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Online Solitaire 101 - A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Solitaire

Solitaire online is a great card game.

Solitaire online is one of the most popular card games across the globe, rivalling poker, blackjack and some of the other great ways of betting at your favourite online casinos

It’s part of the same retro game crew that features minesweeper and the like – the sort that gamers from the 90s adore. 

But solitaire is more than just a kitsch freebie that comes with your Windows computer, it’s one of the most varied card games out there, one that’s suitable for newbies and experienced gamers alike. 

This guide to everything you need to know about solitaire will show you why it’s a card game that’s fun, challenging and worth you spending a little of your time playing. 

What type of card game is solitaire?  

Solitaire is the name given to a group of card games that can be played by a single person. You do not need any other participants in order to have a session of solitaire, it’s you against the game.

Many solitaire games use a 52 card deck of cards (Jokers removed from the pack), though, some play with multiple decks. The object of solitaire online games is to order the cards by moving them over a tableau (a surface where piles of cards rest). 

The cards will usually be ordered based on the suit and/or card ranking. However, the exact order will depend on the specific type of solitaire you are playing. There are many different versions of solitaire, which will be covered in this guide.

It’s important to note that solitaire is the North American term for the game – Europeans play peg solitaire, which is a strategy board game where pegs are moved across a playing surface with holes on it. The aim is to end with one peg in the middle hole. 

Solitaire in North America & patience in Europe 

In Europe, the card game solitaire is known as patience, so-called because it is a game that requires a patient approach from the people that play it.

While the game may have a different name based on which side of the pond it’s played, solitaire (North America) or patience (Europe), when people talk about playing the card game version of solitaire they’re generally referring to Klondike.  

Klondike (sometimes known as European patience) is such a popular version of solitaire that it has become the broad description for a 52 card deck game of patience – Klondike is said to get its name from gold rush prospectors based in the northwest Canadian region, Klondike, Yukon.  

In summary, solitaire means a few different things and its precise definition depends on the region of the world you’re in. However, as a general rule, when people talk about the game of solitaire they mean Klondike solitaire. 

A guide to how to play solitaire online

As the most popular version of the game, the best way to learn how to play solitaire online is to get to grips with Klondike solitaire – it’s the classic type and one that’s played by millions of people across the world. 

What is Klondike solitaire?  

Klondike solitaire is a card game that people have been playing since the late 19th century – prospectors from the Klondike region of Canada loved playing it, hence the name of the game. 

Klondike solitaire is played by one person and using one deck of 52 cards. The player essentially competes against their own ability to follow the rules and object of the game, which is to rank the pack of cards into four ascending columns from ace to king, with one column for each suit (hearts, clubs, diamonds, and spades). 

How do you play Klondike solitaire online? 

You begin Klondike solitaire by dealing the 52 cards into seven columns. These are laid out from left to right and each of the following columns has one more card than the previous one – the first column has one face-up card and the last has six face-down cards and one face-up. 

Once all the cards have been positioned on the tableau (the surface on which the cards rest) you can begin the game by moving cards between columns – you can see a detailed instruction of how to do this by watching the following video:

 

A brief guide to who Klondike solitaire online is best for

Klondike solitaire is the classic version of the game – it’s what people are generally referring to when they speak of solitaire. All other versions stem from Klondike solitaire, making it the ideal starting point for someone who wants to try their hand at playing online solitaire for the first time. 

A quick guide to the different versions of Klondike solitaire online

As the most popular type of online solitaire, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are many different versions of Klondike solitaire – below we’ve listed some of the best ones for you to try: 

  • Aces Up: begins with 21 cards being dealt into seven columns of three 

  • Nine Across: uses nine columns of cards, instead of the standard seven 

  • Whitehead: all of the cards are dealt face-up in this version of Klondike solitaire

Guide to the different versions of solitaire online games 

Solitaire is a game with lots of names. But that’s not all, solitaire also has one of the greatest numbers of versions for any card game, whether played online or offline. Indeed, there are so many variants of solitaire that Wikipedia lists 230 different types. We’ve listed these below, grouped alphabetically. 

Solitaire online games A-C

Solitaire Games Starting With A

Solitaire Games Starting With B

Solitaire Games Starting With C

Accordion

Babette

Calculation

Aces and Kings

Backbone

Canfield (US) / Demon (UK)

Aces Up (Loser Solitaire)

Baker's Dozen

Capricieuse

Acme

Baker's Game

Captive Queens, see Quadrille

Addiction, see Gaps

Baroness

Carpet

Agnes I (Sorel)

Batsford

Casket

Agnes II (Bernauer)

Beetle

The Castle of Indolence, see Beleaguered Castle

Alaska

Beleaguered Castle (Laying Siege, Sham Battle)

Castles in Spain

Algerian

Betsy Ross

Chameleon

Alhambra

Big Ben

Chessboard

All in a Row

Bisley

Citadel

Alternation

Black Hole

Clock, see Big Ben

Amazons

Blockade

The Clock

American Toad

Bowling

Clock Patience

Archway

Box Kite

Clown Solitaire, see Gaps

Auld Lang Syne

Braid, see Herring-Bone

Colorado

Australian Patience

Bristol

Colours

 

British Constitution

Congress

 

British Square

Contradance

   

Corners

   

Corona

   

Courtyard

   

Crazy Quilt

   

Crescent

   

Cribbage Solitaire

   

Cribbage Square

   

Cruel

   

Curds and Whey

   

Czarina

Solitaire online games D-F

Solitaire Games Starting With D

Solitaire Games Starting With E

Solitaire Games Starting With F

Decade

Eagle Wing

Five Piles

Deuces

Easthaven (Klondike)

Flower Garden

Diplomat

Easthaven (Westcliff)

Fly

Double Klondike

Eight Off

Following

Double or Quits

Elevens

Fortress

Duchess

Emperor

Fortune's Favor

Duchess de Luynes, see Grand Duchess

 

Four Corners (Les Quatres Coins)

   

Four Seasons

   

Fourteen Out

   

FreeCell

   

Frog

Solitaire online games G-I

Solitaire Games Starting With G

Solitaire Games Starting With H

Solitaire Games Starting With I

Gaps

Harp

Imaginary Thirteen

Gargantua

Heads And Tails

Indian

Gate

Herring-Bone (* Long Braid)

Interregnum

Gavotte

Herz zu Herz

Intrigue

Gay Gordons

Hide-and-Seek

 

German Patience

Hit or Miss

 

Glencoe

   

Golf

   

Good Measure

   

Grand Duchess

   

Grandfather's Clock

   

Solitaire online games J-L

Solitaire Games Starting With J

Solitaire Games Starting With K

Solitaire Games Starting With L

Josephine

King Albert

La Belle Lucie

Jubilee

King's Audience

La Croix d'Honneur

 

Klondike (Canfield)

Labyrinth

   

Ladybug

   

Laggard Lady

   

Leoni's Own

   

Limited

   

Little Spider

   

Louis

   

Lucas

Solitaire online games M-O

Solitaire Games Starting With M

Solitaire Games Starting With N

Solitaire Games Starting With O

Maria

Narcotic

Odd and Even

Martha

Napoleon at St Helena (Forty Thieves)

One-Handed Solitaire

Matrimony

Napoleon's Square

Osmosis

Maze

Nertz+ (Racing Demon, Pounce)

 

Miss Milligan

Nestor

 

Montana

Ninety-One

 

Monte Carlo

Nivernaise

 

Moojub

Number Ten

 

Mount Olympus

   

Mrs. Mop

   

Solitaire online games P-R

Solitaire Games Starting With P

Solitaire Games Starting With Q

Solitaire Games Starting With R

Päckchen

Quadrille (Captive Queens)

Rainbow

Parallels

Queen of Italy

Rank and File

Parisienne

 

Red and Black

Pas de Deux

 

Rouge et Noir

PatienceMax

 

Royal Cotillion

Patriarchs

 

Royal Flush

Peek

 

Royal Marriage

Penguin

 

Royal Parade

Perpetual Motion

 

Royal Rendezvous

Perseverance

 

Russian Bank+

Persian Patience

 

Russian

Pharaoh′s Grave

   

Picture Gallery

   

Picture Patience

   

The Plot

   

Poker Squares

   

Portuguese Solitaire

   

Precedence

   

Puss in the Corner

   

Pyramid

   

Pyramide

   

Solitaire online games S-R

Solitaire Games Starting With S

Solitaire Games Starting With T

Solitaire Games Starting With V

Salic Law

Tabby Cat

Vanishing Cross

Scorpion

Tableau

 

Seahaven Towers

Terrace, see Queen of Italy

 

Serpent Poker Solitaire

Three Blind Mice

 

Seven Devils

Three Shuffles and a Draw

 

Seven Up

Thumb and Pouch

 

Sham Battle, see Beleaguered Castle

Tournament

 

Shamrocks

Tower of Hanoi

 

Simple Simon

Travellers (Clock Patience}

 

Simplicity

Travellers

 

Sir Tommy

Tree Solitaire

 

Six By Six

Tri Peaks

 

Sly Fox

   

Spaces, see Gaps

   

Spanish Patience

   

Spider

   

Spiderette

   

Square

   

St. Helena

   

Stalactites

   

Stonewall

   

Storehouse

   

Strategy

   

Streets

   

Streets and Alleys

   

Stronghold

   

Sultan

   

Superior Canfield

   

Solitaire online games W-1

Solitaire Games Starting With W

Solitaire Games Starting With Y/Z

Solitaire Games Starting With 1

Wasp

Yukon

11s Up

Westcliff

Zodiac

 

Whitehead

   

Will o' the Wisp

   

Windmill

   

What are the best types of online solitaire I can play?

There are so many different types of online solitaire that it if you played a new type every day from New Year’s Day, it would take you to the middle of August to play all 230. However, while there are plenty of great versions of solitaire, some are better and more popular than others. 

We recommend that you start with Klondike solitaire. It’s the most widely-played type of solitaire and we’ve covered the key details of it earlier in this guide. There are also many resources, guides, and training videos to help you get to grips with this type of solitaire. 

Once you’ve mastered Klondike solitaire, you can start trying out some of the other great versions. Below we’ve given you a guide to the best types of online solitaire that you can play. 

Quick guide to: spider solitaire 

Spider solitaire is one of the most popular versions of the game that uses two decks of 52 cards. The aim is to get 13 cards of the same suit in order and you win by getting all eight suits in order. 

How to play spider solitaire online 

Spider solitaire online begins with 54 cards being dealt out in groups of ten. All of these are added to the tableau face-down, with the exception of the top cards on each row of ten cards. You then move the cards to order them by their suit and rank – the other 50 cards are added to the game once all of the rows are no longer empty. 

Who is spider solitaire online best for? 

Spider solitaire is one of the most advanced versions of the game, making it best for experienced gamers. Some commentators state that even expert players will only win half the spider solitaire games they play.  

Different versions of spider solitaire online 

  • Spiderette: played in the standard way, but with only one deck

  • Spider 2 Suit: like regular spider solitaire, but with only two suits 

  • Spiderwort: normal rules apply, with the exception that there are three decks in play 

  • Gigantic Spider: an advanced version that uses four decks of cards 

  • Spider 1 Suit: follows the same rules as spider solitaire, but uses only one suit 

Quick guide to: pyramid solitaire 

Pyramid solitaire is one of the most fun ways to play this classic card game. Why? Because rather than using a straight-line tableau for ordering the cards it uses a triangle layout – the purpose of the game is to match your cards in pairs with a combined value of 13. 

How to play pyramid solitaire online 

Like many of the best types of solitaire, pyramid solitaire uses a deck of 52 cards. 28 cards are dealt out face-up into a pyramid that is seven cards wide and seven cards high – you then begin by taking three overturned cards before following the rules of pyramid solitaire

Who is online pyramid solitaire best for? 

As a game that requires a lot of concentration and strategic thinking, playing pyramid solitaire online is best advised to people with some experience at playing solitaire. 

Different versions of online pyramid solitaire

  • Relaxed Pyramid Solitaire: you win when all cards in the pyramid are discarded 

  • Giza: once the pyramid is formed, the remaining cards are dealt into three rows of eight cards 

Quick guide to: wasp solitaire 

Wasp solitaire is one of the best one deck versions of solitaire. It begins with 49 cards being in play and (once the remaining 3 have been played) the aim is to get four columns in sequence, from king down to ace.  

How to play wasp solitaire online 

Wasp solitaire starts with 49 cards being dealt out into seven rows of seven cards – the first three rows have three cards face-down and four face-up, while the remaining four rows are all face-up. You then move the cards to get them in order, as we explain in our detailed wasp solitaire guide on how to play this great version of one of the most popular card games. 

Who is online wasp solitaire best for? 

Wasp solitaire is an excellent bridging game for solitaire fans who want to improve their skills. It’s more advanced than beginner-level versions of solitaire, but not as complicated as expert-level types (such as spider). 

Different versions of wasp solitaire online

  • 2 Suit Wasp Solitaire: the same as the standard type of wasp solitaire, but with only two suits instead of four 

Where can I play free online solitaire? 

If you have a Windows computer then it will have come with a Microsoft solitaire game, or selection of games. This is a great grounding for solitaire players, as it’s created by one of the world’s leading software companies that can be relied on to produce great gameplay. 

But if you’re not a Windows user, then there are still many places that you can play solitaire online, including some of the best providers on the planet. 

World of Solitaire 

World of Solitaire is one of the best places you can play free solitaire online. It offers over 50 different types of solitaire, including some of the best and most well-known versions of the game: 

  • Klondike

  • Spider

  • FreeCell

Solitr

While Solitr has only two versions of the game (Klondike and spider), it’s a very popular place for gamers to play free solitaire online. One of the reasons for the popularity of Solitr is that it also allows you to play two other great strategy games:  

  • Mahjong 

  • Sudoku  

Solitaire 

The Solitaire website may only have 12 versions of solitaire, but it’s one of the finest sites you can play free solitaire online. Why? Because it has games for beginners, mid-range, and advanced players, such as: 

  • Pyramid Easy 

  • Spider Four Suits 

  • Forty Thieves 

Strategies for playing solitaire online

As there are over 200 different types of the game, it’s obvious that there are an awful lot of strategies for playing solitaire – so many that we simply cannot cover them all in one solitaire guide (that would require a guide to everything you need to know about solitaire strategy). 

While we offer expert-level advice on gambling and card games, we also think that it’s important to know what strategies solitaire players are actually using – there’s little sense in wasting your time on tired old tactics. 

That’s why we turned to Quora to discover what strategies for playing solitaire online are being used by your fellow gamers. 5 winning strategies to use in solitaire online

Credit: Quora

 

Learn the rules of solitaire to win solitaire online

Credit: Quora

 

Learn how to win solitaire to win solitaire online

Credit: Quora

Here are the links to the strategies to playing solitaire online that are recommended by acclaimed Solitaire Game Developer, B. Sandberg. 

Best solitaire strategy books 

While there’s (probably) not enough inches on the internet to cover every single solitaire strategy in the detail it deserves, there are some excellent books by solitaire strategy experts that give you a real insight into how to succeed at the game. We’ve highlighted our favourite ones below: 

Guide to the terms used in solitaire online 

Many of the best card games have an enormous number of terms – for example, poker has enough that we’ve created a whole poker glossary to explain them. Solitaire is no exception and there are lots of important terms you need to know to play your best game. Below, we’ve covered the key ones in our guide to the terms used in solitaire online. 

Cells

If you’re playing solitaire online and there’s an area that allows only one card to be added to it, then that area is a cell. 

Fanned 

If the cards in solitaire online games are fanned it means they’re overlapping and that a part of every card can be seen. 

Foundation

Above the tableau in solitaire online games sits the foundation – the area that you aim to fill to win your game.

Pile  

Cards in solitaire online are laid out in rows/columns that are popularly known as piles. 

Reserve 

Your reserve is the pile of cards in solitaire that you are not allowed to build columns on. 

Squared

If the cards in solitaire online games are in a pile are directly on top of each other than they are said to be squared. 

Stock 

The stock is the pile of cards in solitaire that are left remaining once the live cards have been dealt and added to the tableau. 

Tableau

The tableau is the surface that your cards are laid on in a game of solitaire – in the classic solitaire games that have come free with Microsoft since Windows 3.0, the tableau is a green surface (much like the baize in poker). 

Waste 

The waste is the area in solitaire online that the remaining cards are placed in once they’re brought into play. 

Now you know all the key points about this great card game, we recommend that you try your hand at solitaire online – it’s one of the finest things to allocate a few minutes of your life to and quickly find that you’ve been playing for hours. 

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