MARCH 2024

Solitaire Rules and All The Different Ways To Play The Game

Master the game rules of playing Solitaire and play like a pro

How to Play Solitaire - The Rulebook

Written by: Elizabeth Miller | Last updated: 16 June 2023 | Fact check by : Robert Moore

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Elizabeth's mastery of Solitaire, cultivated through three decades of play and rigorous study, has positioned her as an innovative and highly respected expert, trusted by enthusiasts and novices alike. About Elizabeth Miller

We welcome all Solitaire lovers to Solitariea.com. Now it is your turn to learn more about this beautiful game and become an expert player.

If you are a new player, this detailed guide will explain specific Solitaire rules in an easy-to-understand manner. After you are done reading, you will never feel confused while playing Solitaire.

Before we begin, we would like to clarify what we mean by the word ‘Solitaire’ in this guide. There are many Solitaire variations, like the relaxing Spider Solitaire, Canfield, Forty Thieves, and Pyramid, and each one has different rules. So it would be impossible to explain all of them in one guide. Therefore, we will focus on the most popular version, free klondike Solitaire online.

Solitaire Game Rules - The Setup

Let us start by explaining the setup because you need to know how to set up the game of Solitaire before you can play it. First, you will shuffle a standard deck until you are satisfied. The second step is to create seven piles of playing cards. Starting from the left, you need to ensure that each pile has one extra card than the pile before it.

The first pile will always have just one card, so you will end up with each pile having cards equal to its number. The third step is to turn the cards over so that all top cards are face-up cards. The remaining cards will be face-down cards.

The cards left after creating the tableau piles will be kept in the stock pile. Finally, there will be four foundation piles where you will stack all the cards to win the game.

The object of the game is to make sure that you follow the rules and transfer all cards to the foundation.

Rules to Playing Solitaire Games

As we have already explained the Solitaire setup above, it is time to discuss the rules. The rules will give you a straightforward way of playing and moving cards so that you can eventually move all cards to the foundation piles.

Following are the rules you must know:

  • While trying to move cards from the stock to the tableau or between the tableau piles, a card can be placed on another if it follows the descending order and belongs to the opposite colour. For example, you can place a Queen of Hearts on a King of Spades.
  • A face-down card below a face-up card will be revealed after you have moved the face-up card successfully.
  • When you transfer cards to the foundation, the cards must belong to the same suit and follow an ascending order. So the first card will be an Ace, and the last card will be a King of the same suit.
  • The draw pile or the stockpile can be used to draw cards if you can’t make moves without them. In classic Solitaire, only one card is drawn at a time.
  • A King is a special card because only a King is allowed to be placed in an empty tableau column.

Strategies and Tips

You can now play the Solitaire game and make a few moves. However, you can’t win by making a few moves because Klondike has a really low success rate, and the right strategy is required to win. Let us give you a few tips that will take you closer to a win.

  • The best advice is often really simple. If you have options, why don’t you consider them before moving? So it would be best if you thought and then think again before you make a move.
  • Thinking about going through the stock is natural, but it might be a mistake. First, you should arrange the cards in the tableau so that the cards from the stock can also be used to the fullest.
  • No move should be final, and cards, once placed in a position, can be moved to another position if you want to get to a certain card.
  • Creating an empty pile will allow you to place a King in it and begin developing a sequence.
  • Please focus on the bigger tableau columns because they have more cards and opportunities to create sequences.

Advanced Solitaire Tactics Beyond the Rules

We are also sharing some advanced tactics so you can play Solitaire online like a true master of the game. Let’s start.

  • All suits matter, so try to create sequences evenly. If you focus too much on one suit, finishing sequences of other suits can become impossible.
  • If you can’t see a King, don’t rush to create an empty pile.
  • You can place an Ace on a foundation pile right away because an Ace can prevent you from accessing other cards below it.
  • Sometimes, people move cards because they can be moved. However, a card should only be moved if it can help you win the game.
  • Try to create sequences with only 2 suits in the tableau so that you easily coordinate and create complete sequences with both of them later.

The Beauty of Solitaire

Most Solitaire games are worth the effort it takes to learn and play them. The ideal place to start is the traditional Solitaire game described in this guide. If you play a few games and don’t get addicted to the beautiful puzzle that each game presents, we will be really surprised.

Unlike other card games, winning or losing is completely based on your strategy and skills. You don’t have to worry about luck or competing with any other player. However, you can compete with your previous games and see how well you did.

Key Points Regarding Game Rules in Solitaire

Whenever you play Solitaire, you are not just playing a card game but a game of patience and awareness. You have to keep your eye on cards in the waste pile, tableau, and foundation. It isn’t easy to win Solitaire, but you can do so if you move according to the Solitaire objective.

Arranging cards from the entire deck following some simple rules can be quite challenging for most people. In fact, only a small percentage of Klondike Solitaire games are won by the players. Still, you shouldn’t lose hope because what we have explained here should be enough to transfer any remaining cards to the foundation and win.

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Solitaire Rules – FAQs

Before you play online, let us answer some common questions related to Solitaire rules you should know about.

What are the basic rules I should know before I play Klondike Solitaire?

This game has seven piles in the tableau, and the number of cards will continue to increase by 1 as we go from left to right. The first pile will have one card, the second pile will have two cards, the third pile will have three cards, and so on. The stock will have the remaining cards, and four piles will be in the foundation. You will move cards to the foundation if they follow the ascending order and belong to the same suit.

What is the draw pile used for in Solitaire?

The draw pile or the stockpile is used to draw cards if you aren’t able to spot any moves in the tableau.

Which cards can be placed in an empty pile in Solitaire?

You can’t place multiple cards in empty piles, as only the King can be placed in an empty space.

How can I improve my Solitaire strategy?

Read our articles and follow tips like making moves in the tableau before drawing cards, combining 2 suits only, considering alternative moves before moving, and keeping your focus on winning the game.

What are some advanced Solitaire tactics I can use to win?

Some advanced tactics are delaying creating an empty pile until a King is revealed, creating sequence evenly by focusing on all suits, and choosing the right colour of the King based on the available cards.

What makes Solitaire so unique and extraordinary?

Solitaire gives you the thrill of uncovering all hidden cards and eventually moving them to the foundation. It can take hours to win a game, but you will be ecstatic when you finally win. In addition, you can develop your cognitive abilities and keep your mind active by playing Solitaire.