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Play the classic card game Solitaire

A deck of cards in a card game

What’s the Idea?

Learn to play the classic card game Solitaire to while away a few hours.

What’s the story

When I was younger and found myself alone, I would while away hours playing this particular card game especially when it was raining

A solo card game such as Solitaire can be very relaxing and can really help pass the time.

It’s also a good introduction to playing cards and might encourage you to discover other fun card games including different versions of Solitaire.

If you check your mobile or laptop you may find an online Solitaire game already pre-loaded into your games. Some of these you can play offline.

But if you can’t find one there, check out one of these two online sites where you can play card games either solo or with friends.

I still prefer using a real pack of cards to an online card game so if you already have a deck in your house do try and use them.

If you don’t why not purchase your own playing card deck.  You can find them very cheaply online and there are some very pretty styles

The history of card games is fascinating too.

They appear in European history as far back as the 1300’s and were probably introduced from Asia even further back than that.

Rules for every card game varies from family to family and country to country so make sure you agree the rules before you start playing with others.

Some games can seem quite complicated when you’re first learning the rules but once you have learned them they’re really easy to play.

People should do this because…?

A card game is accessible for all age groups.

A deck of cards is easy to carry anywhere, and you don’t need much space to play – just a flat surface.

Playing cards can help both children and adults improve their fine and gross motor skills.

A card game can encourage hand-eye coordination and help stimulate and exercise your mind.

Some card games develop your strategic, statistics and probability skills.

How do you do it?

Solitaire (Klondike version)

This is a 1 player card game using 1 deck of cards

Before our start make sure you remove any jokers or blank cards

If you haven’t got a pack of cards try use this online version

The object of the game

The card game is finished when you have 4 piles of cards one of each suit –

The cards in each pile must run sequentially, ace through king (A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K)

The game also ends if you cannot go any further.

How to get started

Deal out 7 columns of cards all face-down. The 1st column should have one card face down.

The second column should have two cards face down.

The 3rd column should have 3 cards face down and so on until you have 7 columns.

Turn over the top card of each column so the picture is facing upwards.

The other 24 cards should sit in a pile to the side (called the stockpile)

You should also leave room at the top for 4 stack piles of suited cards.

Moving your cards around – the rules

You can move cards from the columns or stack piles according to the following rules:

Cards may be placed on top of the exposed card of each column if they are next in sequence and the opposite colour.

For example, the 8 of diamonds or hearts (red card, suit doesn’t matter) can be placed on a 9 of clubs or spades (black card).  You could then move a 7-black card on top of the 8 red card and so on.

Cards may be moved from column to column individually, or in chronological groups.

For example, you can move a group of 5 red, 6 black, 7 red, 8 black onto a 9 red.

When a face-down card in any of the columns becomes exposed, turn it face-up.

When a column is empty, you may move a king to it to restart the column (or a sequential group topped by a king).

Your goal is to move all your cards to the stack piles in the correct suit.

Each stack pile (at the top) must start with an ace. Stack piles are the same suit.

As other cards become available, you can move them on top of the aces to build the suited stacks.

For example, once you have moved the ace of hearts to a stack spot, you can move the 2 of hearts on top of it, then the 3 of hearts on top of the two, and so on until the stack of hearts is complete

If you move a card to a stack pile, you can move it back to the columns if you want.


Using the stockpile

If you can’t move any of the cards in the columns you use the cards in the remaining stockpile.

Turn over 3 cards face up in one go, only looking at the top card (3rd one). The 3rd (the one on top) is the one you may move.

You can move the top, exposed card from the stock to either the columns or the stack piles.

If you move the top card, you can then move the next exposed card, if possible, and so on.

If you cannot use the exposed card, you may turn over another three cards.

You can continue doing this indefinitely and also whenever you can’t move cards in the columns.

When the stockpile is exhausted, simply turn the cards over again and start from the top.

Do not shuffle.

Winning the game

You continue playing until you have completed all 4 suit stacks or until no more moves are possible.

You win the game if you complete all 4 suit stacks.


To improve your chances of winning the game – Instead of using only every third card in the stock, you may go through the stockpile one card at a time.

To make it more difficult or quicker – Only go through the stockpile a limited number of times, usually three times.

Stuff you may need

  • Flat surface
  • 1 full deck of cards
  • PC/Mobile/Tablet (if playing on a device)
  • Wifi (If playing online)

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