Simple Guide to Solitaire Card Game

Solitaire is a very popular card game that is either played offline with a standard deck of 52 cards or online using Solitaire applications on the computer/mobile. This is traditionally a single-player activity but now can be played in a multiplayer version. This game is probably known by any '90s kid, during which time Solitaire had really taken up the computer entertainment genre. This guide covers topics on Solitaire history, how to play such a card game, and interesting facts.

History of Solitaire

The exact origin of Solitaire isn't clear, but it is thought to have a German or Scandinavian source. The word "solitaire" first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1746, but this probably referred to the board game "peg solitaire" but not the Solitaire card game. The word Solitaire has a Latin origin and comes from "solitarius", which means to be alone. This denotes the classically single-player game which Solitaire is known to be. Also, it is believed that the interest in Solitaire grew in Europe around 1765 due to fortune-telling with cards. To know more, Solitaire was originally known as Patience. In particular, it was around 1874 that the words Patience and Solitaire were both used to refer to this card game. Interestingly enough, the classic Solitaire card game was included in Microsoft Windows 3.0 in 1990, with the name "Microsoft Solitaire" for users to learn to use the mouse to drag-and-drop cards onto the playing area. Over time, when advancements in technology grew, Solitaire collections with a larger memory were incorporated into various programs. One of the first such collections was "Solitaire Royale" by Brad Fregger. This collection had 8 different kinds of Solitaire card games. In 1995, the now well-known solitaire game "FreeCell" was launched on Windows 95, along with Spider Solitaire a few years after. Currently, many different kinds of Solitaire exist, both on computer applications as well as on mobile apps. Now Microsoft Solitaire is more than 30 years old, but still retains its fame!

How to Play Solitaire?

To win Solitaire, you need to use all your cards to complete the four stacks of cards by suit, which are called the foundations. These four piles are arranged in ascending order from Ace to King. To begin, you need to lay out cards to form the tableau, which is a collection of 7 stacks of cards with the top card facing upwards. The first stack contains one card, the second contains two cards and the seventh stack contains seven cards. It is to be noted that you can only deal cards that are face-up. Then you may continue by moving any face-up aces to make the foundations. Subsequently, turn the card that was below the face-up card, upwards, so that the tableau will always have face-up cards in each stack. If there are no possible moves, you can rearrange face-up cards within the tableau by moving them on top of suitable face-up cards: those that are of a different color and go in descending sequence. Keep doing this until you can form the foundations. If there are absolutely no more moves, you can use the stock pile, which is basically a collection of spare cards, which if not used forms the waste pile. Go on playing until you run out of all the cards.

Fun Facts on Solitaire

  • Apart from Patience, Solitaire has other names, for example, Reussite, Kabal(e)/ Kabala.
  • Surprisingly, Windows Solitaire was made by a bored intern! Wes Cherry was an intern at Microsoft when he got the idea to write Solitaire as a Windows application. However, he did not earn any cash for his creation - although he still lives a happy life as an owner of a cider company.
  • Solitaire, although classically known to have one version, currently comes in five main types: Klondike, FreeCell, Spider, TriPeaks, and Pyramid. Apart from these main types, there are so many more kinds of Solitaire, such as Spider, Mahjong, Yukon, etc. These types come with awesome variations, some derived from the classic version. These games also have exciting graphics, which are a must for you to check out.
  • When you play Solitaire on Windows, the highest score possible is 24,113. Whenever you add a card onto the foundations, you get 10 points, with 5 points if you place the correct card in the column. If your game is more than 30 seconds, you will get a time bonus: 700,000 divided by the total time to finish the game in seconds.
  • Solitaire can be played in a professional setting where you can earn about $250,000 in a year!
  • The National Solitaire Day is on May 22, where Solitaire fans celebrate the long-loved history and game.
  • Although it is thought to be a difficult game, winning Solitaire has great odds: only 1 in 400 games cannot be solved, says Usman Latif from If you really, really can't win, it's probably because the face-up cards have no aces, or you have no option to move the face-up cards for rearrangement within the tableau, or there are no suitable moves from the stockpile.
  • The Suicide King? The king of hearts in Solitaire is called the Suicide King because it seems as if he is going to stab himself with the sword he is holding.
  • You can use a helpful strategy to win this game too as it's not all about luck. Since the cards you can deal are only the face-up ones, you need to try to unlock the face-down cards, so you can figure out your moves. Leave the stock pile until there are absolutely no more moves to make. You can check out various sites for more tips, tricks, and Solitaire game variations.


Solitaire is a great game to indulge in when you've got friends over. And since it can now be played online, you can connect with your friends and have a go at it even with the travel restrictions in this pandemic!