Solitaire – Rules, How to Play Online, and Free Apps

What is Solitaire?

Solitaire - Rules, How to Play Online, and Free Apps

Solitaire is a popular card game played by one player. It is played with a full card of deck. Various versions of the game are available online, and it can be played offline, as well. The classic version of Solitaire is called Klondike and is played with 52 cards. In the following sections we will cover how to play Solitaire game, Types of Solitaire (including how to play spider solitaire), and top 5 websites and apps to play solitaire for free.

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How to play Solitaire game

Dealing of cards in Solitaire game

In Solitaire, seven piles of cards are dealt. In the first round of dealing, the first and the left-most card is dealt face up, the next six are dealt face down.

The second round begins with the second pile receiving a face up card, and the next five receiving face down cards.

The third round of dealing begins with a face-up card on the third pile and face-down cards from fourth deck onwards.

The dealing continues thus, until all the seven decks have one face-up card on top. Basically, the number of cards in each pile increases from left to right.

The remaining 24 cards are placed face-down in a deck separate from the seven cards.

There are four imaginary empty slots above the seven decks. These slots are used to create the foundation piles.

How to win the game of Solitaire

To win the game of solitaire, you have to create foundation piles of each suit. You start the foundation by placing aces of each suit in four separate places/slots above the seven decks.

You then have to complete each suit by placing consecutive cards on top of the aces, e.g. place 2 of hearts on Ace of hearts, 2 of clubs on Ace of clubs, 3 of clubs on 2 of clubs and so on, until you have each suit completed.

Moves in Solitaire game

To be able to complete the four suits of cards, you have to move some cards around. The cards can move in the game in three ways:

  • Moving cards among the seven decks: You can move face-up cards among the seven piles, placing a smaller rank card below a card with one rank higher and with a different color. E.g. you can place 6 of hearts under 7 of clubs.

Note: When a face-up card is moved from a pile, the next face-down card in that pile is flipped to make the next face-up card in that pile

  • Moving cards from the seven decks to the foundation piles: As the objective of the game is to complete each foundation pile, you can move cards from the seven decks to place cards in the foundation piles.
  • From the deck: The last way of moving cards is to reveal one card at a time from the deck of leftover 24 cards (In some games, three cards are flipped open from the deck, and the third card can be moved first and then the ones below that). The card that is revealed can be added to the seven piles (below a card of higher rank and different color) or added to the foundation piles, wherever possible. If a card revealed can’t be moved to any place, the next card is revealed on top of it. Once all the deck cards are revealed, the pile of revealed cards is flipped to make a face-down deck again.

Other Solitaire rules

  • While moving cards to the seven piles, a card can be placed below a card with one higher rank and a different color only.
  • When one of the seven piles becomes empty, only a King card can be placed into the open space first. More consecutive cards can be added below the King when required.
  • The top card of a foundation pile can be moved back to one of the seven piles below, if needed.
  • If no more moves can be made from the piles of the deck of cards, then the game is lost.

Types of Solitaire games

Here are some types of Solitaire cards games that are available online:

1. Klondike Solitaire

This is the most common form of this game, often known as just Solitaire. This is the version of the game that originally came with Windows. The rules of this game have been explained in the sections above.

2. Spider Solitaire

This is another popular version of solitaire. This game also came with Windows. There are different levels of difficulty in Spider Solitaire. Difficulty of the game rises with a higher number of suits and decks in the game. It is played by one player.

How to play spider solitaire

Dealing:

Ten columns of 4 face down cards each are dealt. Four columns on the left get an extra facedown card each. The next six columns get one face-up card each and then the first four columns also get a face-up card each. The remaining cards are kept aside in a face-down deck.

One-suit spider solitaire uses 104 cards of spades and two-suit spider solitaire uses 104 cards including spades and hearts.

Moves:

  • Open cards can be moved one below another–a card can be moved below a card with one rank more and any color (ideally move below the same suit card).
  • When no open cards can be moved, pick a card from the closed deck of extra cards. If you don’t want to use a card from the deck, make another deck of face-up cards with it, and open another card from the face-down cards.

Rules:

  • When an open card is moved, the face-down card below it is flipped to expose that card.
  • When a sequence of descending cards from K-A is completed for one suit, it can be moved to one of the 8 empty foundation slots below the ten columns.
  • When all the face-down cards from the side deck are complete, you can flip the open deck of extra cards to make a face-down deck of cards again.

The objective of the game is to fill all the 8 foundation slots with 8 sets of descending same-suit cards from K-A. Here’s a video that explains how you can play spider solitaire.

3. Free Cell

This is another variation of the game that came with Windows 95 and all its versions after that. It was invented in the 80s by Paul Allfile. This game requires one to apply thought and strategise. It starts with a tableau of 52 open cards in 8 piles. Like the classic version of the game, you have to move all the cards in ascending order (Ace to King of the same suit) to the four foundation slots on top right. Here’s a small video on how to play Free cell.

Other types of Solitaire games include Scorpion, Pyramid, Forty Thieves, and Yukon.

Top 5 free websites to play Solitaire online

Here are some popular platforms where you can play different versions of Solitaire online for free:

  1. Solitr: This simple online platform offers Solitaire and Spider Solitaire. You do not even need to sign up on this platform to play either of the games. This platform has no sound effects.
  2. Google Solitaire: Here’s a game hosted by Google, where you can play easy or hard versions of Solitaire games. You don’t need to sign up on this Google game platform either. The graphics on this platform are simple, yet appealing. The sound effects in the game are almost similar to the original version of the game.
  3. World of Solitaire: Here’s another platform that offers 121 versions Solitaire including different types of Klondike or classic solitaire—Turn one, turn three, Double turn one and three, and triple turn one and three. On this website, you can also play Pyramid, Scorpion, Spider, Yukon and other versions of this game. No sign up is required to play the games. There are no sound effects on this platform.
  4. CardGames: This is a simple platform that offers solitaire, spider solitaire, Hearts, Free Cell, Spades, and more. No sign in is required to play on this platform.
  5. Solitaire Web App: This platform has 12 versions of solitaire including Klondike Solitaire,, Forty Thieves, FreeCell, Pyramid, Easthaven, and Eight Off.

Top 5 mobile apps to play free online Solitaire

  1. Microsoft Solitaire: This app offers online Klondike Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, FreeCell , Tri Peaks, and Pyramid.
  2. Solitaire by Mouse Games: This app features a free classic Solitaire card game including Klondike Solitaire Draw 1 card and Klondike Solitaire Draw 3 cards.
  3. Solitaire by Brianium Studios: This app also offers Draw-1 and Draw-3 modes of online Solitaire.
  4. Solitaire by MobilityWare: This game offers Classic Klondike & Patience Solitaire for free.
  5. Spider Solitaire by MobilityWare: Here’s the Spider solitaire version of the app by MobilityWare.

Read more about card games and gaming in India.