Thieves of Egypt is a timed card game with play similar to Spider Solitaire. The game features two standard 52-card decks. The player must conquer three levels to win. In each level game, they create ascending suit piles from Ace (A) to King (K) in eight empty foundation spaces located above the center of a gradient-blue tabletop (the tableau) area. The game rewards them with points.
To achieve their goals, the player must rearrange ten vertical columns of face-up cards in alternating, descending, non-suit order starting with the King (K, Q, J, 10... 4, 3, 2). They can move one card at a time or perform a partial build. They also receive access to a large draw-pile deck of more than 40 cards to help them fill gaps in the foundation and tableau.
Thieves of Egypt offers the player three chances to undo a move. They player also receives free draw-pile resets. They don't have to pay or lose anything to access the draw pile.
Additionally, the player can use empty cells that open up in the tableau area to temporarily relocate cards that they don't need immediately. In many Solitaire games, a player can only use these cells to move K cards. In this game, the player can move any card to a tableau free cell.
If the player does extremely well on one level, they receive a time bonus for the next one.