Learn to Play Solitaire: Rules & Tips

Solitaire is a classic card game that has stood the test of time, providing hours of entertainment for players of all ages. Known for its simple gameplay and captivating strategy, this solo card game has several variations, with Klondike Solitaire being the most popular. Whether you're an experienced player looking to refresh your memory or a beginner eager to learn the ropes, familiarizing yourself with the basics of Solitaire will ensure you have a great time playing.

The objective of Solitaire is to create four piles of cards, one for each suit, in ascending order from Ace to King. Setting up the game requires arranging a standard 52-card deck into a tableau consisting of seven columns, with cards in each column overlapping each other. As you play, the goal is to expose hidden cards, move them around the tableau, and eventually reveal all the cards by forming the foundation piles.

In order to win, you'll need a good grasp of the rules and an understanding of how to strategize. As you build your skills, you might want to explore different platforms to play Solitaire, such as computer games, mobile apps, and physical cards. Trying out different variations of the game can also offer new challenges to keep you engaged and sharpen your abilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Solitaire is a classic, engaging card game with numerous variations, suitable for all ages.
  • The objective involves creating four foundation piles in ascending order while maneuvering cards in the tableau.
  • Mastering the rules and exploring different platforms and variations can enhance your Solitaire playing experience.

Playing the card game Solitaire
Rule of Card Logo Icon
Players 1 Player
Difficulty 2/10
Recommended Age 8+
Game Category Solitaire


First things first, grab a standard deck of 52 playing cards, making sure to exclude the jokers. The deck consists of four suits: clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts. Now, follow these steps to set up the game:


Lay out your cards in seven columns.

  • The first column has one card, placed face-up.
  • For each subsequent column, place one more card than the previous column, face-down. The last card of the column is face-up.
  • For example, your second column will have one face-up card and one face-down card. The third column will have one face-up card and two face-down cards, so on and so forth.

Here’s a brief look at what the layout should resemble:

ColumnFace Up CardsFace Down Cards
11 Card0 Cards
21 Card1 Card
31 Card2 Cards
41 Card3 Cards
51 Card4 Cards
61 Card5 Cards
71 Card6 Cards


Set the remaining cards aside as your stockpile.


Now that your table is set, let’s talk about your objective.

Your goal is to create four piles of cards – one per suit – in ascending order (beginning with Ace and ending with King). These are called foundation piles.

So, think of it like this: you’ll want to move the cards around your tableau and onto your foundations until you’ve arranged all the cards by suit and in sequence.

The game is won when you’ve successfully arranged all the cards in the foundations, starting with the aces and ending with the kings. You’re ready to begin your Solitaire adventure.

Remember to stay relaxed and have fun while you play. Good luck, and enjoy the game!

How to Play and Win

Playing solitaire is a perfect way to pass the time. Don’t worry, it’s a simple game, but it does require a bit of patience and skill. Let’s dive into the rules and some winning strategies to help you improve your game.

First, set up your tableau with seven piles. Start from the left, place the first card faceup and deal one card facedown for the other six piles. The second pile gets another faceup card on top, while the rest get facedown cards. Repeat this process until the last pile has a faceup card on top of seven facedown cards.

You can only move cards in descending order and alternating colors. For example, you could move a red 4 on top of a black 5. Make these moves where you can to uncover opportunities to build towards your foundations. When you can’t move any more cards, draw from the stockpile to reveal new cards to play with.

Now that you’ve got the basics, let’s talk about some strategies to help you win. Start by exposing the hidden cards in the tableau. Turn over a new card from the stockpile only when there are no other moves available. When placing a card onto the foundation piles, take care to maintain access to necessary cards in the tableau.

Keep an eye on the kings. Be strategic when uncovering a king and placing it on an empty tableau space. Considering how kings can block other cards, it’s essential to weigh your options before making that move. Don’t forget to make use of empty tableau spaces to move cards.

Remember, solitaire is a game of both luck and skill. While your strategies might provide some advantage, there will be times when success is out of your control. Exercise patience and keep practicing. You’ll soon notice your Solitaire skills improving, one game at a time. Good luck!

Playing on Different Platforms and Variations

Playing solitaire is a fun and relaxing way to pass the time, and there are plenty of platforms and variations for you to try out. No matter your age or skill level, there’s a solitaire game aimed at you.

You can play many different types of solitaire games on your PC or even on your smartphone. Some popular variations include Classic SolitaireFreecellSpider Solitaire, and Pyramid Solitaire. These games can be found on various websites or even as part of your PC’s built-in experience. For those who prefer a more social experience, there are plenty of solitaire apps to explore with fun challenges.

One interesting thing about solitaire is that it has different names and rules in various countries, such as England and Germany. This means that you might come across unique variations as you explore solitaire games across the globe.

Here’s a quick list of some popular solitaire variations and their unique features:

  • Classic Solitaire: The traditional game most of us know, played with a standard 52-card deck and simple rules.
  • Freecell: Similar to classic solitaire, but with four free cells that can temporarily hold cards, increasing your strategic options.
  • Spider Solitaire: Uses two decks of cards and requires you to arrange cards in descending order, regardless of suit, with an end goal of arranging complete suits in the foundation piles.
  • Pyramid: A more challenging variation where you match pairs of cards that total 13 to remove them from the pyramid, aiming to clear the entire structure.

No matter which variation you choose, solitaire offers endless fun and a chance to improve your strategy skills. And, with so many platforms and settings available, you can customize your solitaire experience to your preferences. So grab your favorite deck (or browser) and dive into the world of solitaire games!

Related Card Games

If you enjoy playing Solitaire, you may also enjoy these similar card games: