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How to Play Solitaire

Solitaire is the perfect card game to unwind and sharpen your mind during short breaks or after a tedious day. It also suits those who are looking to kill some time while having lunch, commuting, or standing in line.

Classic Solitaire has been played by millions of people daily all around the world for decades. The only thing you need to join them is your PC, laptop, or mobile device and some time to spare!

Goal of a Solitaire Game

According to the rules, Solitaire is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The goal of the game is to clear the table of all the cards by building them into the four Foundation piles in ascending order, sorted by suit. King is the highest card in the game, while Ace is the lowest.

Are you wondering how to play Solitaire? Let's explore Solitaire's rules and gameplay.


To learn how to play Solitaire and start the game you should be familiar with basic concepts and terms: Foundation, Tableau, Stock, and Waste.

  • Foundation is the four piles at the top you should build in order to win the game. Cards should be stacked in ascending order and sorted by suit, from Ace through King.
  • Tableau is where the main gameplay happens. It consists of seven piles of cards. In the beginning of any classic Solitaire game, the first pile has only one faceup card, the second pile has one facedown card on the bottom, and one faceup card on the top, and so on. The seventh pile has six facedown cards and one faceup card at the top.
  • Stock is a pile of cards which players can use to introduce more cards to the game, when there are no good moves to be made on the Tableau.
  • Waste is a pile for cards that have been moved from the Stock, but are not playable at the moment.

Solitaire Rules

At the beginning of the game, you need to start creating sequences among the seven piles on the Tableau. You can stack cards only in descending order (King, Queen, Jack, 10 and so on), alternating suit colors (e.g. red, black, red, black and so on). The sequences can be moved from pile to pile. You can always start building a sequence from any card, not necessarily a King.

When you move a faceup card from a pile, a facedown card below turns face up. This is how you uncover the cards on the Tableau while playing Solitaire. Once any of the seven piles on the Tableau is empty, you can put a King or a sequence that starts with a King (and only a King) on the free spot. You can only move around top faceup cards or sequences.

In situations when there are no available moves left on the Tableau, you can always start introducing new cards to the game using the Stock.

Draw Pile

You can choose how to draw cards from the stock. It is easier to play in a mode where you can draw the cards one by one (Draw-1), or you might want to try making the game a bit more challenging by drawing three cards at a time (Draw-3).

Winning a Solitaire Game

A Solitaire game is won once all the cards are built into the Foundation in the correct order and sorted by suits.

Solitaire Strategies

When you have read the basic rules and know how to play Solitaire, it's time to learn the popular strategies.

  • Always move Aces to the Foundation when they become unblocked and available.
  • To keep your options open, try not to move other cards to the Foundation too quickly. They can help you build sequences and uncover or unblock more cards on the Tableau.
  • Focus on uncovering cards from the biggest piles on the Tableau first. It will give you more opportunities later.
  • Usually try to not introduce new cards to the game when you have moves available on the Tableau.
  • Before starting the game, sometimes it is a good idea to open the first card from the Stock. It may allow you to make better moves in the very beginning of the game.
  • Don't give up! Some games can seem unsolvable, but actually they can still be won. For example, you can always bring cards from the top of the Foundation back to the Tableau.

Now that we have covered the basic rules and strategies of Solitaire, start playing this classic card game. Have fun and don't get upset if you don't win the first time. Master your strategy, use your patience, improve your skills, and become a Solitaire master!