Play Regular Solitaire: Learn the Ropes to Entertain Yourself

Updated August 20, 2021
Woman Playing Solitaire

Have a little extra time on your hands and want to learn how to play regular Solitaire? This solo card game is a great way to pass a rainy afternoon.

What Is Solitaire?

With more than 100 versions in existence, Solitaire may be one of the most popular games in history, aside from the fact that it is also a great exercise for your brain. First mentioned in writing in the eighteenth century, this game has entertained people for more than 200 years. Regular Solitaire is also known as "Klondike."

Klondike uses a full deck of 52 playing cards. Jokers are removed. Due to the randomness inherent in the game, it isn't possible to win every session of regular Solitaire. However, the odds of dealing a solvable game are at least 82 percent. This makes Klondike Solitaire a great game for beginning card players.

How to Play Regular Solitaire

The rules of Klondike are fairly simple. The object of the game is to stack the cards by suit and in ace to king order on top of the ace; you are basically playing against your deck. When all the cards are sorted, you have won the game.

Game Setup

To get started, set up your regular Solitaire game as follows:

  1. Remove both jokers and thoroughly shuffle the deck of cards.
  2. Deal seven cards face down in a horizontal line.
  3. Skipping the first card, deal six cards, slightly overlapping the cards already on the table.
  4. Skipping the first and second piles, deal five cards onto the remaining columns of cards.
  5. Continue dealing cards in overlapping columns. The first column will have one card. The second will have two cards. The third will have three cards. You should end up with seven columns, the last column having seven cards.
  6. Place the remaining cards face down on the table in a pile. This is your stockpile.
  7. Finally, turn over the top card in each column.

Game Play

Once you get the hang of it, playing Solitaire is easy. After you learn the basics, you can refine your strategy and win more games.

  1. If there are any aces face up, place them above the columns to create the card piles for each suit.
  2. When you remove a card to play it, turn over the card beneath.
  3. Continue placing cards on the piles for each suit, following numerical order.
  4. You can also form an ordered stack, called a "tableau," with the remaining cards. This consists of placing smaller numbered cards on top of larger numbered cards. The numbers must be consecutive, and you must alternate red and black cards. Making tableaux can help you expose more face-down cards to be added to the foundation suit piles.
  5. When you can't play from your columns anymore, cycle through the stockpile. The easy version is to turn each card from the stockpile face up until you come to one you can play. A more challenging version is to put every third card face up until you get one you can play. You can't shuffle the stockpile.
  6. Remember to play as much from the columns as possible before moving to your stockpile. This will reveal more cards that were face down, thus increasing your chances of winning.
  7. Continue turning over the face-down cards as they are exposed. The game is finished when all of the cards are divided into the four suit piles above the original seven columns.

Electronic Play Options

You do not need a deck of cards to play Solitaire as there are electronic and online versions as well.

Windows 10

On Windows 10, Solitaire and its various versions can be found on the "Microsoft Solitaire Collection." Click on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and start typing "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" to bring up the app. Click on the app, which will open in your browser. Instructions will come up for playing on your iOS or Android phone. Or, click on the button in the top left that says "Back to Microsoft Solitaire Collection."

Online Games

If you do not have Windows 10, there are many options for playing Solitaire for free online. Some of these are:

Pass the Time

Whether it is playing on your computer, online, or at a table with a deck of cards, Solitaire is an engaging and fun way to entertain yourself in your spare time.

Play Regular Solitaire: Learn the Ropes to Entertain Yourself