpreted BASIC program.
The original author (George Leotti) rewrote the interpreted program using
QuickBASIC 4.0. Because of the speed of the compiled version, it no longer
needed an assist from machine language to display the cards quickly, (as
did the interpreted version). The original compiled version was released
in July 1988, along with the source code.

I found LABELLE.ARC on a Washington, DC, bulletin board in October,
1988. I liked the game so much that I decided to rewrite it to make it
easier to play. I reduced the required keystrokes for input by half,
made the program a bit more efficient, rewrote the opening and help
screens, and eliminated the need for color graphics. This allows the
game to be played on just about any monitor.

I also added an audible prompt at the second re-shuffle. This will
remind you that a special option is available. There is also a visual
prompt, but it is easily overlooked. The audible prompt is more

Version 4.0 contains a few small changes to the help screen and the
sounds. A new closing screen was added. Also, the source code for both
versions is no longer being distributed due to lack of interest. The code
remains in the public domain. If you want the code, please contact me.

Note, however, that the program now uses the PROBAS library of
QuickBASIC programming tools. PROBAS is a product of Hammerly Computer
Services in Laurel, Maryland. If you don't have PROBAS, you will not be
able to recompile the revised version.

The original author distributed a document file with his program.
This file is based in part on his document. I am responsible for any
errors or omissions in this document or in the revised program.


If you find any errors in the program or the documentation, please
let me know. Please be as specific as possible in describing the problem.
I would also appreciate any other comments -- favorable or unfavorable --
from users. All suggestions will be considered. Authors of public domain
programs do not ask you to pay for their work. A little feedback would be
nice. If you find a bug or make a suggestion that I adopt, I will send
you a copy of the new version.


This program and accompanying documentation are provided "as is"
without warranty of any kind. The entire risk of using the program is
assumed by the user. Gellman Software disclaims all warranties, either
express or implied. In no event shall Gellman Software be liable for
any damages whatsoever arising out of the use of or inability to use
this program.

The program is placed in the public domain. Therefore, it may be
used or modified without any restriction. Please upload the program
along with this documentation on computer bulletin boards anywhere.
No registration or other fee is owed to the authors.

Other Gellman Software products are freeware but are copyrighted.
These other programs may be distributed by software clubs, computer
bulletin boards, and shareware/freeware libraries at a standard charge
for media and distribution. The maximum charge permitted without written
permission from Gellman Software is $6.00. This restriction does not
apply to La Belle Lucie because it is in the public domain.

Gellman Software asks that software distributors comply with the
same restrictions regardless.


As of the date of this file, Gellman Software has released these
freeware games:

POKER567 - Head to Head Draw Poker (freeware)
1POKER14 - Poker Solitaire (freeware)
CALC14 - Calculation Solitaire (freeware)
LABELLE4 - La Belle Lucie Solitaire (public domain)
SIXLTR41 - Six Letter Word Game (freeware)

The last two programs were coauthored by other programmers.

In addition, Gellman Software has published two shareware programs:


This program stores, manipulates, and prints records needed to
manage a portfolio of stocks. STOCK PORTFOLIO RECORD MANAGER totally
replaces or supplements paper records. It provides powerful reports
about your portfolio, transactions, and dividends. Both laser and dot
matrix printers are supported. Anyone who has investments in the
stock or bond markets should consider using this program.


If you own a house, condominium, cooperative, house trailer, or
any type of residence, you need HOME BASIS RECORD MANAGER. This
program will help you keep track of the basis (or cost) of your home.
This information is vital when you sell your home. By using the HOME
BASIS RECORD MANAGER, you can be certain that you will have all the
information necessary to minimize the taxes due on the profits from
the sale of your home.

These programs are available from the Public Software Library, P.O.
Box 35705, Houston, TX 77235. The latest versions are normally sent to PSL
as soon as they are released. I recommend PSL to anyone interested in
shareware or freeware. Gellman Software programs are also available on
finer computer bulletin boards in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere.
The bulletin board that is the home base for the shareware programs is THE
MARKET in Potomac, Maryland. The number of THE MARKET is 301-299-8667.
All users of THE MARKET must be registered on that system. This means that
you cannot download on your first call.

Copies of all programs are available from Gellman Software. Send a
self-addressed, stamped mailer and disk to the address on the first page.
State which programs you want. IMPORTANT: Please indicate if you know how
to handle ZIP archives. If you want all programs, send one 1.2 Meg disk,
two 360K disks if you can unZIP, or three 360K disks if you do not
understand ZIP archives. There is no charge if you supply the disk, the
mailer, and the postage.

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