Solitaire is one of the most popular card games to play by yourself. Also known as patience, the solitaire card game can be played with cards or online.
So, how do you play solitaire? What are the rules of patience? There are several different ways to play patience, from the classic solitaire card game to pyramid solitaire and FreeCell.
Rules of Solitaire
If you want to know how to play patience with cards, you first have to understand the rules of the game.
Standard solitaire is played with a regular deck of cards. There are also online solitaire games that you can play for free. Here’s how to play solitaire with cards.
Although there are several variations of solitaire, the rules and objectives are generally the same. The board will consist of foundations off of which you will build piles of cards in sequential order (ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.).
The game is played with a standard 52-card deck. If you’re playing solitaire online, the computer will take care of dealing for you.
How to Set Up Solitaire
When setting up regular solitaire, there are four different types of piles:
- Tableau: Seven main piles.
- Foundations: Four piles under which the four suits are built. With most variations of the game, aces make up the base of the foundations.
- Foundation piles consist of the four suits (clubs, hearts, diamonds and spades).
- The Talon: Also known as the “waste” pile. Cards that do not fit on the tableau are placed in this pile face up.
- The Stock: Also known as the “hand” pile. These are cards that are brought into play according to the rules of the game (varies with different types).
To create the tableau, create seven piles starting from left to right. The card in the first pile should be face-up, while all others are face down. Staring from the first pile, move again from left to right, but this time, place the face-up card in the second pile. Continue in this fashion until the seventh pile has a face-up card on top and six cards facing down.
Whatever cards are left become the stock pile. Any cards that don’t make it into the tableau are moved into the talon pile.
Cards are transferred to the tableau to build sequences. When aces come up, they are placed in one of the foundation piles. Each foundation is built in sequence and by suit, from ace through king.
How to Win Solitaire
If this is your first time playing this game, you may be wondering how to win at solitaire.
Solitaire is won when each foundation has a complete sequence.
How to Play Solitaire: Variations of the Game
You now know how to play classic solitaire, but there are several versions of basic solitaire. The rules are generally the same, but the way in which the cards are laid out and played may be different.
Types of Solitaire
There are many different variations of the game of patience. A few of these variations include:
Klondike is one of the most popular versions of solitaire. The objective of the game is to get all four suits from aces through kings.
Klondike Patience Card Game Rules
Deal 28 cards and lay them out into four piles as follows:
- 1 card in the first pile
- 2 cards in the second pile
- 3 cards in the third
- 4 cards in the fourth
- Continue in this fashion until you reach seven piles
- The top card of each pile should be face up, and all other cards should be face down
- The four aces form the foundations for this game.
- As they become available, aces must be played to the row above the piles.
- The goal is to fill the suit from ace to king in order (2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).
- Movable cards can be placed on cards of the next rank if they are opposite colours (example: a black six can be played on a red five).
- If multiple cards are face up in a pile, the entire group of face-up cards must be moved together as a single unit.
- Once there is no face-up card on the pile, the face-down card will be turned up and become playable.
- Only kings may fill open spaces in the piles.
The game is won when all four piles have complete suits from ace through king.
A popular type of online solitaire is FreeCell. This solitaire game is different from others in that all cards are dealt face-up, and virtually all deals are solvable. For this reason, FreeCell is considered an easy solitaire. You can play this solitaire card game online or on a desktop PC.
How to Play Patience Card Game FreeCell
- A basic 52-card deck is used.
- The layout includes four open cells and four open foundation piles.
- Deal the cards, face-up, into eight cascades.
- Four cascades should have seven cards.
- The other four cascades should have six cards.
- The top card in each cascade forms a tableau.
- Each tableau is built down and using alternating colours.
- Foundations will be built by suits.
FreeCell is won when all cards are moved to their foundation piles.
Pyramid is a variation of patience online, but the layout of the cards and the rules vary slightly from old fashioned solitaire. As the name suggests, the cards are laid out to form a pyramid. The objective is to get all of the cards from the pyramid into the foundation.
How to Play Solitaire Pyramid
- 28 cards are dealt and placed into a pyramid arrangement (6 rows).
- Remaining cards are the stock and are placed on the side face down.
- Cards are moved from the pyramid in pairs that add up to 13.
- Jacks are 11, Queens are 12 and Kings are 13.
- Kings can be removed immediately to a foundation.
- Cards can only be removed if they are uncovered. If a 2 sits on 3, the 3 cannot be removed.
- Cards can be drawn from the stock pile and paired with exposed cards. Any stock cards that don’t have matches are moved into the foundation.
- Once the stock pile is empty or it’s no longer possible to make pairs, the game ends.
To win this solitaire card game online, you must move all of the solitaire cards in the pyramid into the foundation.
As you can see, there are many versions of classic solitaire online. You can play free basic solitaire, but you can also play the above-listed variations online. Some versions, like FreeCell, are primarily played online or on PCs rather than with a standard deck of cards.