Types of Solitaire Games and How To Play Them

Did you know that there are multiple types of Solitaire games? While many of us have heard and played Spider Solitaire, but what other varieties of games are there? Read this article to know more.

You might not know it, but millions of people play Solitaire every day. They play on their computers, on their phones, and yes, with physical cards. It's immensely popular, as players use it to pass the time while they are alone. However, even the most ardent players need to switch it up from time to time, which is why variations have been developed over time. Even though they can be tricky to learn, but they all operate from the same basic premise. Here are some popular types of Solitaire games and how you play them.

Classic Solitaire

The objective of the classic solitaire game is to build stacks of complete suits, ordered from ace to king. You start with 7 columns of cards, and one stockpile of cards. The columns are created by dealing 7 cards across the table. You flip over the card in the first column and deal out to the remaining 6. Then you flip over the top card in the second column. Keep going down the row until all the top cards are flipped over. Any cards that are left over are kept in the stockpile.

After that, you start the game by drawing cards from the stockpile to use to build your columns. You build columns by adding cards either from the stockpile or the cards you already have face up on the columns. You can add cards that are the opposite color of a face-up card, in descending order. For example, you can place three of clubs on four of diamonds. If the card you move is from a column, you can then flip over to the next card.

When you get an ace, you can place it in the foundation piles. You win if you have a foundation pile for all the suits in ascending order.

Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is played with two decks of cards shuffled together. It's definitely more complex than classic Solitaire, and takes some getting used to. In this game, you start with 10 columns. The four columns to your left will have 6 cards each. Flip over the top card in each pile. The other 6 columns have 5 cards, with the top card in each flipped over.

You can move cards in the same way as classic Solitaire, however, you cannot move cards to a foundation pile individually. You must build a descending order pile before moving it. That means from a king to an ace. To make it easier, you can choose to play by building piles without regard to suit. Conversely, you can make it more challenging by separating colors or suits.

Free Cell

Free Cell is an easier version of solitaire, meaning you have a better chance of winning. You still have to build foundation piles from ace to king and sorted by suit. However, there is a slight variation in how to play this one. To start, you have 8 columns on the table. There are 7 cards in the first four, and 6 in the other 4. Every single card, no matter where it is in the column, is face up.

You move the cards exactly like Classic Solitaire, however, there is one big difference. In Free Cell there are 4 spaces on the table for cards that might be in the way of making moves. Since you can see all the cards in a column then you will be able to know which card to move when the time comes. As always, the game is over when you build your foundation piles or you reach a point where you can't make any moves.

Pyramid Solitaire

This game is very different from Classic Solitaire, but it does have some similar concepts. Start the game by dealing the cards in a pyramid shape. Start with 1 on the top, then 2, and so on until you put down 7 along the base. All told, you should have 28 cards in the pyramid. However, make sure that your cards overlap as you go down. The rest of the cards go into a draw pile.

You start by drawing a single card from the draw pile. Instead of building foundation piles, in Pyramid Solitaire you can only remove cards if you have 2 of them that add up to 13. To remove them, they must be uncovered in your pyramid. The goal is to remove all of the cards in the pyramid by matching each with a card in the draw pile that adds up to 13. If there are two cards in the pyramid that add up to 13, then you can remove them as well, as long as they are uncovered. The numbering starts at 13 with the king (therefore you can remove a king right away), 12 for the queen, and so on until you reach the ace at 1. This one is tricky, and is very hard to win.

These are 4 of the most common and popular versions of Solitaire. You can even make your own variations, like drawing 3 cards from a draw pile to make it more difficult. If you're on your own and looking to kill a bit of time, then give these games a shot and see if you are up to the challenge.


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