Solitaire

Solitaire is a game that is played alone. In some countries, the game is called Patience as the game requires not just skill and strategy, but a lot of patience as well.

This game has many variations and each variation has its own set of rules.  However, the general guidelines for the games remain the same. Most variations of the game require the player to have an ample amount of space to set up the cards and to give allowances for the card formations once the game progresses.

The most popular game of Solitaire is called Klondike. It is said that all other variations of the game evolved from this game. It is played with a full deck of 52 cards, of which 28 cards are dealt on the table to form a tableau. Once the tableau is completed, the game can commence.

The Object of the Game

The game’s objective is to get all the cards onto the four foundation piles which are formed at the top of the tableau. The foundation piles are divided according to the cards suits and each foundation pile is completed once all the cards are transferred onto it, arranged from spade to king.

Most of the other solitaire variations have the same objective.  However, they are achieved through different means. With Klondike Solitaire, the player must work his or her way through the cards in the tableau in order to “release” them onto the foundation piles.

How to Play Solitaire

To begin playing Klondike Solitaire, the player needs shuffle the cards 3 or 4 times to make sure that the cards are all mixed up. The next step is to build a tableau on the table. The tableau is comprised of 28 cards arranged in the following manner:

  • The player lays a card face up and six more cards side by side facing down.
  • The player then lays another card face up, this time on top of the second card in the row (this is first card that was laid facing down). The player will then lay one more card facing down on top of each of the other 5 cards.
  • Once that is done, another card is laid face up on top of the third card in the row and lays one card face down on the rest of the cards in the row.
  • This process will continue until there’s one face-up card on top of all the piles in the row.

The tableau has an increasing number of cards as the row progresses – one card on the first pile and seven cards on the last pile with the last card facing up on each pile.

Once the tableau is built, the player then studies the cards that are facing up, looking for cards that are in descending order and have different colors. The player will then take the card with the lower value and place it halfway on top of the card with a higher value. For example, if there is a King of Diamonds and a Queen of Clubs facing up on the tableau, the player will take the Queen of Clubs and place it on top of the King of Diamonds.

Once a card that is facing down is exposed, the player must then turn it over to reveal what that card is and continue arranging cards in descending order.

When there are no more moves left on the tableau, the player then takes the rest of the cards (the draw pile) and reveals cards from the top, three cards at a time. Only the card on top of the revealed draw cards is playable. The cards below it can only be played when the top card has already been played. The player continues to do this until all of the draw cards have been used up. The player can then collect the discarded draw cards and start over.

When an Ace is exposed, it is immediately transferred up to the top of the tableau to create one of the four foundation piles. If the next card on the foundation pile is revealed, the player can then add the card to the foundation pile until all the four foundation piles are completed.  

The Goal: How to Win the Game

To win the game, the player must expose all of the cards in the tableau and transfer them onto the correct foundation pile in ascending order. Each foundation pile must be in the same suit.

Strategies and Tips

There are many ways to win with Klondike Solitaire. Some variations allow the player to draw from the draw pile one at a time, making it easier to find a card to play into the tableau.

Also, players can opt not to place a card into the foundation pile right away if it would help expose more face-down cards in the tableau.

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