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Are you looking for a fun and engaging way to pass the time? Then you have to try solitaire! This classic card game has been a staple in households for generations, and for a good reason. Solitaire is a game that is entertaining and challenging – and it can be played by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

But if you've never played solitaire before, don't worry – this article is for you! There are many variations of solitaire worldwide, but in this beginner's guide, we will focus on the well-loved classic version of solitaire – from the game's objective to helpful tips and tricks to help you succeed. 

So get ready to shuffle up and deal because solitaire is a game you won't want to miss!

Solitaire, What Is it?

Whether you have had the chance to enjoy a game or not, solitaire is one of those classic card games that has survived the test of time. It is a game played by one person to arrange a deck of cards in a certain order – until all the cards have been sorted into piles.

The unique setup of solitaire requires you to use both your strategy and luck skills to succeed. The more you play, the better your chances are at winning – so you can practice and improve your skills over time.

How Long Does It Take to Play a Game of Solitaire?

The answer to this question will depend on the player's skill level and how quickly they can make decisions. Generally, a game of solitaire can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour or longer. The more experienced you become, the quicker you'll be able to complete a game.

However, the fastest time to complete a classic game of online solitaire is currently five seconds! But don't worry – that's the exception, not the rule. With some practice and strategic thinking, you'll soon be a dab hand at playing solitaire.

So don't worry about trying to compete with the fastest times. As long as you're having fun and enjoying the game, that's all that matters!

Is It Difficult to Play Solitaire as a Beginner?

The truth is, solitaire can be tricky to master – but it's also quite accessible for beginners. The game's rules are simple but may take some time to get used to. 

Luckily, the rules are built into the game if you play online solitaire. This means you don't need to worry about making a wrong move or placing a card somewhere you shouldn't. The game will automatically alert you when a move isn't valid.

Learning any new skill can be daunting at first, but if you stick with it and practice regularly, you'll soon become more familiar with and confident in your moves. Just remember to be patient, stay focused, and don't give up. With some practice, you'll soon become an expert solitaire player!

Tips and Tricks for Winning Solitaire

It's easy to back yourself into a corner when first playing solitaire. It's important to remember that you can only move one card at a time and that the cards must alternate in color and be arranged in descending order.

However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you to become an expert at solitaire.

Understand the Rules

You're only cheating yourself if you don't take the time to understand the rules of solitaire. Ensure you know exactly what foundation piles are and how to build them up. Learning the rules will help you understand how the game works, making things a lot easier when it comes time actually to play.

Look Out for Possible Moves

Always flip the top stock card first and look for any possible moves that card will create. Then, as you are playing, look out for possible moves. Pay attention to what is available in the tableau. If you see a card that can be moved onto the foundation – grab the opportunity.

Work on the Larger Columns First

If you can, start working on the larger columns first. This will give you more options for making moves and help you clear up space for other cards. Work your way from the seventh column back to the first, and you should be able to make some good progress.

Know When to Hold Back

Sometimes it can be tempting to make a move, even if it's not the best one. But it's important to know when to hold back and look for a better opportunity. 

Observe the Game

Don't jump into your next move too quickly – take a step back and observe the game. You should take time to analyze what's going on and consider which move you should make next. This will help you stay on the right track and ensure you don't accidentally make a wrong play.

Don't Try and Complete a Single Pile

You want to ensure your cards are evenly distributed across the tableau as much as possible. Trying to complete a single pile can backfire and create many more problems. It's important to spread your cards out as much as possible, giving you more flexibility and options when making your moves.

Focus on Columns With Spaces

If you want to make progress in the game, focus on columns that have empty spaces. Building the foundation piles is key to winning solitaire, and this can only be done if there are empty spaces to work with.

Don't Empty a Spot Without a King

If you don't have a king to hand, try not to empty a spot. This is because the only way to fill up a space is with a king, and if you don't have one, then you will be stuck without any moves.

Check Card Color in Mind

Choosing a black or red card to fill an empty spot is more important than you think! You must ensure that the card you are moving and where it will end up alternates in color. Always consider your available cards before placing a card in the empty spot.

Make Moves to Unblock Cards

Find opportunities to unblock cards that are stuck underneath other cards. Remember, you can only fill a space with a king if no other cards are available to move. But if you can unblock a card, it will give you access to more potential moves.

Watch Out for Aces and Kings

Aces and kings are the most powerful cards in a game of solitaire. Anytime you see an ace or king in a column, you can no longer move any cards below it. This means you want to pay extra attention to those columns and try to build up the sequences you're working on as quickly as possible.

Be Mindful of the Time When Playing a Timed Game

If you're playing a timed game of solitaire, it's important to be mindful of the time. Make sure you plan ahead and make your moves quickly, as time is precious when playing a timed game. It's also important to remember that if you run out of time, you will lose the game - so be sure to manage your time wisely!

Don't Forget about Your Stock Pile

The stock pile can be just as crucial as the tableau. Keep an eye on it, and make sure that when you can't make any more moves, you use it to your advantage. You can flip over the cards one at a time and look for potential opportunities to make progress.

A Short History of Solitaire

Long before computers, solitaire was a popular pastime for people of all ages. Also known as 'Patience' and 'Cabale,' the first noted record of solitaire dates back to Europe during the 18th century. The exact origins are unclear, but historians believe it may once have been used as a form of fortune-telling.

With the rise of divination by cards (cartomancy) during this time, there's a good chance fortune tellers once used this fun game to help predict the future. If the game 'came out' in a certain way, it was believed to be a sign of good or bad fortune.

Throughout the years, solitaire has evolved into many variations of the game we all know and love today. Microsoft, the computer company, popularized the game by including it in their Windows operating system in 1990. Since then, solitaire has become a well-known pastime to millions of people around the world.

So, from the traditional version to themed decks and solitaire apps – this classic card game has been reinvented and updated to fit modern times.

Types of Solitaire

Solitaire is not just one game; it's a category of card games that are perfect for solo play. Each variation offers its unique blend of strategy and skill. Let's explore some of these versions.

Klondike Solitaire

When it comes to Solitaire, the name that often stands out as the quintessential experience is none other than Klondike Solitaire. This iconic variant melds elements of both luck and strategy, challenging players to arrange foundation piles from Ace to King. For many, the enduring allure of Klondike Solitaire makes it a perpetual favorite in the Solitaire family of games.

Klondike Solitaire Turn One

In this variant, you can flip one card at a time from the stockpile, which offers more opportunities for strategic moves. Many people find Klondike Solitaire Turn One easier to win than its counterparts.

Klondike Solitaire Turn 3

For those who crave an additional layer of complexity in their card-sorting endeavors, Klondike Solitaire Turn 3 offers precisely that. In this nuanced variation, players flip over three cards at once from the stockpile, intensifying the game's challenge compared to its simpler sibling, Klondike Solitaire Turn One. This is often viewed as the classic method of enjoying Klondike Solitaire for those who seek a more intricate puzzle.

Spider Solitaire

When it comes to cerebral challenges in the world of Solitaire, Spider Solitaire stands in a league of its own. This intricate variant beckons players with its maze-like tableau and demands meticulous strategy. The ultimate goal? To meticulously craft sequences of cards within the tableau, descending from King to Ace, all while carefully planning each move.

Spider Solitaire One Suit

This is the simplest version of Spider Solitaire, focusing on just one suit, typically spades. Beginners often start with this Spider Solitaire One Suit variant.

Spider Solitaire 2 Suit

Two suits are involved in this game, adding an extra layer of difficulty compared to Spider Solitaire One Suit. Players who master the one-suit game usually progress to Spider Solitaire 2 Suit.

Spider Solitaire 4 Suits

For the ultimate test of wits and card strategy, look no further than Spider Solitaire 4 Suits. This version ratchets up the difficulty by incorporating all four card suits into play, thereby earning its reputation as the most formidable member of the Spider Solitaire family.

Freecell Solitaire

Freecell is a game where almost all deals are solvable, making it a popular choice for players who prefer skill over luck. Freecell is known for requiring strategic moves.

Pyramid Solitaire

Stepping away from the linear layouts commonly found in other Solitaire games, Pyramid Solitaire presents a captivating geometric dilemma. The aim here is simple yet engaging: dismantle a pyramid-shaped tableau by identifying card pairs that together sum up to 13.

Tri Peaks Solitaire

Tri Peaks Solitaire involves a tableau shaped like three mountain peaks made from cards. The game requires you to clear all these peaks.

Addiction Solitaire

If you're looking for a Solitaire game that breaks from the norm while still requiring a keen eye and strategic foresight, Addiction Solitaire is your match. Unlike traditional variants where the focus is on foundation piles, this game challenges you to arrange four horizontal rows by suit, with each row ascending in numerical order.

Golf Solitaire

Golf Solitaire is a fast-paced version where you try to move all the cards from the tableau to a single foundation, irrespective of the suit. The game can be surprisingly tricky to complete.

Crescent Solitaire

In Crescent Solitaire, players face two decks and are tasked to move cards from the outer piles to the foundation in the center, making it quite challenging compared to traditional Solitaire games.

Vegas Solitaire

Vegas Solitaire adds a gambling twist to the classic Klondike game. The objective remains the same, but you must also keep track of a virtual money score.

Scorpion Solitaire

Similar to Spider Solitaire, Scorpion Solitaire asks you to arrange cards in descending order, although it comes with its unique set of rules and a different tableau setup.

Canfield Solitaire

Named after the proprietor of a 19th-century gambling establishment, Canfield Solitaire offers a mix of luck and skill. Your goal is to build the foundation piles up from a randomly chosen starting card.

Forty Thieves Solitaire

Forty Thieves Solitaire is a two-deck game where you have to build the foundation piles up in suit, but with limited moves and no tableau building, it’s a real challenge.

Yukon Solitaire

Yukon Solitaire adds a unique twist to the traditional Klondike and Spider versions by allowing you to move stacks of cards that aren't fully ordered, offering more room for strategy.

Russian Solitaire

Much like Yukon, Russian Solitaire involves building tableau columns down in suit as opposed to alternating colors, making it far more difficult to complete.

Double Solitaire

Played with two decks or as a game for two people, Double Solitaire is essentially a two-player or more complex version of Klondike Solitaire.

Triple Solitaire

Triple Solitaire takes Double Solitaire to the next level, using three decks instead of two. It's best played with multiple people but can also be tackled solo.

Crazy Quilt Solitaire

For those yearning for a Solitaire experience that's off the beaten path, Crazy Quilt Solitaire offers a colorful detour. Mimicking the complex design of a quilt, the tableau brings a patchwork of challenges that require a blend of strategy and creativity. This unique layout serves up a vibrant change of pace for Solitaire devotees.

Thieves of Egypt Solitaire

If you're drawn to Solitaire games that offer a dash of the exotic along with a puzzle-like challenge, Thieves of Egypt Solitaire is a fascinating escape. As a close cousin to Forty Thieves Solitaire, this variant elevates the complexity by requiring you to build eight foundation piles using a blend of tableau and stockpile tactics. This brings an additional layer of challenge that spices up the Solitaire world.

Algerian Solitaire

Algerian Solitaire uses two decks and has a unique tableau layout, with eight foundation piles needing to be built up or down in suit. The variety adds a fun twist to traditional Solitaire gameplay.

Josephine Solitaire

If you appreciate the intricacies of Forty Thieves Solitaire but desire a touch more leeway, Josephine Solitaire is a worthy exploration. With additional tableau spaces, this variation gives players a smidgen more flexibility. Though this makes the game a bit easier, it doesn't sacrifice the engagement and strategic depth that Solitaire enthusiasts love.

2048 Solitaire

If you ever wondered what would happen if Solitaire and the iconic 2048 puzzle game had an intriguing crossover, then 2048 Solitaire is your answer. In this unique fusion, players are tasked with merging cards of the same rank to unveil higher numerical values, adding an exciting layer of complexity to traditional card game mechanics.

Alaska Solitaire

In Alaska Solitaire, you can build tableau columns up or down by any suit, but you can only move one card at a time, adding a layer of complexity and strategic depth.

Clock Solitaire

If the traditional grid layout of most Solitaire games leaves you craving something different, Clock Solitaire offers a unique blend of strategy and spatial awareness. In this unconventional variant, cards take on the shape of a clock, compelling you to move them toward the center based on a specific rule set. This distinctive approach makes Clock Solitaire a memorable experience in the landscape of card games.

La Belle Lucie Solitaire

When traditional Solitaire seems too straightforward, La Belle Lucie Solitaire offers a nuanced alternative. Known colloquially as "The Fan," this version restricts your available moves, ratcheting up the need for strategic foresight. The ultimate objective is to systematically transfer all cards into foundation piles, making each move a calculated decision.

Batsford Solitaire

A more difficult version of Klondike, Batsford features fewer tableau piles and fewer cards in the stockpile, making each move critical.

Poker Solitaire

Also known as "Poker Squares," this game combines elements of poker and solitaire, requiring you to create the best poker hands possible within a 5x5 grid.

Castle Solitaire

Set in a medieval theme, Castle Solitaire involves collecting cards in a castle, offering different challenges and layouts to master.

Colorado Solitaire

A variant that challenges you to build the foundation up or down irrespective of suit, Colorado Solitaire offers a high level of difficulty due to its limited moves.

Dragon Solitaire

Dragon Solitaire is a unique variation with Asian-inspired card symbols, providing a visually stunning and equally challenging version of traditional Solitaire.

Osmosis Solitaire

In Osmosis, also known as Treasure Trove, you can only move cards to the foundation if a similar card has already been placed there, making it a mind-bending challenge.

Penguin Solitaire

If you're after a Solitaire game with a quirky twist, Penguin Solitaire steps onto the icy stage. This version arranges the tableau in a pattern reminiscent of a penguin colony, offering a visually unique and intellectually stimulating experience. Navigating through this Antarctic-inspired layout requires both strategic acumen and a discerning eye.

Minion Solitaire

Inspired by the popular animated characters, Minion Solitaire offers a playful twist, featuring Minion-themed cards and rules.

Three Gates Solitaire

For those who find the standard Solitaire too limiting, Three Gates Solitaire opens new doors—literally. With the introduction of not one, but three discard piles, the game provides an expanded tactical landscape that challenges even seasoned Solitaire aficionados to think differently about their strategies.

Try playing Online Solitaire

Solitaire is a great game for anyone looking for an interesting and challenging way to pass the time! It's perfect for both experienced card players as well as novices. With enough practice and commitment, you will soon become a master of this classic game. Keep the tips from this article in mind, and you'll be a solitaire pro in no time!

If you want to practice and master your solitaire skills, check out our free online solitaire games. So why not give it a try? You never know – you may eventually become the fastest solitaire player in the world!

Try Other Solitaire Games on SubGame

Are you ready to explore a world beyond Solitaire? Step into the realm of solitaire variety and discover a multitude of captivating games waiting to be played! It's time to broaden your horizons and experience the thrill of new challenges