Here is a question I've often wondered about, but have never figured out a satisfactory answer for. Here are the rules for the solitaire game "clock patience." Deal out 12 piles of 4 cards each with an extra 4 card draw pile. (From a standard 52 card deck.) Turn over the first card in the draw pile, and place it under the pile corresponding to that card's number 1-12 interpreted as Ace through Queen. Whenever you get a king you place that on the side and draw another card from the pile. The game goes out if you turn over every card in the 12 piles, and the game ends if you get four kings before this happens. My question is what is the probability that this game goes out?
One thought I had is that the answer could be one in thirteen, the chances that the last card of a 52 card sequence is a king. Although this seems plausible, I doubt it's correct, mainly because I've played the game probably dozens of times since I was a kid, and have never gone out!
Any light that people could shed on this problem would be appreciated!