How to play solitaire

Solitaire is one of the most pleasurable pastimes for one person. Often called, “Patience,” more than 150 Solitaire games have been devised.

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  • Game Type: Solitaire
  • Age: 8+
  • Players: 1
  • Tag: Patience

Many Solitaire games can be played on areas smaller than a card table. Others require a larger playing area, and these games are often played on the floor or on a bedspread. Alternatively, in order to play with large layouts on a card table, miniature playing cards are available. These are usually half the size of standard playing cards.

The Pack

Virtually all Solitaire games are played with one or more standard 52-card packs. Standard Solitaire uses one 52-card pack.

Object of the Game

The first objective is to release and play into position certain cards to build up each foundation, in sequence and in suit, from the ace through the king. The ultimate objective is to build the whole pack onto the foundations, and if that can be done, the Solitaire game is won.

Rank of Cards

The rank of cards in Solitaire games is: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A (low).

The Deal

There are four different types of piles in Solitaire:

  1. The Tableau: Seven piles that make up the main table.
  2. The Foundations: Four piles on which a whole suit or sequence must be built up. In most Solitaire games, the four aces are the bottom card or base of the foundations. The foundation piles are hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs.
  3. The Stock (or “Hand”) Pile: If the entire pack is not laid out in a tableau at the beginning of a game, the remaining cards form the stock pile from which additional cards are brought into play according to the rules.
  4. The Talon (or “Waste”) Pile: Cards from the stock pile that have no place in the tableau or on foundations are laid face up in the waste pile.

To form the tableau, seven piles need to be created. Starting from left to right, place the first card face up to make the first pile, deal one card face down for the next six piles. Starting again from left to right, place one card face up on the second pile and deal one card face down on piles three through seven. Starting again from left to right, place one card face up on the third pile and deal one card face down on piles four through seven. Continue this pattern until pile seven has one card facing up on top of a pile of six cards facing down.

The remaining cards form the stock (or “hand”) pile and are placed above the tableau.

When starting out, the foundations and waste pile do not have any cards.

The Play

The initial array may be changed by “building” – transferring cards among the face-up cards in the tableau. Certain cards of the tableau can be played at once, while others may not be played until certain blocking cards are removed. For example, of the seven cards facing up in the tableau, if one is a nine and another is a ten, you may transfer the nine to on top of the ten to begin building that pile in sequence. Since you have moved the nine from one of the seven piles, you have now unblocked a face down card; this card can be turned over and now is in play.

As you transfer cards in the tableau and begin building sequences, if you uncover an ace, the ace should be placed in one of the foundation piles. The foundations get built by suit and in sequence from ace to king.

Continue to transfer cards on top of each other in the tableau in sequence. If you can’t move any more face up cards, you can utilize the stock pile by flipping over the first card. This card can be played in the foundations or tableau. If you cannot play the card in the tableau or the foundations piles, move the card to the waste pile and turn over another card in the stock pile.

If a vacancy in the tableau is created by the removal of cards elsewhere it is called a “space”, and it is of major importance in manipulating the tableau. If a space is created, it can only be filled in with a king. Filling a space with a king could potentially unblock one of the face down cards in another pile in the tableau.

Continue to transfer cards in the tableau and bring cards into play from the stock pile until all the cards are built in suit sequences in the foundation piles to win!

Solving a Mahjong Solitaire board puzzle is all about avoiding getting to the situation where there are no available matches left (but still tiles left on the board). A Mahjong Solitaire board puzzle in computer games are generated by actually playing the game in “reverse”, placing two and two identical tiles on top of each other, while when solving it you play it the other way around. This means that there is at least one valid solution to the board: the way it was generated.

Here are some good tips and solving techniques on how to play Mahjong Solitaire puzzles:

  • Always match tiles that will free and open up the most new tiles. If you have a pair that does not open anything yet, leave it until you need it.
  • Concentrate on matching tiles on horizontal lines, as these are usually more difficult to remove.
  • When you have 3 or more identical tiles free and matchable, match the pair that will free the most new tiles. Matching the wrong pair can lead to unsolvable situations later on.
  • In games like Mahjong Solitaire Epic, all Mahjong puzzles are possible to win. There is always at least 1 solution, but certain boards are tougher than others, requiring you to match specific tiles in a specific order. Try to look two steps ahead. See what tiles you need to match first, in order to pair up hard-to-match tiles later on.

Unsolvable Situations

You end up in an unsolvable situation when you have matched the wrong pair of identical tiles earlier on.

If you end up in an unsolvable situation, the easiest solution is to shuffle all the remaining tiles, generating new pairs of tiles and allowing you to continue playing.

If you want a more challenging way of getting out of this situation, you need to undo back to the point where things got out of hand. When you are at the unsolvable situation, take a look at which tiles you currently have left that are free and open. Now, undo back to a point where you matched a pair of one of those tile types, and instead of matching that same pair, match it with the tile you had left in the unsolvable situation. Mahjong Solitaire Epic allows you to do this easy, by just dragging up the Undo list, locating the point where you made the wrong match, then clicking on that and undoing back to that point.

Here’s an example from Mahjong Solitaire Epic, where the Undo list is on the right side. Notice that if we undo back to the point shown with the red arrow, we will have 3 identical tiles of that type and can try to match it with the tile that was left in the unsolvable situation instead:

How to play solitaire
Now you have to re-play it and hope it was the correct point you undoed to! If you get to an unsolvable situation again, you most likely need to undo back to a further point, trying to find the match situation that caused the unsolvable situation.

Mahjong Rules and How to Play Mahjong

If you want to learn how to play Mahjong and see it’s rules, check out Mahjong Rules and How to Play Mahjong.

Where to Play Mahjong Solitaire

How to play solitaire
Mahjong Solitaire is available on most platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Play Store, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Amazon Appstore, Nook Apps, Blackberry and more! You can also play Mahjong Solitaire Online at Facebook.

How to play solitaire

Card Game has tons of free online solitaire card games that are both available for download and playable directly out of your browser. Every time you play solitaire, you compete with yourself for your best high score. Play card games for free whenever you like–when at work, school, or home–and make all your friends jealous with your ever-increasing solitaire skills!

Klondike Solitaire is the most popular card game around. Card Game Solitaire does it better than the rest offering smooth game play and an undo button! Made popular online by the original PC solitaire version, Card Game Solitaire’s Klondike Solitaire is taken to the next level with a game you’ll keep coming back to again and again!

Solitaire is a fun card game to enjoy at all ages. Create stacks of cards on the solitaire board by stacking cards downward alternating color. Click through the stock cards to add extra cards to the solitaire game. The ultimate goal of Klondike Solitaire is to add all the cards into their foundations in the top right based on suit from Ace to King.

Enjoy this age old game all day long with Card Game Solitaire’s wonderful rendition of a classic Solitaire card game!

Klondike Solitaire, electronically, has been around in force since the early days of the PC. See what the madness is all about by learning how to play.

Hi Stuart, we do not as of yet, but that is an excellent suggestion. Be on the lookout soon for posted rules soon! Thank You.

do you have to play cards from the deck on the build piles or can you play them in the tableau instead?

Hi Joe, you are allowed to play the revealed cards from the draw pile to either the build piles or the tableau, as long as you follow the restrictions of play.

your help is much appreciated.

Hi Joe, so glad i could help! Thanks for using Gamerules!

I was always told that you could only start a new row (in an empty space) with Kings. Is this a custom rule my family had implied or is it normal to see this enforced?

Hi Matt. Thank you for informing us about a missing element! You are correct, when you have emptied a column you may start a new one with a king.

Are you allowed to bring cards down from the build pile, to the tableau? Understand they must be played in proper sequence.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Hi Al, there are variations that allow this yes, but the traditional game does not. I hope this helps.

Hi wondering if you can move a portion of a column from the tableau to another column in the tableau to expose a card to play on the build pile. Like move a 5 of hearts with a four of spades on it from, one column to a 6 of clubs on another column on the tableau to expose the 6 of spades so it can be played on the spades build pile?

Hi Mike, yes that is correct! As long as you are moving the cards to a column that follows the restriction of play (such as must be a rank higher and the opposite color) you may move any number of cards to expose those underneath. I hope this helps.

must you fill in a space with the first/next king drawn from the deck or can you await the suit of the king that is best for you to win?

Hi Susan, in traditional Solitaire you always have the choice of moving a card. So you would be able to pick the best king to fill in the space for your needs. I hope this helps.

When you are playing three card flip, and you get to the bottom of the pile, and there are only two cards left to flip over. Do you play with just the two? Or do you turn them over and start with the full pile and flip three over? We had somewhat of a disagreement between two players yesterday and we did not find anything about what the proper procedure would be.

Hi James, I think there is some confusion caused by the article above. When using the 3-card flip, there will only ever be three cards out at a time. if you choose to deal yourself a new set of three from the stock then the remaining cards from your last flip are placed in the same order as they were flipped on the bottom of the stockpile. The only time you would flip less than 3 cards is when your stockpile is nearly empty and you do not have more than 3 cards to flip. I hope this helps.

Solitaire is an excellent source of entertainment for any down time that you have alone. Solitaire is also a fundamental card game for beginning card players in that it teaches players to be quite familiar with the suits and numbers in a standard deck of cards. However, solitaire is also versatile in that it can be played at any age or level with minimum skill.

Rules of Solitaire

The primary rules of solitaire require that you use a standard 52-card deck in order to play. Shuffle the cards and prepare to set up the primary board.

  • Begin setting up for solitaire by placing one card face up on the right hand side of your card table or board.
  • Place six face down cards individually to the left of your face-up card.
  • Put a card face-up and slightly lowered on top of the face-down card directly to the left of your first face-up card.
  • Distribute five cards face down directly on top of the remaining face down cards.
  • Repeat the last two steps until you have placed a card face-up slightly lowered on top of the left-most face-down card.

Your final board should contain stacks of a total of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 cards respectively (this includes the face-up card on each pile). Leave room on the top right hand corner of your board for ace piles later in the game. Set your remaining cards face down in a stack in front of you as draw cards.

How to Play Solitaire

On your primary board, the cards of the highest value are the kings. Your first goal is to create tiered stacks of face-up cards that both descend in value and alternate suit colors (individual suits do not count in this stage). For example, if you have a king of hearts (red suit) on the board, you can put a queen of clubs (black suit) or spades (black suit) slightly lowered on top of the king, a jack of hearts (red suit) or diamonds (red suit) slightly lowered on top of that and so on.

How to play solitaire

How to Play Solitaire

Only face up cards can be moved from stack to stack during play to create the tiered descending face-up piles. Also, only kings may move and preoccupy an empty space on the board. Each time you remove a face-up card from a pile on the primary board to another pile, make sure you flip the revealed face-down card on the original pile to face-up.

A player may deal himself the top card in a draw of three at any time during the game but usually only if he finds himself unable to work with any of the card combinations in the primary and secondary boards.

Objective of the Solitaire Card Game

The solitaire card game is a great way to pass time alone since it is usually a one-player activity. The point of solitaire is to get rid of all the cards on the primary board by creating four stacks of same-carded suits facing up from the aces on the bottom to the kings on the top during play. Since four aces of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds are eventually placed face-up on the upper right hand corner of the board – above the main seven face-down card stacks – the player is constantly conscious of the goal and can place consecutive card values face-up in the upper right hand corner throughout the game.

Aces must be placed in the upper right hand corner first and any other cards stacked on top of the aces must correspond to the respective suits of the aces and must be consecutive. One mistake players often make when playing solitaire is that they place cards too quickly on the face-up stacks of aces on the upper right hand side of the board too early on in the game and this makes it difficult to move layers of face-up cards around on the primary board because too many useful cards are missing.

You have the opportunity to put certain cards back onto the primary board of play under limited circumstances. You may only retrieve cards from the ace stacks on the upper right hand corner if they are currently visible. For example, if you want to bring a three of hearts back into play from the ace of hearts stack at upper right hand corner, but you have already stacked up to the seven of hearts (and thus the seven of hearts is the only card visible), you cannot bring back the three of hearts unless you bring back the seven, six, five and four of hearts into the game in that order. Bottom line: be careful and attentive when stacking cards in the same-suited final stacks too early in the game.

Why Play Solitaire

If you are not that familiar with a deck of cards, the solitaire card game is great because, as an individual game, it allows you to play and get familiar with the suits and numbers of a standard 52-card deck. Solitaire requires little pressure and can be played alone if you find yourself in a situation where you have no one with whom to play cards. It also requires little to no mathematics and is a great way to introduce young people to popular card-playing and teach them the order of card values.

Solitaire is a very interesting and mind-teasing game that can either be played on a computer or with a regular deck of playing cards. Take a quick look at the simple instructions to play Solitaire that’s given in this Plentifun write-up.

How to play solitaire

Solitaire is a very interesting and mind-teasing game that can either be played on a computer or with a regular deck of playing cards. Take a quick look at the simple instructions to play Solitaire that’s given in this Plentifun write-up.

Empty Piles

In case a pile out of the seven exhausts, the player can begin a new pile by placing a king or another formed pile with a king on that spot.

Klondike or Solitaire requires a player to manipulate a specific card layout in a certain way to sort the cards into the four suits in an ascending order. The game is also called ‘Patience’ as it requires the player to have a really calm and analytical mind to achieve the game objective in the lowest possible time.

Although time is not a mandate in this game, including it makes the game more challenging and tough. If you choose to play a time-based Solitaire, you could go ahead and beat your own previous records. Solitaire is necessarily a single player game and requires a standard deck of 52 cards, a large playing area (like a tabletop), and a stopwatch (if time-based) to play.

Refer to the below-given rules and get started.

How to Play Solitaire

Game Setup

The very first thing you need to do when you are beginning a game in Solitaire is to set up the card layout.

How to play solitaire

Take the card deck, except the jokers, and start by placing one card face up and six cards face down in a single row. Next, place one face-up card over the first face-down card as shown in the illustration, then go on placing face-down cards over the rest of the piles in the row.

Repeat the same procedure till you have a face-up card on the seventh pile. Place the remaining cards on the left of this arrangement; this would serve as a draw pile. Also, remember to keep some empty space at the top, which would be used to build the four suits.

Beginning Play

How to play solitaire

The four suits being in an ascending order would typically begin with an ace; in case a face-up card on the table is an ace of a particular suit, place it at the top. You go on building these four piles by beginning with an ace and adding up the next card of the respective suit.

Now, analyze your tableau (the play area with the seven piles) and look for possible manipulations. You must place a red/black card under a black/red card, respectively, and the card under should necessarily be a rank lower than the card above. For instance, you can place a black nine under a red ten.

Manipulating the Tableau

How to play solitaire

If in case you move a face-up card from one pile to the other, or over any of the four suits, you should flip the face-down card in its position.

Try manipulating the tableau as much as you can by placing cards under each other, or even moving a part of a pile under another one. For instance, if you have a pile starting from a queen and ending on a two, and another one where there’s a king, you can move the former under the latter.

Use the Draw Pile

How to play solitaire

Once you are out of moves, use the draw pile. Draw one card at a time, and see if it can be used on the tableau. If not, draw a second, then a third, and so on till you find a suitable card. Once you exhaust the draw pile, shuffle the discarded cards and begin a new draw pile.

As you go on playing, look for potential cards that would help build a suit, and place them into their respective suit accordingly.

Ending the Game

The game ends when you are successful in classifying all the cards into their respective suits.

If you enjoyed playing Solitaire, you could also try the two-player variation of the same that is called Double Solitaire . Solitaire has been very popular since Microsoft launched its virtual version (Microsoft Solitaire). If you’ve got a Windows computer, you could go ahead and play it on your computer itself without the need for a separate card deck. Enjoy!

Classic solitaire (also known as Klondike Solitaire) is the game that many simply refer to as “solitaire”. Klondike is by far the most popular version of Solitaire, though there are many variations. If you did not realize there is more than one type of solitaire game, the game you know as Solitaire is likely to be Klondike.

Classic Solitaire is a game of sorting cards. You move cards between columns in an attempt to put them in order into 4 piles of cards separated by suit.

Classic Solitaire Layout

The game begins with 28 cards dealt into columns. This is known as the tableau. Seven cards are dealt in a row-one card face up, then six more continuing to the right face down. Next, deal a card face up on the second pile, then one more in each pile facing down. Continue in this fashion, dealing one less card each time, until you have seven piles that start on the left with one card and increase by one card with each column from left to right. The top card on each pile is facing up. Each time an Ace appears face up, place it in a row at the top. These are the foundations. The remaining 24 cards are placed in the top left of the game screen as a stock pile you can draw from when you need additional cards.

How to Play Classic Solitaire

The columns in a game of Classic Solitaire are the tableau. They are the primary play area of the game. You are attempting to move cards from the columns into the foundations on the top right of the game screen. Each foundation must be built up by suit and sequence from Ace to the King.

Move any cards you can to the foundations. On the tableau you can build on the face up cards, building down in alternating colors. In order to move a card in a column, it must be turned face up. To turn a card face up, it must become the bottom card in the column, so all the cards below the face down card must be moved into a different column. Every time you move a face up card, you turn up the card beneath it. When there are on more face down cards in a pile and you move the face up card, you can fill the space with an available King.

After dealing, the Stock Pile is what remains of the deck after the cards forming the Tableau. You can deal cards one at a time face up. Once you have dealt out all the cards, you can reset the stock pile. There is not a limit to the number of times you can deal out the cards.


The goal of Classic Solitaire is to build all the cards on to the foundations at the top of the game screen. All cards must be face up in the suit piles to win. All four Kings will be at the top of the foundations.

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Solitaire is a card game that you play by yourself. You only need a standard deck of 52 cards to play, so it’s a great game to play when traveling alone or just when you are bored and want something to do.

There are a lot of different types of solitaire you can play. On this page we will describe how to set up and play a game of Klondike Solitaire.

Setting Up the Cards for Solitaire

The first thing to do is deal out the cards into seven columns (see the picture below). The first column on the left has one card, the second column has two cards, the third has three cards. This continues for the rest of the seven columns including seven cards in the seventh column. The top card in each column is turned face up, the rest of the cards are face down.

How to play solitaire

The remaining cards go face down in a single stack called the stock pile. You can start a new stack, called the waist stack, by turning the top three cards of the stock pile over.

The Object of the Game in Solitaire

The goal of the game is to move all of the cards to the “foundations” these are four additional stacks of cards. At the start of the game these stacks are empty. Each stack represents a suit (hearts, clubs, etc). They must be stacked by suit and in order, starting with the Ace, then the 2, 3, 4,…..ending with the Queen and then King.

Playing the Game of Solitaire

Cards that are face up and showing may be moved from the stock pile or the columns to the foundation stacks or to other columns.

To move a card to a column, it must be one less in rank and the opposite color. For example, if it was a 9 of hearts (red), you could put an 8 of spades or clubs onto it. Stacks of cards may be moved from one column to another as long as they maintain the same order (highest to lowest, alternating colors).

If you get an empty column, you can start a new column with a King. Any new column must be started with a King (or a stack of cards that starts with a King).

To get new cards from the stock pile, you turn three cards at a time face up into the stack next to the stock pile called the waist stack. You can only play the top card off the waist stack. If you run out of stock cards, turn the waist stack over to make a new stock pile and start again, pulling the top three cards off, turning them over, and starting a new waist stack.

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