Solitaire and Patience are the collective names of games that can be played alone. They are usually different types of card games, but games such as Sudoku and Rubik’s Cube are considered Solitaire games as well. Learning how to play these games is usually very easy, but building up the skill levels to truly master the games can take a bit of time. Luckily, there are usually plenty of different skill levels to choose from, so even new players will be able to find a game they enjoy.
The classic Solitaire game is also known as Klondike Solitaire. This game has been around for a very long time, and although it was originally played using a physical deck of cards, many people will also remember it as one of the classic computer games. Nowadays the game is mostly played online, and since this is a strictly recreational game, it’s almost always free to play.
Klondike Solitaire is considered the absolute classic among Solitaire games. The goal of this game is to sort a deck of cards into four piles, each consisting of one suit of cards, sorted by value. This might seem easy enough, but of course, there is more to it than simply sorting the cards. When you start the game, the cards will be divided among seven columns of cards, where only the top card in each column will be face-up while all other cards are face-down. This is how the cards in each of the seven stacks will be divided:
1st column: 1 card face-up.
2nd column: 1 card face-up + 1 card face-down
3rd column: 1 card face-up + 2 cards face-down
4th column: 1 card face-up + 3 cards face down
5th column: 1 card face-up + 4 cards face-down
6th column: 1 card face-up + 5 cards face down
7th column: 1 card face-up + 6 cards face down
The rest of the cards will be found in the deck, and you can draw cards from this deck either one at a time or three at a time. You’ll also have four empty fields that you are supposed to sort the cards into. Each suit of cards will have their own pile.
Before you can start sorting the cards and uncover the face-down cards you need to know the exact rules of Klondike Solitaire. The first thing you should know is how and where you can move the cards you have face up and in the deck. This is how it works:
First off, there is no rank between the different suits of cards. The cards actually don’t have any value at all, as they have in other card games such as blackjack or poker, and there are no points or anything like that connected to the cards in Klondike Solitaire. However, there is a certain order in which you need to fill up the four piles containing each suit – spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts. It has to start with an ace, and after that it’s 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on, ending with the King.
In the four piles, the cards have to be sorted by suit, but in the game itself, as in the seven columns, it’s color that matters. Every second card has to be red (diamond or heart) and every second card has to be black (club of spade). So for example, if the top card in one of your columns is a black 8 then the only card you can put on top of that is a red 7. This has to be followed by a black 6, then a red 5 and so on.
There are two different ways of playing Klondike Solitaire, and it has to do with how many cards you turn over per draw from the deck of cards. If you want an easy game you can choose to only turn one card at a time, but if you want to increase the difficulty level you can choose to draw three cards at a time. If you choose to draw three cards, you can see all the three cards, but you can’t get to the two at the bottom unless you have used the card on top first. This means you can’t always get to the card you want to use. However, after you’ve gone through and drawn all the cards from the deck you can turn the deck over and draw them again. The cards won’t be shuffled, but if you have drawn cards from the deck on the previous round they will this time appear in a slightly different order, since one or more cards have been removed, making the order of the remaining cards a bit different when you draw them by three.
In terms of where you can actually move the cards, that’s easy. You can only move cards from the deck, and never to it, but you can move them both directly to the four piles or to the seven columns, whichever suits you the best.
The seven different columns in Klondike Solitaire all start with the top card face-up, while all the other cards are hidden face-down. You can only move these cards to other columns, or to the four piles containing the sorted suits. You can move the cards between columns as we explained in ‘Rank of Cards’, by alternating red and black, in descending order. So if your card is a red queen, you can only add on a black jack, and not a black king. To move the red queen you’ll either have to get a black king in the columns to move it to, or you’ll have to move it to the four piles if you already have all the lower cards in that suit in the pile.
When you move face-up cards within the columns you’ll be able to move several cards at a time. To expand on the example we used above: if you do get a black king you cannot move only the red queen if you have added more cards to her. So if you already have a jack, 10, 9 and so on, added to the queen you’ll move all of these cards over to the king. However, it is also possible to only move parts of a face-up column. If you get another red queen you can take the black jack and all the cards after this one and move, leaving only the original red queen.
You can fill up columns by either moving cards from one column to another, or by adding on cards from the deck. However you choose to do it, the goal is to uncover more and more of the face-down cards. Each time you move the top card from a column, the next card will be turned to face up. If you reach the bottom of a column so there are no more cards to turn then the column is empty. At this point, if you have a king at the top of a column that has face-down cards underneath it, you can move the king to the empty column. Only a king can be moved to this spot, but if you have added more cards onto the king, these will of course move with the king as well.
You’ll find the four piles above the seven columns, and each of these should start with an Ace. The Aces are however not there in the beginning of the game, as you’ll need to uncover them first. They will be located either in the seven columns or in the deck of cards. As soon as you uncover an Ace it will be automatically moved to a pile, but you’ll have to move any consecutive cards there. (You might be able to change this in the settings of the game, so it automatically moves all cards that can be moved into the piles, but this is usually not recommended. More on that under ‘Solitaire Strategies’.)
Even though the goal is to fill up the four piles, it’s also possible to move cards from these piles to the columns. This might be a move you’ll want to make if you now need cards that you’ve added to the piles in order to move other cards between the columns and turn a new face-down card. You can only move the top card in each pile to the column since the order of these cards always has to stay in ascending order, according to the number value of the cards.
The easiest way to play Klondike Solitaire is online. In the old days, this game was usually preinstalled on the computer, along with other classics like Minesweeper and Snake, but now it’s almost exclusively played online. By playing classic Solitaire online you can easily change between different types of games, and Klondike is of course the everlasting player favorite.
Some might say that shuffling and dealing cards are part of the charm of these old classics, but still, the majority of players prefer to do this simply by the click of a button. When you play online you start a new game with ready shuffled cards that are dealt in an instant, ready for you to start playing. The settings letting you decide whether to draw one or three cards, how to actually move the cards, and if you want to autofill the four piles are also features that make it a breeze to play Solitaire online. An additional hint feature made especially for novice players gives you some hints showing which moves are available to you.
To make it easy for all players, there are several ways of actually moving the cards while playing. You can of course move them by actually dragging and dropping the cards (click the card with the mouse, hold it while you move the mouse to the place you want to add it, and then drop it). You can also preset that you simply click a card and then click the spot you want to place it. When doing this you’ll see that the card is highlighted so you don’t lose track of which card it is you’re moving. If you want to move a card to the four piles you can also do this the same way as mentioned above, or you can simply double-click it.
If you’re playing from your mobile device you simply use your finger to drag and drop, click or double-click, as the moves can be made the same way as from a desktop device. Your finger, or touch pen if you’re using one, will work the same way as the cursor on your laptop or desktop computer.
You’re never finished with a game of Klondike Solitaire until the deck and all seven columns are empty, but in reality, you’ll know that you won before that. Once all face-down cards in the columns have been uncovered, so you only have face-up cards, you’ll know you managed to beat that game round. You’ll then have to move all the remaining cards to the pile, and the easiest way to do that is to choose autofill. The cards will then move up to their pile automatically and you can start a new game.
All games of Solitaire are games you play alone, so basically not multiplayer games you play with or against other players. However, nowadays it’s possible to compete in almost anything, and Patience games are no exception. As we mentioned before, the cards don’t have any points value in Klondike Solitaire, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t collect points while playing. There are no right or wrong moves to make, and you can play the game as you yourself choose, but if you’re after a high score on an online leaderboard, or just to beat your own record, it’s time you have to play by.
Some leaderboards only go by the time spent on each game, and if that is the case on the leaderboard you’re trying to enter you should make sure that you use the autofill settings and double-clicking to move cards. Each second will count, so you better optimize your settings to move as fast as possible.
Other leaderboards don’t care so much about time, but about the number of moves you make; the fewer moves you need to populate the four piles the better. Most top lists and leaderboards, however, do not only count this, instead the moves and time ratio is what will determine your place on the list. There are also versions where the number of games won per day, or in consecutive order without a loss, contribute to the best player list.
What you should keep in mind though, is that Solitaire games are not typically games where you win anything other than bragging rights. These are free games that are not made for any type of gambling, so even if you do claim that top spot, you’re not actually winning anything apart from the satisfaction of knowing you’re better than all other players – which is more than enough for most players. (A screenshot of the results page can also be in order as a keepsake in case someone comes along and boots you off the top ranking spot.) After all, Klondike Solitaire falls under the category of “funny games”, or rather, games that are played simply for the enjoyment of it.
Even though most Solitaire games, including Klondike, are games of chance, it doesn’t mean that everything is left up to chance. Some strategic thinking will help you a long way in most games, as being able to plan ahead a bit is critical if you want to win. For example, adding all cards you can on every move into the four piles will most likely not be a good idea, as you’ll need these cards to be able to move cards between columns later on. So even if you do have the cards needed to fill up one pile, it’s never smart to pre-populate it before the other piles are also catching up. Ideally, you should be adding on cards equally into each of these four piles.
Another thing you should be a bit wary about is moving cards from the deck. In most cases, it will always be better to move a card from a different column than to take a card of the same value and color from the deck; this is, however, a rule with some exceptions. If you’ve chosen to draw three cards at a time from the deck you should also consider how drawing a card from this deck will be beneficial for you.
If you haven’t been able to draw any cards from the deck at all then turning it over and starting again will give you the same draws as the last time, so to change the order you’ll need to use a card, preferably in the beginning of the deck once it’s turned over. This will give you more options, as there will be different cards showing as the top card of these three. So if you’ve turned the whole deck around once already, without using any of the cards, and you have the option of using a card from this deck or to move one from a column, the first option will most likely be the best choice.
Obviously, if you’re looking to cheat when you play a Solitaire game it is much easier if you play with physical cards. Simply remove a card or take a peek on the face-down cards before deciding which move you make, and then you’re almost guaranteed to win. Many players also move other cards than the King to an empty column, either as a means of cheating or simply because they don’t know that this is not really supposed to be done.
All moves that are not allowed to be made will be impossible to make when you play Solitaire online, as there are restrictions in place so you just can’t add a card where it’s not supposed to be. Likewise, it won’t be possible for you to take a look at the face-down cards before deciding which column you’d like to move your card or cards from. The only way to cheat online is to use the undo option. Players taking a game of Solitaire seriously would never do this, but hey, it’s not like you’re gambling for money or playing against other players, so why not?
We would almost argue that using ‘undo’ is a good thing, at least if you’re a novice player. By undoing and trying again with a different option for how to move your cards around you get to see which different options there are, and you can in that way more easily recognize what the best move might be the next time you’re playing. After all, this might help you win the next time, without having to resort to the ‘undo’ option.
Another thing new Solitaire players might appreciate is the hint option. If you simply can’t see any possible moves and you’re stuck in the game then it might help to get a hint. There will be quite a few piles and columns of cards to keep track of, so a little nudge as to what you can do can come in handy. If there aren’t actually any more moves you can make, and you’ve actually lost the game, the only option showing itself will be ‘undo’. They say every game of Klondike Solitaire can be won, and that might be true, but winning it on the first try won’t always be possible. To get another try without going back in the game and undoing your moves you can also simply start the same game again, and try different options where you had multiple choices.
There is an almost unlimited number of possible ways of playing each game of Solitaire, and you can get a winning result in a lot of different ways. Almost every move you make will impact which new moves are available to you, and in many cases it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, as you can still end up winning. In some cases though, this is not the case. One “wrong” move and you’ve ensured that you can’t possibly win. This all has to do with which cards you move, and which options you then have. As a general rule, it’s always best to focus on uncovering the face-down cards.
One thing that will always make it hard to win a game of classic Solitaire is if you can’t find or get to the Aces. These cards are crucial to be able to win since you can’t start to build up the pile for that particular suit before you find the Ace. If you’re unlucky, one or more Aces might be hidden towards the bottom of a column, which means you'll have to manage to uncover all the cards before you can start the pile with sorted cards.
To be able to get to an Ace at the bottom of a column you’ll most likely need most of your other cards out of the piles. This is why it’s rarely beneficial to start building up any of the four piles of cards before you can get started on all of them. However, you can of course still move the cards back to the columns from the piles, so most often you’ll manage anyway, you’ll just need more moves to do so.
A classic Solitaire game is a game that is played alone, so not with other people. Because of this, it’s a popular pastime activity for many people around the world, especially now that most of us have a smartphone with internet access. Playing these types of games while on the bus, waiting in line at the bank or wherever else you might find yourself and could use something to help pass the time, or simply at home while relaxing a bit, is not only an easy and cheap form of entertainment but Solitaire games are also a form of keeping your brain active.
Classic Solitaire games are usually a mix between games of chance and strategic games. This is especially the case for the game of Sudoku, even though it’s not considered one of the classic games but rather something that is comparatively new. Each game is in theory possible to beat, but you might have to work up some skills before you’ll be able to solve every one.
The absolute classic Solitaire game is Klondike Solitaire, which is a card game. The same goes for the game FreeCell and Mahjong, even though the latter can be played with something other than a classic deck of cards as well. There are loads of other card variants of Patience card games, but there are also some that don’t use cards at all. We’ve already mentioned Sudoku and Rubik’s Cube as examples of these, but there is another classic that most people don’t even realize is a Solitaire game, and that’s a normal jigsaw puzzle.
So, even though Klondike is an absolute player favorite, there is also a whole range of other classics. In short, all games that are played alone are considered Solitaire games – which is also why it’s named Solitaire, as in the original meaning of the word. The other name these games are known by is Patience, and this name comes from the need for patience when one solves these puzzles or games.
Since there are so many different games of Solitaire, we’ll give you a quick run-through of some of the most popular games, just in case you’d want to try some versions of the games other than Klondike. All of these games are made for playing alone, but perhaps especially jigsaw puzzles are perfect for playing together with other people, as an alternative to a board game.
Klondike, FreeCell and Mahjong are easily played as free games online, while Rubik’s Cube and jigsaw puzzles are better suited for physical play offline. Sudoku, on the other hand, is well suited for both. Some prefer pen and paper, while others find it just as easy to play on their phones or laptops, especially because of the never-ending new games and levels to play.
This card game is played with one deck of cards (although there are versions played with two decks as well), and all the cards are dealt face-up. There are eight columns of cards, and the goal is, as in Klondike Solitaire, to sort the cards by suit into four piles. These piles start with an Ace and end with the King. There are also four free cells which you can move cards to so that you can match them up in the columns to get to the cards you need. Within the columns, you can stack the cards, starting with the King and then descending into Queen, Jack, 10 and so on. These cards can only be added in alternating colors. You can start a stack of cards in descending order at whichever card you want, so you don’t necessarily have to have the king as the top card in the column. When a column is emptied of cards you can move whichever card you want there. Since there are many different types of this game, you should make sure to read the description of the game before you start playing, so you’ll have a full understanding of the rules and the features.
Mahjong is somewhat like a puzzle. These games come in several different difficulty levels, and the harder the level is the more tiles or cards you’ll have. The goal of the game is to get rid of all the tiles by matching them two and two, but there might be more than two of the same kind. You can only use the tiles that are not blocked in by another tile, so matching the correct ones so you free up other combinations is the trick to success. You’ll find that not all the games are possible to win since you might end up having two tiles of the same kind on top of each other, which means you can’t match them since the bottom one is blocked by the one on top.
In the game Sudoku, it’s all about numbers, more specifically the numbers one to nine. The game has a grid of 9x9 squares, divided 3x3. In each 3x3 square, each number from one to nine should be represented, and on each of the nine rows, both horizontally and vertically, the numbers should appear once as well. When you start a game of Sudoku some of the numbers will be pre-filled, and the easier the level you play on, the more numbers that will be pre-populated. If you choose a hard level there will be very few numbers already added, so you’ll really have to think long and hard to be able to beat the level. All Soduku games or levels are possible to win, but you’ll most likely need to build up your skill level before you are able to master the game completely.
On a classic Rubik’s Cube, there are no different difficulty levels, and the only level it has is very hard. Most people can go through life spinning the different colors without ever solving it, while others (very few), find it quite easy. The cube consists of six sides, each with nine squares. There are six different colors, and these appear in more or less random order. The goal is to twist and turn the squares in the cube in a way that makes each of the six sides one single color. This is why each one of the middle squares on a side has one color each, so you’ll need to get the other eight squares on each same side to match the middle color.
Perhaps the most common of all the Solitaire games is a jigsaw puzzle. Most of us have tried this at some point in our lives, starting perhaps as children with a puzzle with less than ten pieces. As everyone knows, there are also puzzles for grown-ups, and for avid puzzle players it’s possible to find puzzles with thousands of pieces. The more pieces the more difficult it is, obviously, but also the pattern you'll be laying will impact the difficulty level. Blue skies or oceans are usually the most tricky parts, as this then turns into a real game of Patience. As is also the case with Rubik's Cube, Jigsaw Puzzles are most commonly played in a physical form at home, as it’s simply not the same playing them online.