Mastering Solitaire A Comprehensive Guide to Playing and Winning

How to play solitaire


Solitaire is one of the most beloved and timeless card games in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to improve your skills or a beginner eager to learn, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the rules, strategies, and tips to help you play and win at solitaire. With a standard deck of 52 cards and a bit of patience, you can embark on an enjoyable journey of solo card gaming.

Understanding the Basics

1. The Objective The primary goal of solitaire is to arrange all the cards in four foundation piles, one for each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades), in ascending order from Ace to King.

2. Setup Start by shuffling the deck and dealing 28 cards face-down into seven tableau columns. The first column should have one card, the second two cards (with one card face-up), and so on until the seventh column has seven cards (with one card face-up).

3. Stock and Waste Piles Place the remaining cards face-down in a pile to form the stock. Draw cards from the stock one at a time and place them face-up in the waste pile.

Building the Foundations

1. Aces As you uncover Aces in the tableau columns, move them to their respective foundation piles. You can start building on each foundation pile with an Ace of the corresponding suit.

2. Ascending Order Add cards to the foundation piles in ascending order, following the Ace with a 2, then 3, and so on, until you reach the King.

Organizing the Tableau

1. Sequential Stacking In the tableau columns, cards must be placed in descending order and alternating colors. For example, a black 10 can be placed on a red Jack.

2. Moving Groups You can move a group of cards in descending order if they are arranged in the tableau. For example, if you have a red Queen, black King, and red Jack in a column, you can move them together.

3. Empty Columns Try to free up tableau columns by moving Kings (or sequences ending with a King) to empty columns. Empty columns can be filled with any card.

Strategies for Success

1. Expose Face-Down Cards The key to winning solitaire is to expose face-down cards whenever possible. This allows you to make informed decisions and access the cards you need.

2. Priority Moves Focus on uncovering and moving Aces and low-rank cards early in the game. This will help you build foundation piles and free up space in the tableau.

3. Drawing from the Stock Draw from the stockpile when you have no more moves in the tableau. Remember to go through the waste pile only once; if it runs out, reshuffle the waste pile to form a new stock.

4. Plan Ahead Anticipate how your moves will affect the entire tableau and foundation piles. Consider the consequences of each move to avoid getting stuck.

5. Practice Patience Solitaire is a game of skill, but it also requires patience. Not every game can be won, so don’t get discouraged if you face setbacks.

Winning the Game

You’ve won solitaire when all cards are successfully moved to the foundation piles in ascending order, from Ace to King, for each suit. It’s a satisfying feeling when you see the tableau empty and the foundation piles complete.

Variations and Challenges

Solitaire offers a range of variations and challenges to keep the game fresh and exciting

1. Klondike The classic version described here.

2. Spider Solitaire Played with multiple decks and eight foundation piles.

3. Freecell A game of skill and strategy with open cells for temporary storage.

4. Pyramid Remove pairs of cards that add up to 13 to uncover the pyramid.

5. TriPeaks Clear the board by removing cards that are one rank higher or lower than the top card of the waste pile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scoring system for solitaire?

5 points for each card moved from the deck to a row stack. 5 points for each card turned face-up in a row stack. 3 points for each card moved from one row stack to another. -2 points for each 10 seconds elapsed during a timed game.

What comes first in solitaire?

The object of Solitaire is to move all cards to the foundations in ascending order, beginning with the Ace and ending with the King.


Solitaire is not just a game; it’s a mental exercise that tests your strategy, patience, and card-handling skills. With practice and the right approach, you can become a master of this timeless card game. So, next time you find yourself with some free time and a deck of cards, give solitaire a try. You may find yourself addicted to the challenge and satisfaction it brings. Happy gaming!

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