Double Solitaire

While the name “Solitaire” suggests that it’s a game meant for a single player, a few variations allow multiple people to join in on the fun, including double solitaire. This two-player take on the traditional version of solitaire is a fun way to bring more people in on the card-playing action. In this article, we will explore the rules and structure of double solitaire, providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to learn, play and enjoy this entertaining game with a friend or family member.

How to Play Double Solitaire

Two-player solitaire is played almost exactly like the regular version of Klondike Solitaire. It is also sometimes referred to as double Klondike. Each player starts off with their own 52-deck of cards and follows the same layout as in Klondike solitaire. Make sure to remove the jokers and that the decks have different backs for easy sorting. 

The layout has seven columns, with an increasing number of cards in each – the first column has one card and the last has seven for a total of 28 cards. This is known as the tableau. All of these rows of cards are face down except for the bottom card which is face up or in the column with one card. For the column with only one card, that one is also face up. Each player then takes their remaining 24 cards and keeps them face down next to the tableau – this is known as the stockpile

Everything up until now is exactly the same as a regular solitaire setup, with two people having the single solitaire setup across from each other. The four foundation piles that are used in single-person solitaire are also featured in 2-player solitaire. These foundation piles are hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs and the ace of each usually starts the piles off. In double solitaire, each player still has four foundation piles. However, the difference that now comes into play is that either player can play on any of the foundation piles as they are all shared.

The aim of the game is now for players to move all of the cards from their tableau and stockpile to the shared foundation piles. If any of the steps in the setup have you confused, you can find free double solitaire games online and can follow their lead. 

Double Solitaire Structure

The gameplay follows this structure: 

  1. To determine who goes first, the player with the lowest card showing in their one-card column can begin. 
  2. The first player plays any and all possible moves they can during their one turn. 
  3. Any cards moved around the tableau and placed in emptied piles must follow Klondike solitaire rules – sequences of alternating color descending order and only the King card can be placed in the empty column.
  4. If a stockpile card is picked that can’t be played, it must be returned to the bottom of the stockpile. 
  5. A winner is declared when a player completes four foundation piles. If either player is unable to make any more moves with their stockpile or other tableau cards, the game is also over. 
  6. If four foundation piles are not completed, the winner is determined by who has played the most cards. The player with the fewest remaining cards will be crowned the winner. 

Rules of Double Solitaire

The rules to follow when playing double solitaire online or in person are: 

  1. The only shared cards are the foundation piles. 
  2. You are not allowed to play on your opponent's layout. You also can’t use any of their cards that are sitting in their discard or stockpile. 
  3. Tableau piles must be in descending order and also alternating in color. 
  4. The cards in the stockpile can only be revealed one at a time. 
  5. If a player can’t make any moves, they must draw from their stockpile until they can. 

How to Win in Double Solitaire

In double solitaire, a winner is declared when one player has played all of their cards and completed four foundation piles. If both players are blocked with no more moves to make, the person who has the least cards remaining in front of them and the most in their foundation piles is the winner. 

Some tips that can help you strategize to win the game are:

  1. Be cautious since your opponent can take or block you from cards you may need in the foundation pile. 
  2. Think carefully about the cards you move to empty tableau spots as you may be blocking yourself from future moves you will need to make. 
  3. Do not put down aces into the foundations unless you have corresponding twos. This will prevent them from being stolen by your opponent. 
  4. Draw as many cards as possible from your stockpile as this gives you access to more cards and opportunities. 

Types of Double Solitaire

The two main ways to play double solitaire are either by taking turns and alternating as outlined above or it can be done as a race. When players are racing, they go simultaneously and it is important to be quick as it is more likely that a play or foundation card will get blocked by your opponent. 

You can also play double solitaire variations that involve using more than two decks.

Similar Games to Double Solitaire

If you've mastered the complexities of Double Solitaire and are on the hunt for similar games to extend your solitaire repertoire, there are a number of intriguing options to consider. Below are some card games that share the competitive and strategic essence of Double Solitaire:

Klondike Solitaire: The Solo Experience

Klondike Solitaire is usually the first game that comes to mind when one thinks of solitaire. While generally a single-player game, it shares several mechanics with Double Solitaire, such as the tableau, foundation, and stockpile. It's a perfect alternative for times when you want to practice your solitaire skills solo.

Klondike Solitaire Turn One: Quick Decisions

Also referred to as Klondike Solitaire Turn One, this variant adheres to the standard rules of Klondike Solitaire. The key difference lies in navigating through the stockpile one card at a time, which accelerates gameplay and offers a slightly less complex challenge.

Klondike Solitaire Turn 3: Up the Ante

Also known as Klondike Solitaire Turn 3, this variant elevates the challenge by requiring players to cycle through the stockpile three cards at a time. This adds an intricate layer of complexity, making it a more demanding alternative to the "Turn One" version.

Klondike Solitaire Two Decks: Doubling the Challenge

This variation utilizes two decks instead of one, doubling the size of the tableau and foundation piles, which provides an extra challenge for players familiar with the original game.

Triple Klondike Solitaire: The Ultimate Test

In Triple Klondike Solitaire, you'll use three decks, significantly ramping up the difficulty and complexity. This version is best suited for those who've mastered the previous Klondike variations and are looking for a serious challenge.

Russian Solitaire: A New Challenge

Russian Solitaire offers a tableau setup similar to Double Solitaire, but with its own unique set of rules that bring fresh challenges. Like Double Solitaire, Russian Solitaire requires a sharp strategic mind to maneuver cards between tableau and foundation.

FAQ about Double Solitaire 

Find answers to all your questions about Double Solitaire!

Is there a time limit for turns in double solitaire?

No, there is no time limit You can take as long as you need to when playing out your turn in double solitaire. However, if you are not playing turns and using the simultaneous method to play, you may want to play as quickly as possible since you are in a race. 

Can I play on my opponent's tableau in double solitaire?

No, you cannot. The only areas that you and your opponent will share are the eight foundation piles. 

Can double solitaire be played with one deck of cards?

Yes, it can but you will have to cut down your columns, and foundations and will also have a smaller stockpile. This will result in having many unsolvable boards for both you and your opponent. It is not recommended to play double solitaire with one deck of cards. 

Can three people play double solitaire?

Yes, three people can play double solitaire. The three player variant is aptly named triple solitaire. The rules are exactly the same as the rules for double solitaire, except that the game is played with three decks of cards instead of two.

Enjoying Double Solitaire

If you would like to try playing this fun twist on original solitaire, but don’t have anyone to challenge, don’t worry! There are free online double solitaire games you can access to practice with so by the time you play against a real person, you will be a pro. 

Whether you're playing double solitaire online free or with an actual person, we are sure you will have a blast playing this competitive version of solitaire. Double solitaire is an exciting game that leaves you and your partner entertained but also maybe seeking revenge over the bad beats and blocks.

Play other types of card games

Looking for a fresh challenge? It's time to break free from the traditional solitaire and embark on an exciting journey with alternative solitaire games. Expand your gaming horizons and discover new levels of fun, strategy, and excitement.