Solitaire is a popular single-player card game that has been enjoyed for centuries. The game’s objective is to move all of the cards from the tableau to the foundation piles, according to certain rules. There are many variations of solitaire, each with their own unique set of rules and gameplay.
In this article, we will be discussing the general rules of solitaire. These rules apply to most variations of the game and will provide a solid foundation for players to build on.
Setting up the game
To set up a game of solitaire, a standard deck of 52 cards is needed. The deck should be shuffled thoroughly before beginning.
Once the deck is shuffled, seven tableau piles are created. The first pile contains one card, the second pile contains two cards (with the second card face up), the third pile contains three cards (with the third card face up), and so on until the seventh pile, which contains seven cards (with the seventh card face up).
The remaining cards are placed face down in the stock pile. The top card of the stock pile is turned over and placed face up next to the stock pile. This card begins the waste pile.
Finally, four foundation piles are created. These piles are initially empty and will be used to build the four suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades) in ascending order from Ace to King.
The objective of the game is to move all the cards from the tableau to the foundation piles. Cards can be moved from one tableau pile to another, or to the foundation piles, according to certain rules.
Cards in the tableau piles can only be moved if they are face up and if the card being moved is of the opposite color and one rank higher than the card it is being placed on. For example, a red eight can only be placed on a black nine. Once a card is moved from a tableau pile, the card underneath it becomes face up and can be played if it meets the same criteria.
Cards in the waste pile can also be played on the tableau piles or the foundation piles. However, only the top card in the waste pile can be played. Once this card is played, the next card in the waste pile is turned over and becomes the new top card.
If there are no more cards in the stock pile, the waste pile is turned over and becomes the new stock pile. This can only be done once during the game.
Cards in the foundation piles can only be added in ascending order and must be of the same suit. For example, the first card played in the heart foundation pile must be an Ace of Hearts, followed by a Two of Hearts, then a Three of Hearts, and so on until the King of Hearts is played.
Winning the game
The game is won when all cards have been moved from the tableau to the foundation piles. This requires strategic planning and careful movement of the cards in the tableau.
It is important to prioritize moving cards from the tableau to the foundation piles as quickly as possible. This will free up space in the tableau, allowing more cards to be moved and increasing the chances of winning the game.
It is also important to pay attention to the cards in the waste pile and stock pile. These cards can often be used to create new moves and should not be overlooked.
Variations of Solitaire
There are countless variations of solitaire, each with its own unique set of rules and gameplay. Some of the most popular variations include:
- Klondike Solitaire: This is the most common variation of solitaire and is often simply referred to as “solitaire.” In this game, the tableau is set up as described above, and the objective is to move all cards to the foundation piles in ascending order, starting with Ace and ending with King. The game is won when all cards have been moved to the foundation piles.
- Spider Solitaire: This variation of solitaire is played with two decks of cards and ten tableau piles. The cards are dealt in sets of ten, with the first four sets being dealt face down and the final six sets being dealt face up. The objective is to create sequences of cards in descending order, regardless of suit, and move them to the foundation piles.
- Freecell Solitaire: In this variation of solitaire, all 52 cards are dealt face up into eight tableau piles. The objective is to move all cards to the foundation piles in ascending order, starting with Ace and ending with King. However, unlike other variations of solitaire, any card can be moved to an empty tableau pile.
- Pyramid Solitaire: This variation of solitaire is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and a pyramid-shaped tableau. The objective is to remove pairs of cards that add up to 13. Cards that are not covered by other cards in the tableau can be played to the foundation piles.
- Tripeaks Solitaire: This variation of solitaire is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and three tableau piles. The cards are arranged in three peaks, with each peak descending from the top card to the bottom card. The objective is to move all cards to the foundation piles in ascending order, starting with Ace and ending with King.
While the rules of each variation of solitaire may differ, the basic principles of the game remain the same. The player must strategically move cards from the tableau to the foundation piles, paying close attention to the cards in the waste pile and stock pile.
Solitaire is a timeless game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. By following the general rules outlined in this article, players can develop a strong foundation for playing and winning solitaire. Whether playing Klondike, Spider, Freecell, Pyramid, or Tripeaks solitaire, the game provides a fun and challenging way to pass the time.