Tick Tock, Tick Tock: Becoming a Pro at the Timeless Clock Solitaire Game

Clock solitaire, also known as Around the Clock solitaire or Grandfather’s Clock, is a cherished card game enjoyed by generations of players. The game objective is clear: reveal all 52 cards from the deck and place them in their corresponding positions within a layout resembling a clock face. Clock solitaire is easy to learn, yet its unique challenges keep players captivated for hours. With a variety of free online Clock solitaire platforms available, anyone can experience the classic solitaire Clock game on their preferred device.

All About Clock Solitaire

Clock solitaire is an easy-to-learn game suitable for players of all skill levels. The game requires a standard 52-card deck, which is arranged in a circle to represent a clock face, with an additional central pile for the Kings. The game objective is to reveal and place all cards in their corresponding positions on the clock face.

One advantage of Clock solitaire is its relatively quick gameplay, with each game typically lasting a few minutes. This makes it an ideal choice for players seeking a fast game to fit into their busy schedules or for those wanting a short break from work or other activities.

Clock solitaire also has minimal setup requirements – just a deck of cards and a flat surface for card arrangement. This makes Clock solitaire an excellent choice for players who want a game with little setup and organization. It's suitable for players of all ages, and its simple rules make it enjoyable for both children and adults. As a result, it's an ideal game for family game nights or playing with friends.

Furthermore, Clock solitaire can be played with a physical deck of cards or online, making the game accessible to everyone. Those who prefer the traditional experience of playing with a physical deck can do so easily, while others who favor the convenience of online play can find numerous websites and apps offering the game.

Understanding Clock Solitaire Rules

Clock solitaire is a simple yet engaging solitaire game that involves organizing cards in a clock-like arrangement.

Don't be discouraged if you don't win, as the odds of winning Clock solitaire are only 1 in 13, or 7.6%, making it even more challenging than Scorpion solitaire, which was once considered the hardest game.

How to Play Clock Solitaire

Here are the rules on how you should play your game of traditional Clock solitaire:

  1. Deal

  2. Distribute the entire deck, face down, into thirteen equal piles, with four cards in each pile.

  3. Arrange the cards

  4. Place 12 stacks in a circle, resembling a clock face, and put the 13th stack in the center. Remember that each pile corresponds to a number on a clock face, with 12 at the top. Each number card matches its respective number (2 at 2 o'clock, etc.). The face cards are as follows: Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 13. 

  5. Opening move

  6. Flip over the top card of the 13th (middle) stack to start the game.

  7. Next step

  8. Put the card you just flipped, face up, beneath the pile that corresponds to it on the clock face. Then, turn over the top card of that pile. For example, if the first card revealed is a three, place it face up under the 3 pile and turn over the top card of the 3 pile. The game proceeds in the same manner. 

  9. Win or lose

  10. If the player successfully completes all 12 four-of-a-kind sets before finishing the King set, they win the game. If the four Kings are revealed first, they lose.

  11. Final note about playing Clock solitaire

If the last face-down card in a stack belongs to the same stack (for example, a 4 at four o'clock), the game isn't over. Simply continue playing by moving to the next available number clockwise in the circle.

How to Succeed in the Game

The key to Clock solitaire success is all about attention and luck. Players should focus on the cards in the tableau, as these will be the ones they need to move to their corresponding clock number positions. It is essential to keep track of the cards' positions and remember the order in which they need to be placed.

Given the low odds of winning Clock solitaire (1/13 or 7.6%), patience and persistence are crucial. Players should not be discouraged if they don't win immediately; even the most experienced solitaire players can’t always win this game.

When all cards are face up and correctly placed in their corresponding clock number piles, the game is won. However, if all four Kings are facing up before all other cards are in their correct piles, the game is lost.

Different Clock Solitaire Variations

Should you find the traditional Clock solitaire game too simple, there are a number of engaging alternatives available. In certain variations, the goal is not just to arrange cards in piles of four-of-a-kind, but also to alternate card colors as you stack them. For example, a red Ace would be placed on top of a black Ace and vice versa. This additional challenge brings a new level of complexity to the game. To adapt to this rule, you may want to introduce a waste pile for instances where no cards can be placed. Generally, players are allowed to reshuffle the waste pile a maximum of two times before the game ends. Nonetheless, the majority of games conclude before the waste pile is fully exhausted.

Online Clock solitaire

The online version of the game can offer additional features such as various clock faces, scoring systems, and time limits. Online game versions can be played on a computer or mobile device, often providing a more visually appealing and interactive experience than playing with a physical deck of cards. Some online versions may also offer multiplayer options, allowing players to compete against each other in real-time. Online Clock solitaire is an excellent way to enjoy the game from the comfort of your own home and can add an extra level of excitement to the game.

Mastering Clock Solitaire

Clock solitaire is a game primarily determined by luck, but there are still ways to find the way around the Clock solitaire game increase your chances of winning. Here are some tips to help you master Clock solitaire:

Remember, mastering the Clock solitaire card game is a combination of understanding the game's mechanics, practicing regularly, and maintaining a positive attitude. With patience and persistence, you can improve your gameplay and increase your chances of victory.

Strategies for Clock Solitaire Success

With Clock solitaire, there are no strategies for winning. However, we have come up with some tips and tricks for you to think about when playing the game. Most of all just have fun and enjoy yourself! 

  1. Pay attention to the revealed card: The top card of the draw pile is crucial for determining your next move. Focus on the revealed card and plan your moves based on its value and suit.
  2. Utilize the draw pile strategically: Use the draw pile to reveal cards that can be played next or to establish empty tableau spaces. Avoid unnecessarily revealing cards and conserve the draw pile as a backup option.
  3. Think ahead: Anticipating future moves is essential in Clock solitaire. Aim to plan at least two or three moves in advance and adjust your strategy as needed.
  4. Maintain patience: Clock solitaire can be a challenging game, and it's common to feel frustrated when you're stuck. Stay patient, and concentrate on making the most optimal move with the cards available to you.


Clock solitaire, a captivating and timeless solitaire game, can be relished by individuals of all ages and skill levels. By adhering to its straightforward rules and applying a few strategies, players can enhance their chances of successfully completing the game. Clock solitaire provides an enjoyable and calming pastime, whether played with a physical deck of cards or an online version.

The game's allure stems from its blend of simplicity and challenge, making it an excellent choice for a brief respite or a longer gaming session. Its minimal setup requirements and adaptability make it an ideal option for players on the move or those who appreciate a conventional, hands-on experience.

So, when searching for an engaging and easy-to-learn game, look no further than Clock solitaire. With practice, patience, and strategic thinking, you can master this classic game and revel in the triumph of overcoming the clock. Enjoy your gaming experience!