Klondike Solitaire

Klondike Solitaire: Rules, History, and Winning Tips

Getting distracted from your daily routine and improving your logical thinking at the same time is possible with the Klondike solitaire game. Learning the game’s fundamentals won’t take much time, and you’ll understand the amazing features even better after playing a few deals.

On our website, you can play Klondike solitaire online for free, no registration is needed. But first, let’s review the most basic rules of Klondike solitaire, detailed winning strategies, and a few more interesting facts.

Introduction to Klondike Solitaire

Solitaire Klondike is the most basic or classic version of solitaire. It is mostly known due to Microsoft. It was pre-installed in the Windows OS in the 1990s and was one of the most popular computer games at that time. 

Today, you can play free Klondike solitaire online in numerous styles. Still, Klondike solitaire always has a recognizable cascading layout. When you play the game, you have to build specific sequences and clear the tableau and stock (the rest of the deck) while following several rules. The game is considered to be won when all the foundation piles are built in the required order — from aces to kings.

Why is the game called Klondike solitaire?

In fact, Klondike solitaire is not the only name of this game. Initially, it was called ‘patience,’ and sometimes this name is heard nowadays as well. Klondike solitaire is also sometimes called American Patience or Canfield.

However, Klondike solitaire has become the most popular name for this game. The most convincing theory states that its origins come from the time of the Gold Rush when lots of people headed to Klondike (Canada) to try their luck in gold mining. History says those people liked to play card games in their leisure time, including solitaire. The original version of Klondike solitaire was “turn 3” when three cards were revealed from stock at a time. Later, the “turn 1” version appeared as well.

How to Play Klondike Solitaire

Here, we’ll review two options, whether you want to play Klondike solitaire with a physical 52-card deck or try and play the free Klondike Solitaire game online.

How to Set Up the Game

If you play Klondike solitaire with real cards, you start by arranging the deck into a correct layout. It involves the following elements:

Process of a Klondike Solitaire Game

If you are not familiar with the game and want to play solitaire online for free, Klondike is the best option to start with. It has a moderate level of difficulty and is simple to grasp.

So, you’ve set up the layout or got it arranged automatically when you play online. Now, your goal is to build the four foundation piles by suit. Here are some rules you have to know to play.

  1. Initially, only one card in each column is face up. Once you move it, the next card  is revealed.
  2. In Klondike solitaire, you can move a card to another card of alternating color and if it is one rank higher. All the sequences in the tableau are built in descending order.
  3. The foundations, on the other hand, are built in ascending order. They start with aces, then twos, and proceed to the kings — all of the same suit.
  4. You can move the whole sequences around the tableau if they meet the above criteria of alternation and ranking.
  5. If any column gets empty, you can only fill it with a king.
  6. You can start using stock at any moment. If you don’t need the revealed card, it goes to the waste pile nearby.
  7. If scoring doesn’t matter to you, you can also get a top card from foundations back to the tableau if it allows you to make an amazing sequence and reveal as well as clear way more cards. However, if scoring matters to you, avoid this move because it is quite ‘expensive.’

What is the 1st move of Klondike Solitaire?

There are at least two major opinions on how you should start to play the Klondike solitaire game to increase the chances of success. Let’s review them in more detail:

What is the difference between Klondike solitaire turn 1 and turn 3?

Some prefer to play Klondike solitaire one turn, free online games offer such an opportunity. This option is simpler than the turn three game and is more suitable for beginners.

You can try to play different types of free Klondike Solitaire (no download is required) to find out which option of the game is more convenient for you.

Klondike Solitaire Varieties

Klondike is a self-sufficient solitaire type itself, so the varieties of this game refer to its rules only. For example, you can choose between turn 1 and turn 3 options when you play a free online solitaire Klondike game. Also, you can choose to use timing or play without it. In addition, there is a less popular double solitaire variation of Klondike. It is played with another person when everyone has their own 52-card deck, and the winner is the one building the four foundations first and scoring more.

However, there are many other solitaire games similar to Klondike. The closest one is Freecell. It has all the cards face-up in the tableau and offers players four additional free cells. There, you can store unnecessary cards or the ones that disrupt your sequences at the moment.

Another commonly known solitaire game is Spider. Unlike Klondike solitaire, you play this game with two decks and requires players to create whole descending sequences by suit in the tableau. Then, the cards can be moved to the foundations.

Klondike Solitaire: More about the Game

When you play Solitaire free online, Klondike may seem to be the simplest one. Still, remember that it is not hassle-free because not all Klondike solitaire deals are winnable. Yes, sometimes you may spend lots of time going through the stockpile and trying different approaches, but the game won’t be won.

Nevertheless, the probability of getting a winnable Klondike Solitaire game is quite high — about 82%. To help you make the most from this percentage and increase your chances to succeed in each of these winnable Klondike solitaire games, we’ve gathered several amazing strategies below.

11 Winning Strategies for Klondike Solitaire

Do you think you are ready to play solitaire Klondike for free online? Check this list of strategies first, and you’ll be totally prepared to play the game.

Check the tableau carefully

So many solitaire games failed just because players missed a few or even one available card. Always check the tableau carefully, especially if you are a novice player. With time, you’ll get trained to remember the positions of cards and see sequences faster. But at first, take some time to check every column and imagine if any card or group of cards can be moved.

Check the foundations regularly

Sometimes, you might pour from the empty into the void just because you miss an important detail. Have a look at the foundation piles. Probably, that odd card can be moved there, giving you a chance to create new sequences. So, monitor the situation in the final piles after every few moves. And remember that in Klondike solitaire, the cards from stock can be transferred to the foundations bypassing the tableau if they suit there.

Don’t empty the column if you don’t have an available king

According to Klondike solitaire rules, there is only one type of card that can fill the empty cell. So, unless you have an available king, avoid making such moves. Otherwise, the tableau will shrink, giving you fewer opportunities to build the card chains.

Mind the king card’s color

It is a solitaire pro tip for those who think a few moves ahead. When having two kings — a red and a black one — at your disposal, first pay attention to other cards available for moves. Also, check which ones will become available when you move any of these kings. For example, you might have a red queen and a black jack, or they will become open. In this case, placing the black king in the empty cell is the best decision for the game flow.

Use the stockpile wisely

There is no need to rush and play only stockpile cards once you reveal them. Once you move a card from stock to the tableau, first check the new opportunities you might have with this updated layout. The game is also called ‘patience’ for a reason. Once all the available moves are made, reveal the next card. If you skip the step of checking the tableau, you may end up having lots of face-down cards because all the face-up cards will come from stock.

Choose longer columns

Whenever you have two or more options to make a move of relatively the same value, consider moving a card from the longer column. Of course, you should check for the rest of the situation in the tableau and not make unreasonable moves. But still, in Klondike solitaire, it is better to focus on longer columns and play them first. The more cards you reveal in the tableau, the more moves you’ll have, and the more possibilities the stockpile will bring.

Select the moves that reveal more cards

Imagine you have a black six and two red fives. Moving one of them will let you make three or four extra moves that you can see already. Moreover, new cards will be revealed during those moves. On the other hand, the second five allows you to make only one more move or reveal one card. In such a case, the first five should be your choice. It can start the chain of winning moves!

Make every move purposeful

Make sure every move you make during the game opens new opportunities instead of blocking the layout. Do not rush and think of Klondike solitaire as a game similar to chess since you have to predict the sequences of moves and their impact. Check for all the cards in the tableau, use the stockpile, and monitor the situation permanently. Moreover, you can expand the game layout by using the available top cards in the foundations. For example, if you are sure that taking a card back in the tableau will allow you to clear three more cards in a few moves, this thick is worth it.

Move aces and twos immediately

Despite all the Klondike solitaire strategies, predictions, and assumptions, there are cards that should be cleared immediately. Aces and twos won’t help you create any long successful chains but will hamper your game flow if left in the tableau. Check for these cards and make sure you put them to the foundations as soon as they are available. Moreover, this tip makes it simpler to build the foundations. Once you put aces and twos there, it becomes simpler to clear the next-ranking cards as well.

Leave some cards in the tableau for longer

If any card that can be already moved to the foundations can serve you a bit longer, don’t clear it immediately. Sometimes, such cards can help you create great sequences that will help you clear a lot more cards to the foundation piles. So, check for all the options, try to predict a few moves ahead, and if there is obviously no reason to keep that card, move it to the foundations.

Use the undo option and hints

Online Klondike solitaire offers two amazing options: the undo button and a chance to use hints. Undo allows you to replay some moves knowing the consequences of the previous strategy. Hints allow you to notice some moves you might miss in difficult layouts. It is not very exciting to play Klondike solitaire by using only hints and not exploring the moves by yourself. But this tip can help beginners a lot. Note that if scoring matters to you, undo and hints may take some points and affect the final number.

Benefits of Klondike Solitaire

Klondike solitaire is just a game but it also comes with some benefits for your cognitive functioning. For instance, it can boost your attention, concentration, visual memory, and can improve your strategic thinking. It is a good activity to refer to when you want to distract yourself after a long working day, in transport, or when waiting in line.

Klondike solitaire also boosts decision-making skills. When you play this game, you have to think fast but remain patient. You also have to weigh different approaches, create strategies, and get ready for surprises. Somehow, the habit of doing so in the game can positively affect your daily life. You can get more focused and organized.

In Conclusion

Klondike solitaire is a simple game to play and a fun way to spend some leisure time. In addition, it comes with certain benefits, which makes it even more appealing. On our website, you can play Klondike solitaire for free and try all the winning strategies we’ve discussed above.